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World Climate Research Programme

Last Updated : 18 Jul, 2022
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The World Climate Research Programme was created in 1980 to make it easier to analyze and predict the variability and change of the Earth system for use in a growing number of real-world applications that are directly relevant, advantageous, and valuable to society. Over the past 30+ years, WCRP has significantly advanced climate research. Because of the work of the WCRP, climate scientists are now able to monitor, model, and project the global climate with unprecedented accuracy. They can also supply climate data for use in governance, decision-making, and a variety of useful end-user applications.

The Objective of the World Climate Research Programme:

  • The WCRP’s objective is to create the essential scientific knowledge of the physical climate system and climate processes necessary to evaluate how well climate can be anticipated and how much human activity has an impact on it.
  • The program’s goal is to support climate research programmes that need or gain from international collaboration and are unlikely the result of national efforts alone. 
  • The programme does not directly fund climate research, it occasionally consults with funding organisations to discuss the world’s top research priorities.
  • It coordinates and supports international climate research in order to create, disseminate, and use the climate knowledge that improves societal well-being.

Governance of the World Climate Research Programme:

  • The International Science Council (ISC), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO),  and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO jointly sponsor the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).
  • A group of 18 eminent scientists was chosen by WCRP’s sponsors to serve the WCRP Joint Scientific Committee, which provides the organization with scientific and strategic direction (JSC).
  • The WCRP “Joint Planning Staff,” or JPS, is a group of about eight full-time employees who work in the WCRP Secretariat, which is housed by WMO in Geneva, Switzerland, and support both the implementation of JSC recommendations and daily WCRP operations.
  • Many of the WCRP’s projects, like its Core Projects, have their own Scientific Steering Groups and auxiliary Secretariats.
  • The JSC meets annually, the three sponsors of WCRP hold annual meetings of their constituting bodies, and regular publications are posted on the WCRP homepage.

Various Core Project on Climate Changes:

The six permanent research communities make up the “Core Projects” of WCRP. Researchers from all over the world collaborate on the Core Projects to address the most urgent climate concerns,

  1. Climate and Cryosphere (CliC): CliC fosters and promotes research into the cryosphere to increase knowledge of the cryosphere and its interactions with the global climate system.
  2. Earth System Modelling and Observations (ESMO): Modeling, observation, and model-data fusion all are covered under the science and technologies of ESMO. 
  3. Climate and Ocean Variability, Predictability and Change (CLIVAR): Understanding the dynamics, interactions, and predictability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system is the goal of CLIVAR. It makes easier to observe, analyze, and anticipate changes in the Earth’s climate system.
  4. Regional Information for Society (RIfS): The research and capacity necessary for providing regional climate information that is meaningful to society, including the efforts of the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX).
  5. Global Energy and Water Exchanges (GEWEX): GEWEX is an integrated programme of research, observations, and scientific activities with a focus on the atmospheric, hydrological, terrestrial, radiative, and interactions that control the global and regional hydrological cycle, radiation, and energy transitions, as well as their contribution to global changes.
  6. Stratosphere-troposphere Processes and their Role in Climate (SPARC): In order to address important issues in atmospheric dynamics and predictability, and long-term records for understanding climate, SPARC provides intellectual leadership.

World Climate Research Programme and India:

The World Climate Research Program (WCRP) and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (ESSO-IITM), an autonomous organisation under the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO), signed an agreement in 2015 to establish the International Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) Monsoon Project Office (ICMPO) at ESSO-IITM in Pune.

International Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) Monsoon Project Office (ICMPO) will be in charge of implementing 

  1. Seasonal, intra-seasonal, and inter-annual variability and predictability of Monsoon systems. 
  2. Development of a CLIVAR “Research Opportunity” on links between the Monsoons and the cryosphere.

Challenges faced by the World Climate Research Programme:

Major Challenges faced are:

  • Clouds, Melting Ice, and Global Effects
  • Sensitivity to the climate and circulation
  • Feedback from Carbon in the Climate System
  • Extremes in weather and climate
  • Water for the World’s Food Baskets
  • Impacts of localized sea level rise and coastal areas
  • Proximity-based Climate Prediction


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