World Climate Research Program (WCRP) Open Science Conference 2011 Print E-mail
The United States will host the next Open Science Conference of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) in Denver, Colorado, 24-28 October 2011. The goals and the vision for the meeting are as follows:
 
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. 
This need is perhaps greater than ever before given that humans have emerged as the dominant agent of future change. 
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. 
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.
The WCRP OSC represents an exclusive opportunity to assemble the international scientific community working to advance understanding and prediction of variability and change of the Earth’s physical climate system on all space and time scales. The OSC will facilitate cross-fertilization across the diverse research communities within the WCRP, as well as with other international research programmes, including the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) and the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP).
 
The OSC will appraise the current state of climate science, thereby making a measurable contribution on the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It will identify key opportunities and challenges in observations, modeling, analysis and process research required to understand and predict responses of the Earth as a system.
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 World Climate Research Programme, sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, is uniquely positioned to draw on the totality of climate-related systems, facilities and intellectual capabilities of more than 185 countries. Integrating new observations, research facilities and scientific breakthroughs is essential to progress in the inherently global task of advancing understanding of the processes that determine our climate.
 
The two overarching objectives of the WCRP are:
 
1. to determine the predictability of climate; and
2. to determine the effect of human activities on climate

...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.
 
These two objectives underpin and directly address the needs of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and contribute to many other international policy instruments.
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').