A better understanding of the behavior of the climate system and its interactions with other Earth system components is critical to predict its future evolution, reduce vulnerability to high impact weather and climate events, and sustain life. â€¨This need is perhaps greater than ever before given that humans have emerged as the dominant agent of future change. â€¨Progress will require, moreover, an increasingly holistic approach across scientific disciplines, as well as an unprecedented commitment to the development of a diverse and talented future workforce.
To advance its attack on such challenges, the WCRP
will assemble for the first time ever its entire research community, and engage other key international research programmes, in a major Open Science Conference (OSC)
in October 2011. â€¨Through a unique synthesis of presented research findings, the OSC
will assess our current state of knowledge on climate variability and change, identify the most urgent scientific issues and research challenges, and ascertain how the WCRP
can best facilitate research and develop partnerships critical for progress.
By entraining as many young scientists and students as possible from across the world, including less-developed and developing countries, the OSC
will facilitate growth of the diverse future workforce needed to meet the increasingly complex scientific challenges of the future.
The two overarching objectives of the WCRP
1. to determine the predictability of climate; and
2. to determine the effect of human activities on climateâ€¨â€¨...to facilitate analysis and prediction of Earth system variability and change for use in an increasing range of practical applications of direct relevance, benefit and value to society.
To achieve its objectives, the WCRP
adopts a multi-disciplinary approach, organizes large-scale observational and modelling projects and facilitates focus on aspects of climate too large and complex to be addressed by any one nation or single scientific discipline.
Today, the WCRP
encompasses studies of the global atmosphere, oceans, sea- and land-ice, the biosphere and the land surface, which together constitute the Earth's climate system. The four major core projects, diverse working groups, various cross-cutting activities and many co-sponsored activities of the WCRP are designed to improve scientific understanding and knowledge of processes that in turn result in better forecasts and hence benefits to users of climate research (see 'Activities & Projects').