REVIEW OF THE WORLD CLIMATE RESEARCH PROGRAMME (WCRP) - International ...

 
REVIEW OF THE WORLD CLIMATE RESEARCH PROGRAMME (WCRP) - International ...
R E V I EW OF THE W ORLD
C L I MATE RESEARCH
P R O G RAM ME (W CRP)

                                      United Nations    Intergovernmental
                           Educational, Scientific and   Oceanographic
                               Cultural Organization    Commission
REVIEW OF THE WORLD CLIMATE RESEARCH PROGRAMME (WCRP) - International ...
REVIEW OF THE WORLD CLIMATE RESEARCH PROGRAMME (WCRP) - International ...
R E VIEW OF THE W O RLD
C LIM ATE RESEARCH
P R OGRAMME (W CRP)

Report from an ICSU-WMO-IOC Review Panel:
Julia Slingo (Chair), Mark New, Alan Thorpe, Steven Zebiak,
Fumiko Kasuga, Sergey Gulev, Neville Smith
REVIEW OF THE WORLD CLIMATE RESEARCH PROGRAMME (WCRP) - International ...
ISC
The International Science Council (ISC) is a non-governmental or-
ganization with a unique global membership that brings together
40 international scientific Unions and Associations and over 140
national and regional scientific organisations including Academies
and Research Councils. The ISC was created in 2018 as the result of a
merger between the International Council for Science (ICSU, founded
in 1931) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC, founded
in 1952). The ISC brings together the natural and social sciences and
is the largest global science organization of its type. The vision of
the Council is to advance science as a global public good.

WMO
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmen-
tal organization with a membership of 191 Member States and Territo-
ries. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization
(IMO), which was founded in 1873. Established by the ratification of
the WMO Convention on 23 March 1950, WMO became the specialised
agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate),
operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences a year later.

IOC-UNESCO
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
(IOC-UNESCO), established in 1960 as a body with functional autono-
my within UNESCO, is the only competent organization for marine
science within the UN system. The purpose of the Commission is to
promote international cooperation and to coordinate programmes
in research, services and capacity-building, in order to learn more
about the nature and resources of the ocean and coastal areas and
to apply that knowledge for the improvement of management, sus-
tainable development, the protection of the marine environment,
and the decision-making processes of its Member States.

Suggested citation
ISC, WMO, IOC of UNESCO (2018), Review of the World Climate Research
Programme (WCRP). 72 pp.
Paris, International Science Council. Available at www.council.science

DOI: 10.24948/2018.03
REVIEW OF THE WORLD CLIMATE RESEARCH PROGRAMME (WCRP) - International ...
05           EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

19       1 CONTEXT
20		1.1 CURRENT STRUCTURE AND GOVERNANCE OF WCRP
22		1.2 CURRENT FUNDING ARRANGEMENTS
23		1.3 REVIEW PROCESS AND EVIDENCE COLLECTION APPROACH

27       2 W HAT THE REVIEW PANEL LEARNED
28		2.1 OUTCOME OF THE 2009 REVIEW OF WCRP
29		2.2 EFFECTIVENESS OF THE CURRENT STRUCTURE
36		2.3 ROLE AND EFFECTIVENESS OF THE JSC
36		2.4 ROLE AND EFFECTIVENESS OF THE JPS
37		2.5 RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SPONSORS
38		2.6 RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER RESEARCH PROGRAMMES
42		2.7	CONTRIBUTING TO MAJOR INTERNATIONAL POLICY PROCESSES AND
         ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS THE IPCC AND UNFCCC
43		2.8 ROLE OF WCRP IN CLIMATE SERVICES AND LINKS TO GFCS

47       3	CONSIDERATIONS FOR
            THE FUTURE WCRP
48		3.1 CONTEXT
49		3.2 GOVERNANCE AND THE MOU
51		3.3 FUTURE STRUCTURE
56		3.4 PARTNERSHIPS
57		3.5 OPERATIONAL DELIVERY

61       4	SUMMARY AND
            RECOMMENDATIONS

68		ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

69		ANNEX 1 LIST OF DOCUMENTS

70
   A NNEX 2 LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS TO THE REVIEW

71		REVIEW PANEL MEMBERSHIP
REVIEW OF THE WORLD CLIMATE RESEARCH PROGRAMME (WCRP) - International ...
04   REVIEW OF THE WCRP
REVIEW OF THE WORLD CLIMATE RESEARCH PROGRAMME (WCRP) - International ...
E X ECUTIVE SUMMARY
REVIEW OF THE WORLD CLIMATE RESEARCH PROGRAMME (WCRP) - International ...
06   REVIEW OF THE WCRP
Executive summary         07

The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)                               nance, operational structure, management and
was established in 1980 by three sponsors, the                            resourcing of WCRP. In addition, it received compre-
World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Inter-                       hensive, written documents on the programme’s
national Council for Science (ICSU)*, and the                             activities.
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)                              After reviewing all the evidence, the Panel’s judge-
of UNESCO**, to facilitate the analysis and prediction                    ment is that WCRP is at a critical point in its his-
of Earth system variability and change for use in an                      tory, and that significant changes are required in its
increasing range of practical applications of direct                      governance, structure and delivery for it to fulfil
relevance, benefit and value to society. Since then the                   its mission in the context of 21st Century challenges.
WCRP has played a pivotal role in international                           Moreover, the Panel is adamant that the core,
climate science by initiating and coordinating major                      underpinning climate science which WCRP delivers is
collaborative activities that could not have been                         needed more than ever, as society seeks solutions
delivered without the international cooperation which                     to climate change (Paris Agreement), to resilience to
WCRP facilitates. Over the years there have been                          disasters (Sendai Agreement), and to sustainable
many notable examples, including WOCE, TOGA-COARE,                        development for the planet (UN Sustainable Develop-
GEWEX global datasets, and the CMIP archive that                          ment Goals). Without a strong foundation in cli-
has underpinned successive IPCC reports.                                  mate science and prediction, none of these challenges
   WCRP does not fund research directly; it functions by                  can be addressed in a robust, cost-effective and
engaging with, and gaining the commitment of,                             durable way. However, the Panel is very clear that it is
the international climate science community to its pro-                   not the role of WCRP to deliver the end products
gramme of work, and in turn ensuring that par-                            and services, but that it should provide the bedrock
ticipants derive benefit from engaging in WCRP activi-                    knowledge, based on which these can be developed.
ties. Community engagement in WCRP continues                                  Since its inception, the key strength of WCRP
to be broad and strong, and WCRP is recognized and                        has been its focus on cutting-edge physical climate sci-
valued for providing opportunities to work collab-                        ence where international coordination enables
oratively to the greater benefit of the science.                          scientific advances that would not happen otherwise.
   WCRP is led by the Joint Scientific Committee (JSC),                   This must continue to be its focus, which means
which formulates the overall scientific goals and                         prioritizing what it does and recognizing where its
concepts of the programme and organizes the required                      unique role as a facilitator and integrator of cli-
international coordination and research efforts                           mate research makes a difference. The Panel stressed
that underpin it. In turn, the work of WCRP is support-                   that if WCRP does not continue to provide clear
ed by a Joint Planning Staff (JPS), hosted by WMO                         leadership, there is a danger of losing the engagement
and led by the Director of WCRP whose role is to deliv-                   of the scientific community and its funders.
er the activities recommended by the JSC.                                 WCRP is a strong brand and as such it needs to play an
    This review was instigated by the sponsors to                         advocacy role, to interact strategically with big
ascertain the effectiveness of WCRP in delivering its­                    funders, and to focus on strategic positioning of WCRP
mandate, how well it works in partnership with                            in the climate arena. There is need for an impor-
other organizations, and to advise on the future struc-                   tant, recognized, international and collective voice for
ture, governance and resourcing of the pro-                               climate science, and WCRP should continue to
gramme. A Panel (see page 71 for Review Panel mem-                        meet this need.
bership) was appointed that reflects the scien-                               The Panel was therefore very concerned to learn
tific interests of the three sponsors, as well as cover-                  that WCRP does not currently operate in the con-
ing the breadth of climate research, and its links                        text of an up-to-date overarching strategy; as a conse-
to other organizations and to climate services. The                       quence, it is struggling to set priorities and to
review took place between February and October                            bring to an end less important activities. This must be
2017, during which time the Panel met twice and took                      rectified as soon as possible, with the findings
oral evidence from a broad range of participants,                         of this review being fully addressed in the process.
partners and stakeholders. It also took evidence                          The current structure of WCRP has become increas-
from the sponsors, the JSC and the JPS on the gover-                      ingly unwieldy. It has evolved largely by accumulation

* On 4 July 2018, ICSU became the International Science Council (ISC),      ** IOC of UNESCO became a co-sponsor in 1993
  following the merger with the International Social Science Council.
  Given that the review took place in 2017, the previous name ICSU is used­
  through­out this report. From 4 July 2018, the ISC is the co-sponsor
  of WCRP.
08            REVIEW OF THE WCRP

of new working and advisory groups, and the initia-          continues to be hard work to prioritize and energize,
tion of the Grand Challenges. It continues to be             yet is vitally important for WCRP and its partners.
built around its four Core Projects (GEWEX, CLIVAR,          With the new agendas of seamlessness, of high-res-
SPARC and CliC), which have been in existence                olution Earth system modelling and the advent
for a long time. Consequently, the structure and remit       of exascale computing, with all that that implies in
of the various elements of WCRP may not be valid             building a new generation of codes, a major push
in an era where more holistic Earth system and seam-         is required in climate model development. The Panel
less weather-to-climate science approaches are               recommends that a new WCRP Working Group on
needed, and where society requires science and ser-          Climate Model Development should be established,
vices from the global to the local scale.                    which would take the lead in the science for next-
   The Panel therefore recommends that WCRP seeks to         generation Earth system modelling and provide a fo-
simplify and re-purpose its core activities around           rum for engaging with the vendors on the design
a new structure that takes a holistic view of the cli-       of exascale machines.
mate system, and brings together the separate                    The Panel also recommends that WCRP’s approach
components of the climate system currently covered           to regional climate issues and the links through
individually by the existing Core Projects. Recall-          to applications require further and careful thought.
ing the principal aims of WCRP, which are to deter-          Although WCRP should continue to focus on the
mine “to what extent climate can be predicted,               fundamental, underpinning science that increasing-
and the extent of man’s influence on climate”, then          ly addresses regional and local climate on all
these should be the fundamental cornerstones,                timescales, it is essential that it formalizes and im-
here termed the ‘capabilities’, of the future WCRP.          proves its links to applications and user needs,
These capabilities need to be underpinned by a third         which involves more interdisciplinary approaches,
capability in fundamental research on Earth sys-             including linking to the social sciences. These
tem processes across timescales. These three ‘Capabil-       increasingly require information at the regional and
ity Themes’ should replace the current Core                  even local level, and the panel commends WCRP
Projects, and should act to frame WCRP’s long-term           for its thrust on providing ‘Climate Information for
research agenda.                                             Regions’ and establishing an International Office
    Within and between the Capability Themes should          to lead in delivering this. This activity should be for-
be a small set of high-profile, but time-limited             malized within a new Working Group that would
(5-10 years maximum), Cross-cutting Research Projects.       act as a bridge between WCRP, GFCS and other climate
Over time there should be an increasing emphasis             service providers, by promoting applied and trans-
on these projects as a means of attracting a new gene-       lational research and facilitating dialogues between
ration of scientists, for showcasing cutting-edge            underpinning climate science and customer-rele-
WCRP science, and for demonstrating the policy rele-         vant services.
vance of WCRP. The Research Projects should draw                 The Panel therefore proposes the following as a
on the Capability Themes, and when appropriate, seek         possible new structure for WCRP, for consideration
to co-design and implement the plan of work with             by the sponsors, the JSC and the climate science com-
other major programmes such as the World Weather             munity. This structure also seeks to place WCRP in
Research Programme (WWRP) and Future Earth.                  the context of other, related activities on which WCRP
    At the same time the Modelling Working Groups            will depend and also contribute. Based on the evi-
should be consolidated within the Capability Themes,         dence that the Panel heard, the Panel proposes some
to ensure that they are fully integrated with the sci-       restructuring of these activities for WMO and its
ence. This change recognizes that modelling is now           partners to consider, with a view to providing greater
the central plank for delivering science in WCRP,            coherence across the whole Earth, climate and
and that therefore the need for separate modelling           weather system portfolio, and potentially leading to
working groups has passed, although their specific           improved cooperation and more effective use of
activities are still central to delivering WCRP’s mission.   resources. WCRP is presented in the enclosed blue ele-
However, the Panel is concerned that there is in-            ments, and linkages with the surrounding boxes
sufficient emphasis on model development, which              are implicit (see graph 1).
WCRP CAPABILITY THEMES
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                GRAPH 1

                                                                                               EARTH SYSTEM PROCESSES                   CLIMATE VARIABILITY,                      CLIMATE CHANGE AND EARTH
                                                                                               ACROSS SCALES                            PREDICTABILITY                            SYSTEM FEEDBACKS
                                                                                               JOINTLY WITH WWRP                        AND PREDICTION                            JOINTLY WITH AIMES
                                                                                              –Energy, Water & Carbon Cycles           –Ocean, Land, Cryosphere, Atmos-          –Climate Change Forcing and Sensitivity
                                                                                              –Fundamental Atmospheric Physics          phere and Solar Drivers                  –Climate Change Attribution
                                                                                               (e.g. Convection)                       –Climate Dynamics, Modes of Varia-        –Climate Change Projections
                                                                                              –Land Surface Processes and Land          bility and Teleconnections                (Global and Regional)
                                                                                               Atmosphere Coupling                     –Monthly to Decadal Predictability         for Mitigation and Adaption
                                                                                              –Ocean Processes and Ocean                and Prediction                           –Abrupt Climate Change
                                                                                               Atmosphere Coupling                                                               –Geoengineering Assessment
                                                                                              –Cryosphere Processes

                                                                                              WCRP CROSS-CUTTING RESEARCH PROJECTS (ON OCCASIONS WITH WWRP, FUTURE EARTH ...)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Strawman proposal for a new WCRP structure

                                                                                              Examples: Regional Sea Level Rise // Coastal Impacts and Cities // Weather and Climate Extremes, now and in the future //
                                                                                              Water Cycle and the Food Baskets of the World // Fate of the Antarctic and Greenland Icesheets // Is the Jet Stream
                                                                                              changing its Behavior? // Climate Change and Human Health

                                                                                              WCRP WORKING GROUP ON CLIMATE MODEL DEVELOPMENT
                                                                                              JOINTLY WITH WGNE
                                                                                              Identifying Systematic Errors // Improving Climate Models & Building Next Generation Earth System Models //
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     WMO/ICSU: GLOBAL ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION

                                                                                              Planning for Exascale Computing

                                                                                              WCRP WORKING GROUP ON CLIMATE INFORMATION FOR REGIONS

     WMO/IOC: GLOBAL CLIMATE OBSERVATIONS, ANALYSES & MONITORING
                                                                                              LINKING WITH FUTURE EARTH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           GHG Monitoring // Air Quality Prediction // Atmospheric Chemistry Processes & Modelling

                                                                                              Regional downscaling methods // Application-inspired Climate Science // Transdisciplinary Engagement

ECVs // Climatologies // (Coupled) Global & Regional Reanalyses // Climate Change Detection
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Executive summary

                                                                                              CLIMATE CHANGE ASSESSMENTS AND CLIMATE SERVICES (UNFCCC, IPCC, GFCS, COPERNICUS, VIACS ...)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             09
10          REVIEW OF THE WCRP

GRAPH 2
Strawman proposal for a new Governance structure

                                    CO-SPONSORS’ MOU ON WCRP
                                                HIGH LEVEL GOALS
                                  1. TO WHAT EXTENT CLIMATE CAN BE PREDICTED?
                                  2. THE EXTENT OF MAN’S INFLUENCE ON CLIMATE

                                         MONITORING HIGH LEVEL GOALS

                                                   GOVERNING
                                                     BOARD

                                           SETTING SCIENTIFIC AGENDA

      COMMUNITY
     LEADING AND
                                    JSC AND SCIENTIFIC STEERING                 OVERALL BUDGETING
                                           COMMITTEES                            AND RESSOURCING
      DELIVERING

                                             TASKING AND ENABLING

                                     DIRECTOR OF WCRP AND JPS

                                               LINE MANAGEMENT

                                         WMO SECRETARY GENERAL
Executive summary                11

Alongside the proposed re-structuring, the Panel also       WCRP is impressive and can be game-changing, and
recommends stronger governance of WCRP, to                  yet the community continues to struggle to find
address the weaknesses revealed during the review re-       resources and funding from WCRP to support these
lated to governance, management and resourcing,             activities.
and the engagement of the co-sponsors and research              The Panel therefore urges that the sponsors
funders in sustaining the programme (see graph 2).          redouble their efforts to support the JPS financially at
A formal, high-level Governing Board should be estab-       a higher level of enabling funding, so that it can
lished by the sponsors, with the overall respon-            operate more effectively, support the community in
sibility for WCRP residing with this Board and its Chair-   coming together to coordinate science, and con-
person. The Board would oversee the implementa-             tinue to deliver the research outputs that society in-
tion of the WCRP MoU and ensure the high-level goals        creasingly depends on.
of WCRP are delivered; it would facilitate the in-              In summary, the Panel commends WCRP for
teraction with, and engagement of, the sponsors and         its long and vital contribution to international climate
other key stakeholders; and it would manage high-           research, and intends that this review will help
level risks and change, especially associated with fund-    WCRP to plan its future and ensure that fundamental
ing. Its first activity should be the development of        climate research continues to thrive and serve
a new MoU to reflect new research agendas, the roles        the needs of society as it tackles major 21st Century
and responsibilities of the sponsors, the new gov-          challenges.
ernance structure, and the functioning of the JPS.              The Panel makes the following recommendations
    As outlined below, the overall scientific leadership    and looks forward to significant progress in im-
of WCRP and its interactions with the community             plementing these in time for the 40th anniversary of
would continue to reside with the JSC. With the Gov-        WCRP in 2020:
erning Board in place, the JSC would be freed up
to exercise its intended role, which is to provide sci-
ence leadership, to set the science strategy and            1     SCIENCE STRATEGY
oversee its implementation, and to build a strong com-      A new ten-year WCRP science strategy and related five-
munity of international scientists to work on               year implementation plan must be developed as
grand challenge problems that require international         soon as possible in discussion with the sponsors and
coordination. The JSC tasks the JPS and its Direc-          with wide consultation and community buy-in.
tor, whose responsibilities are to support WCRP’s scien-       WCRP currently does not appear to operate within
tific activities, to facilitate international engage-       the context of an up-to-date, overarching and
ment and partnerships and manage the programme’s            clearly focused strategy and this must be rectified as
resources. The sponsors should also consider                soon as possible. A consequence of the lack of a
whether the role of Director, and the JPS in general,       strong, and strongly implemented, strategy is that
should have more day-to-day discretionary exec-             WCRP is struggling to set priorities and so to stop
utive power, enabling the JPS to be agile and respon-       less important activities. If WCRP does not continue
sive, but always in line with the guidance and              to provide clear leadership, there is a danger of
direction of the JSC and in consultation with the JSC       losing the engagement of the scientific community
Chair and Officers as appropriate.                          and its funders, so a new strategy is badly needed.
    WCRP is at a critical point with regard to funding          In developing its strategy WCRP needs to reflect
to support its activities. The current situation of         how climate science has evolved over recent
a reducing funding base for the JPS is untenable, but       decades, with the emergence of holistic Earth system
yet the WCRP is one of the most highly regarded             modelling, of seamless weather and climate sci-
and widely recognized of the research efforts support-      ence, of the increasing skill and reliability of climate
ed by the sponsors. Many of the projects that it            prediction, and the growing agenda for an increas-
delivers could not have been achieved without the           ing number of climate predictions and projections to
international coordination and leadership that              guide resilience, adaptation and mitigation actions.
WCRP provides. The gearing of national investments          The new strategy should respond directly to this re-
that can be achieved from a small investment in             view and encapsulate the following recommendations:
12           REVIEW OF THE WCRP

      It should identify the key societal needs for fun- Panel concluded that there is also a need for more
      damental climate research to tackle 21st           explicit identification of key partners, and that a
      Century problems across climate resilience,        Governing Board would provide a means to recognize
      adaptation and mitigation;                         such partnerships. The JSC Chair and Vice-Chair
                                                         should be ex-officio members.
      It should focus on the scientific priorities where    The JPS should provide the secretariat for the
      WCRP can make a unique contribution                Governing Board. Once fully constituted, the Chair
      through its international, coordinated and         should be an independent member. The member-
      integrative activities;                            ship should not exceed eight and, other than the spon-
                                                         sors, should be rotated on a biannual basis.
      It should reflect the recommendations regard-         The terms of reference of the Governing Board
      ing the structure of WCRP;                         should include:

      It should show where recommendations re-                   Overseeing the implementation of the terms
      garding partnerships will add value to WCRP;               of the WCRP MoU;

      Although the focus should be on providing                  Setting the overall aims and managing commu-
      the bedrock climate science, the strategy                  nication and interaction with, and engagement
      should demonstrate a clear pathway to applica-             of, the sponsors and other key stakeholders;
      tions, i.e. climate services;
                                                                 Approving the high-level science strategy and
      A short synthesis of the new WCRP strategy                 structure of WCRP;
      should be produced to enable the WCRP com-
      munity to engage with potential new                        Managing high-level risk and change, especially
      sponsors and funders and to act as advocates               associated with funding;
      for fundamental climate research.
                                                                 Overseeing resource mobilization and garner-
                                                                 ing enabling support for administration.
2 	GOVERNANCE AND
    THE MOU                                                The Governing Board would meet at least once per
A formal high-level Governing Board for WCRP should        year, either through video-/tele-conference or in
be established to enable more effective engagement         association with the JSC if that were convenient. The
with the sponsors and enable them to fulfil their re-      Board would be self-supporting. A first task of the
sponsibilities for the programme. A new MoU should         Governing Board would be to update the MoU to in-
be put in place to reflect changes in governance, op-      clude the changes to governance and any other
erations and structure.                                    relevant items needed to refresh it.
    The 2009 Review of the WCRP recommended (Re-               The advice of the JSC would be sought on all agenda
commendation 9) that:“WCRP’s sponsors should               items. The primacy of the JSC for scientific advice
meet regularly to review their mutual responsibili-        and setting scientific strategy and priorities would re-
ties for the Programme …”. The issues that led to          main; the Governing Board would take overall
this recommendation remain in place today. The JSC         responsibility for WCRP on behalf of the sponsors and
and JPS are struggling to manage upwards and               in so doing it would provide oversight on matters
the sponsors are concerned with the responsiveness         such as resource mobilization, administrative support
of the WCRP and its strategic alignment. The terms of      and engagement.
the WCRP MoU are not being implemented effectively.            The Governing Board should consider appropriate
    The core (and initial) membership of the Gov-          metrics for assessing the performance of WCRP.
erning Board should include high-level representation
from the sponsors, who would also recommend
other members and elect an interim Chair. The Review
Executive summary               13

3 	SCIENTIFIC LEADERSHIP                                His / her role is to lead the staff and be responsible
                                                         for the scientific and technical tasks discharged
The JSC should be re-invigorated to focus on providing
                                                         by the JPS to the Chair of the JSC, acting on behalf of
science leadership, setting the science strategy and
                                                         the sponsors.
overseeing its implementation, including establishing
partnerships, and building a strong community of
                                                                 As part of the recommended improvements in
international scientists to work on grand challenge re-
                                                                 governance (Recommendation 2), the MoU
search problems that require international coordination.
                                                                 should be revised to provide unambiguous guid-
   The complexity of the WCRP structure, with its Core
                                                                 dance for the roles of the WCRP Director
Projects, Working Groups and now Grand Chal-
                                                                 and the JPS with respect to responsibility and
lenges, means that the JSC meetings tend to be largely
                                                                 accountability, to the guidance and direc-
taken up by reviewing the activities rather than
                                                                 tion of the JSC, and in terms of representation
setting the strategy and overall direction. The JSC
                                                                 of the WCRP. The title of the role in itself
meetings need to be more focused on strategy
                                                                 can lead to confusion as to where decision-ma-
and vision than has recently been the case. Overall
                                                                 king and strategic direction is set within
the Panel concluded that morale in the JSC is not
                                                                 WCRP. The Panel believes the MoU is clear that
strong and that this is having a detrimental impact
                                                                 those functions lie with the JSC (and in future
on WCRP as a whole.
                                                                 also with the Governing Board).
    With the Governing Board being responsible for
managing the interface between the JSC, the
                                                                 The sponsors should consider whether the role
sponsors and other external clients, the JSC would be
                                                                 of the Director of WCRP, and the JPS in gen-
freed up to exercise its intended role, which is
                                                                 eral, should have more day-to-day discretionary
to provide science leadership, to set the science strat-
                                                                 executive administrative responsibility,
egy and oversee its implementation, and to build
                                                                 enabling the JPS to be agile and responsive, but
a strong community of international scientists to work
                                                                 always in line with the guidance and direc-
on grand challenge problems that require interna-
                                                                 tion of the JSC and in consultation with the JSC
tional coordination.
                                                                 Chair and Officers as appropriate. The word
                                                                “guide” should be avoided in the ToR of the JPS
       The Panel recommends that the sponsors con-
                                                                 to avoid any confusion with the role of the JSC.
       sider the constitution of the JSC and how
       members are nominated. The Panel supports
                                                                 The name World Climate Research Programme
       the suggestions for an open call for nomina-
                                                                 should be used exclusively for the research
       tions based on science excellence and leader-
                                                                 enterprise defined in the MoU. In particular, the
       ship, and that the sponsors consider whether
                                                                 term should be avoided for administrative
       the JSC membership could be reduced from
                                                                 units unless the distinction is made clear (e.g.
       18 to facilitate more effective decision-making.
                                                                 the Joint Planning Staff of WCRP).

                                                                Depending upon decisions with respect to gov-
4      OPERATIONS                                               ernance and a Governing Board, the terms of
Additional clarity should be provided in the terms of           reference should be updated to include support
reference, structure and functions of the Joint Plan-           for the Governing Board and its role.
ning Staff and the Director of WCRP, to ensure that the
JPS works effectively with the JSC to support its sci-
entific activities, to facilitate international engagement
and partnerships, and to manage WCRP’s resources.
   The JPS is a vital part of WCRP. Its role is to assist
the JSC in implementing their decisions, and to
facilitate the collaborative actions of the various ele-
ments of WCRP. The JPS is led by the Director of WCRP.
14            REVIEW OF THE WCRP

5     STRUCTURE                                                 The Research Projects should directly address
                                                                the goals of the new WCRP Strategy (and so
The JSC, in consultation with the newly created Govern-
                                                                they may not necessarily have a strong link to
ing Board, should work with the science commu-
                                                                the exist­ing Grand Challenges) and identify
nity to establish a new structure for the WCRP research
                                                                high-priority issues that require international
effort that best serves its new strategy and involves
                                                                partnership and coordination; they should
a simplified set of delivery mechanisms.
                                                                yield “actionable information” for decision-
    The existing structure is not the structure of tomor-
                                                                makers.
row. However, in creating a new structure, it will
be important not to destroy the legacy of what has
                                                                Regarding the existing structural elements,
been created – a community of engaged scientists;
                                                                the Panel concluded that the case for continu-
it will require a willingness from the community to
                                                                ing with WMAC and WDAC in any new struc-
change and for the community to be part of the
                                                                ture was not strong. They potentially overlap
change process.
                                                                with other relevant activities within WMO
    The Panel anticipates that the JSC will work with
                                                                and elsewhere, such as WGNE and GCOS, and
the community and the newly created Governing
                                                                that in the future any such advisory coun-
Board to define a new structure that best serves its
                                                                cils should cover the breadth of WMO scientific
new strategy. The following aspects should be con-
                                                                activities. Consequently, the Panel recommends
sidered:
                                                                they not be a feature of the new structure.

      That the new structure comprises a combina-
                                                                The Panel strongly recommends that the con-
      tion of a small set of top-level scientific prob-
                                                                cepts of co-design and co-production be
      lems with explicit societal relevance (which
                                                                exploited as much as possible. This will involve
      could be called Grand Challenges or cross-cut-
                                                                the structural elements within WCRP strongly
      ting Research Projects that are time-limited
                                                                linking across to other proposed activities
      (e.g. 5 to 10 years) in their delivery), together
                                                                outside of WCRP, such as those within WWRP,
      with a small number of enduring Capability
                                                                GFCS, Future Earth, etc. This should be borne
      Themes that would nurture the long-term ex-
                                                                in mind as the new structure is being planned.
      pertise needed to advise on, and contribute
      to these scientific problems being addressed
      effectively.                                          6   FINANCING
                                                       In light of the importance to society of the goals of
      The Capability Themes would replace the cur-
                                                       WCRP and the precarious level of current financial sup-
      rent Core Projects. The existing Core Pro-
                                                       port for the programme, the sponsors should re-
      jects have been in place for a long time and so
                                                       double their efforts to support WCRP financially at a
      may not be ideally structured to help de-
                                                       higher level of enabling funding so that it can oper-
      liver the scientific goals of today and the future,
                                                       ate more effectively.
      to be articulated in the new WCRP Strategy.
                                                           WCRP is one of the most highly regarded and wide-
      These Capability Themes should aim to take a
                                                       ly recognized of the research efforts supported by
      holistic Earth system approach, whilst recog-
                                                       the sponsors. There are two distinct elements to the
      nizing that research on individual components
                                                       funding: that which supports the enabling acti-
       of the Earth system remains essential.
                                                       vities of the WCRP executive (“enabling funding”) and
                                                       that which directly supports the research (“research
      The modelling Working Groups should become
                                                       funding”). This recommendation relates primarily to
      part of the Capability Themes to reflect the
                                                       the enabling fund.
      importance of modelling as a tool for delivering
      WCRP science. The WCRP leadership should
      consider how best to reinvigorate climate mod-
      el development in any revised structure.
Executive summary               15

It should be more fully recognized than it is currently,   7   SCIENCE TO SERVICE
that the different sponsors provide both financial
                                                      WCRP should take action to ensure its knowledge is
and in-kind support and that the route for the financ-
                                                      brought to the service of society, especially in sup-
ing is sometimes circuitous and therefore not al-
                                                      porting the development of climate services.
ways made fully visible or recognized. Elements that
                                                          While WCRP should continue to prioritize the ad-
should help to improve the funding situation are
                                                      vancement of fundamental science, it can and
as follows:
                                                      should seek opportunities to establish connections
                                                      to relevant user communities through programme
      The sponsors should agree to be clear about the
                                                      partnerships. In so doing, WCRP science can serve to
      financial and in-kind contributions that
                                                      inform quality services, and emerging practitioner
      they make to WCRP. This needs to factor in, and
                                                      needs can serve to inform further scientific inquiry.
      be explicit about, the complex pathways
      for this funding to flow to WCRP. The WCRP Gov-
                                                             WCRP should pursue, in particular, partnering
      erning Board should examine the enabling
                                                             with Future Earth and its Knowledge-Action
      funding annually and be pro-active in making
                                                             Networks. There are positive signs emerging
      the case for that funding within the spon-
                                                             of opportunities for productive research
      soring organizations, in accordance with their
                                                             partnerships and these should be pro-actively
      capacities.
                                                             developed by WCRP.

      WCRP should, via its sponsors, encourage coun-
                                                               WCRP should build pro-active bridges to the
      tries to make appropriate national contri-
                                                               WMO’s Global Framework for Climate Services
      butions to the enabling funding, such as contin-
                                                               and other science-to-service initiatives such
      uing to support International Project Of-
                                                               as the Copernicus Climate Change Service and
      fices and sponsoring Research Projects; a num-
                                                               the Climate Services Partnership, by imple-
      ber of countries currently appear to be re-
                                                               menting a formal activity on Climate Informa-
      ducing rather than increasing their contributions.
                                                               tion for Regions.

      In future, there is a risk that research-funding
                                                               A variety of other mechanisms for programme
      could be increasingly diverted away from
                                                               engagement should be explored. One option
      fundamental science. WCRP, through its Gov-
                                                               is through repre­se­n­tation on the recommended
      erning Board and the JSC, should play an
                                                               Governing Board of WCRP. A second is to
      advocacy role in mobilizing research funding
                                                               establish a (cross-cutting) working group that
      for fundamental climate science. There is
                                                               serves as liaison to the partner programmes.
      a need for a more strategic engagement with
      the research funding communities, and for
                                                               In engaging with climate services, WCRP should
      someone who could talk at the higher level
                                                               explore, and as appropriate pursue, oppor-
      with the funders.
                                                               tunities this may offer for obtaining additional
                                                               funding for its fundamental science.
      Engagement with the Belmont Forum of
      research funders should be at a high level, ide-
      ally through a WCRP research funding repre-
      sentative. The Panel recommends that WCRP
      and its sponsors need to partner with others
      to influence Belmont Forum research funding.
      WCRP needs to be seen as a strong partner
      of Future Earth, and to be at the table. Only in
      this way can WCRP and its sponsors can con-
      tinue to influence the research funding commu-
      nity about the need for fundamental science.
16            REVIEW OF THE WCRP

8     PARTNERSHIP
WCRP should seek to develop strategic and strong
partnerships with other WMO research programmes
(specifically WWRP and GAW), with GCOS, and
with Future Earth.
   WCRP should be pro-active in establishing a process
of full engagement with these partners via the
practice of co-design of projects to exploit the syner-
gies that seamlessness offers. A co-designed Roadmap
for exploitation of such synergies would be an im-
portant first step to draw on a great research constit-
uency. We recommend that:

      WCRP urgently explores the option of the co-
      design and co-production of projects that
      address key scientific challenges of common in-
      terest to WCRP, WWRP, GAW and Future Earth.

      Future Earth should be brought in as a high-
      level partner. The linkage between WCRP
      and Future Earth should be strengthened by a
      regular and formal set of meetings between
      the top-level management of the two initiatives
      to share experience and explore common
      interests, and also by jointly developing Knowl-
      edge-Action Networks, potentially involving
      other ICSU programmes. The strategy for collab-
      oration, identification of areas of joint inter-
      est, and the creation of joint evaluation schemes
      for the collaboration, should be considered.

      WCRP should be open and dynamic for future
      opportunities to develop collaboration with
      new partners.
Executive summary   17
18   REVIEW OF THE WCRP
1   CONTE XT
20            REVIEW OF THE WCRP

The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) was            The work of the JSC and the rest of WCRP is sup-
established in 1980 under the joint sponsorship of         ported by a Joint Planning Staff (JPS), which is hosted
the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the       by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
World Meteorological Organization (WMO). In 1993,          in Geneva, Switzerland but reports to WMO only on
the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission             administrative and budget issues. The personnel
(IOC) of UNESCO also became a sponsor. A joint             of JPS are staff members of WMO, or are seconded by
agreement between the three sponsors was signed in         other sponsoring organizations.
1993 that provides a definition of WCRP and the                The JPS is led by the Director of WCRP, who is se-
financial, governance and institutional arrangements       lected by consensus agreement of the sponsors,
for its international planning and co-ordination.          who are cognizant of the recommendation made by
   The mission of WCRP is to facilitate the analysis and   the Officers of the JSC. The Director of WCRP is res-
prediction of Earth system variability and change          ponsible to the Chairman of the JSC for the scientific
for use in an increasing range of practical applications   and technical tasks discharged by the JPS, and to
of direct relevance, benefit and value to society.         the WMO Secretary-General for financial and adminis-
As stated in the original MoU, the WCRP aims to de-        trative matters. The Director of WCRP stepped
termine:                                                   down during the course of the Review and WMO has
                                                           appointed an Acting Director as an interim measure.
      to what extent climate can be predicted;
                                                               WCRP works through a network of Core Pro-
      the extent of Man’s influence on climate.            jects, which focus on specific components of the cli-
                                                           mate system, and Working Groups which focus
These two principal aims remain valid and continue         on specific applications of climate science, particular-
to underpin the work of WCRP.                              ly involving numerical simulation. The Working
   The previous review of WCRP was conducted in late       Group on Numerical Experimentation (WGNE) is a
2007-2008 with the review report published in              shared activity with the WMO Commission for Atmo-
early 2009; the review was undertaken simultaneously       spheric Science (CAS).
with a review of the International Geosphere-Bio-              WCRP now also uses two supporting bodies to coor-
sphere Programme (IGBP) a research programme co-           dinate its work. These are the WCRP Modelling
sponsored by ICSU and subsequently was absorbed            Advisory Council (WMAC), which promotes, coordi-
within Future Earth. In 2016, the three sponsors of        nates and integrates modeling activities across
WCRP agreed to undertake another review of the             WCRP; and the WCRP Data Advisory Council (WDAC),
programme in order to assess its achievements since        which acts as a single point of entry for all WCRP
2009, including an assessment of the implemen-             data, information and observation activities.
tation of the recommendations that came out of the             Most of these Core Projects and Working Groups
first review, and to provide directions for its strate-    have been in existence for many years and have a
gic development in the future. In addition, the review     deep legacy of scientific achievement. They typically
would consider how to maxi-mize the future synergies       consist of a number of panels and working groups
between the strategic aims of WCRP and three spon-         which focus on specific topics or specific regions; these
sors, while ensuring scientific independence of WCRP.      have changed over time to reflect emerging sci-
                                                           entific priorities or where the community perceives
                                                           gaps in capability.
1.1    URRENT STRUCTURE AND
      C                                                        In the last decade, the Core Projects and Working
      GOVERNANCE OF WCRP                                   Groups have been complemented by a number of
WCRP is led by the Joint Scientific Committee (JSC),       Grand Challenges aimed at addressing specific topics
comprised of 18 members appointed by the three spon-       that cut across the existing structure, so encourag-
sors. The JSC formulates the overall scientific goals      ing greater collaboration and cooperation between the
and concepts of WCRP and organizes the required in-        Core Projects and Working Groups. The expectation
ternational coordination and research efforts that         is that these Grand Challenges will be time-limited.
underpin the programme. The Chair of the JSC reports           The current organizational structure of WCRP
 annually to the sponsors on the performance of            is provided in graph 3. This also shows the recent
the programme.
Context                       21

GRAPH 3
Current organizational structure of WCRP

                               JOINT SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE
                                                     JSC

           WCRP MODELLING                                           WCRP DATA
           ADVISORY COUNCIL                                      ADVISORY COUNCIL
                          WMAC                                                  WDAC

                                           WORKING GROUPS ON:

                                                                                                                    JOINT PLANNING STAFF
                                         Coupled Modelling (WGCM)
                                     Numerical Experimentation (WGNE)
                                Subseasonal to Interdecadal Predection (WGSIP)
                                          Regional Climate (WGRC)

                                                                                                                                      JPS
     Cryosphere Climate     Ocean-Atmosphere   Land-Atmosphere   Troposhere-Stratosphere   Regional Climate
                                                                                            Downscaling

                                        GRAND CHALLENGES
                                  Clouds, Circulation and Climate Sensitivity
                               Regional Sea-Level Change and Coastal Impacts
                                   Carbon Feedbacks in the Climate System
                          Understanding and Predicting Weather and Climate Extremes
                                        Near-Term Climate Prediction
                                    Melting Ice and Global Consequences
                                   Water for the Food Baskets of the World
22               REVIEW OF THE WCRP

addition of the regional climate downscaling project,                        Budget estimates for the activities of the JSC
CORDEX, in which the WCRP is a major player and                              and JPS in the biennium to follow are pre-
which contributes regional climate change scenarios                          pared by the JSC with the support of the JPS, and
to the IPCC assessments.                                                     submitted for approval to the executive
                                                                             bodies of WMO, IOC and ICSU.

1.2 	CURRENTFUNDING                                                         Should there be any divergence between the
      ARRANGEMENTS                                                           level of biennial appropriations approved
                                                                             by the respective executive bodies, then the
Since the Programme’s inception, WCRP activities have
                                                                             lowest approved level shall prevail.
been supported through funding from its three
sponsors. Under the terms of the MoU funding is pro-
                                                                             However, if one of these bodies is prepared to
vided as follows:
                                                                             fund at a greater level without matching
                                                                             funds from the other organizations, the total
      A special account, to be known as the Joint
                                                                             level of appropriations may exceed that
      Climate Research Fund (JCRF), will be established
                                                                             jointly agreed upon.
      by the Secretary-General of WMO, and con-
      tributions to the JCRF will normally be made in
                                                                             Additional contributions or grants to the JCRF
      equal amounts by WMO, IOC and ICSU. The
                                                                             from sources other than WMO, IOC or ICSU
      JCRF is used to fund the JPS salaries of staff at
                                                                             may be accepted by the Secretary-General of
      WMO and, through its operations funds, coor-
                                                                             WMO provided that the purposes of such
      dination and meetings of the Core Projects and
                                                                             contributions or grants are to support activities
      Working Groups.
                                                                             consistent with the aims and interests of
                                                                             the sponsoring organizations.

GRAPH 4
Annual operation of the Joint Climate Research Fund (JCRF) from 2012 to 2017
         3,000

         2,500

                            JCRF Total
         2,000

         1,500
                            WMO Contribution
                            for JPS Salaries
         1,000

          500

            0
                     2012                  2013               2014                     2015                     2016                    2017

     EXPENSES       JPS Salaries                             Annual operation of the Joint Climate Research Funds (JCRF) from 2012 to 2017. The area
                    WCRP Coordination                        chart shows the variation of annual income to JCRF; the “JCRF total” (dark grey area)
                                                             is the summation of the WMO contribution for JPS salaries (dark blue area) and the ge-
                                                             neral contributions for WCRP coordination (stocked columns), for each year. The sto-
CONTRIBUTIONS       Other Contributions                      cked columns show the contributions to JCRF from the various entities. The line graphs
                    IOC Contributions                        show the expenses for JPS salaries and expenses for the WCRP activities (e.g. mee-
                    NATIONAL Contributions / ICSU            tings of all Core Projects, Working Groups and other WCRP groups), respectively. The
                    WMO Contribution for WCRP coordination   values for 2017 are indicative, reflecting the projected/estimated expenses and income.
Context              23

In the early years, each sponsor contributed equally       a	providing recommendations on changes
to the JCRF but over time the contributions from              to be made in the existing agreement
WMO increased, a trend which ICSU and IOC were un-            signed by three co-sponsors in 1993,
able to match. More recently ICSU and IOC contri-          b	reviewing the roles and contributions of
butions have declined as their operating models have          three co-sponsors,
changed, and pressures on their budgets from               c	assessing the adequacy of the competence,
other sources have increased. The graph 4 shows the           size and terms of reference of the Joint
evolution of the JCRF over the last five years. The           Scientific Committee,
WMO contribution to JCRF is currently running at over      d	assessing roles, effectiveness and comple-
80 % of the total. In addition, national research             mentarity of WCRP operational structures
funders have provided resources to support the Pro-           (groups, committees, etc.),
ject Offices of the Core Projects, although those          e	assessing the adequacy of Joint Planning
too have come under pressure in recent years. To sus-         Staff structure, its human and financial
tain the JPS both WMO and IOC were able to con-               capacities, and modes of work, and
tribute additional funds for the latter half of 2017.      f	evaluating the adequacy and effectiveness
                                                              of WCRP fundraising efforts.

1.3 	REVIEW PROCESS                                       Assess the implementation of the recommenda-
      AND EVIDENCE COLLECTION                              tions that came out of the 2009 WCRP Review.

      APPROACH
                                                           Assess WCRP linkages and relationships within
      The Terms of Reference (ToR) for this Review are:
                                                           the climate science community (including
       rovide strategic directions for future develop-
      P                                                    with members and other programmes run by
      ment of the Programme.                               the co-sponsors, e.g. Future Earth, SCOR,
                                                           SCAR), and also with non-academic stakeholders.
      Review scientific achievements and impacts of
      WCRP since 2009 and the future plans, with           Assess the appropriateness and effectiveness of
      specific attention to:                               WCRP communication efforts for visibility
      a	setting international scientific agenda           of the Programme and its co-sponsors, as well as
         on climate prediction and climate change,         their positioning in the overall climate arena
      b	providing opportunities for innovative            (including policy fora, e.g. the Paris Agreement).
         research, including inter / trans-disciplinary
         research of high quality,                         Assess how the aims and strategy of WCRP com-
      c	generating high-quality scientific outputs,       plements and supports the strategies and
      d	involving the scientific communities              priorities of three co-sponsors, and make recom-
         from all parts of the world, including devel-     mendations on how synergies can be en-
         oping countries, as well as attracting            hanced.
         a younger generation of scientists,
      e	generating scientific knowledge for climate The WCRP review took place between February and
         services,                                   October 2017. The review process consisted of
                                                     two physical meetings and several teleconferences be-
      f	providing scientific input for major interna-
         tional policy processes and assessment      tween members of the Review Panel.
         activities (e.g. the Paris Agreement of UNFCCC,The first teleconference took place on 13 February
         Agenda 2030, IPCC assessments).             2017, during which the WCRP sponsors presented
                                                     to the Review Panel the objectives of the Review, its
      Review appropriateness and effectiveness       work plan, timeline and background information
      of the governance, operational structure, man- about WCRP. During this call, the Review Panel also
      agement and resourcing of WCRP. Specific       began identifying key stakeholders to be inter-
      attention should be given to:                  viewed during the review process.
24            REVIEW OF THE WCRP

The Panel held its first meeting in Paris on 3-5 April    Met Office. It also met the WCRP Joint Planning Staff
2017 in conjunction with the WCRP JSC meeting,            (JPS). The Chair of the Panel also attended the
and this provided an opportunity to collect input from    meeting of the WCRP Modelling Advisory Council and
the JSC members. During the meeting, the Panel            the modelling Working Groups in Exeter, UK in
reviewed the ToR, analysed the findings and recom-        October 2017.
mendations of the previous WCRP review, discussed             On the final day of the site visit, the Review Panel
the self-assessment report provided by the Director of    analysed the inputs from multiple sources and
WCRP, and key documents submitted by the WCRP             drafted the report’s recommendations. Members final-
secretariat and WCRP sponsors (for a full list of docu-   ized the draft report through electronic communi-
ments provided to the Review Panel see Annex 1;           cation and teleconferences.
these are all available at bit.ly/2BBcKZa).                  The review findings and recommendations are
    Furthermore, the Panel received oral input from       based on the evidence collected and analysed through:
the Director of WCRP, the Chair, the Vice-Chair
and ordinary members of JSC, senior representatives of          Study of documentation, including the 2009
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change                   WCRP Review, agreement between sponsors,
(IPCC), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO),            the WCRP Strategic Framework 2005-2015, the
the International Council for Science (ICSU), the               WCRP Implementation Plan 2010-2015,
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)                summaries of the JSC meetings, annual budg-
of UNESCO, the Commission for Atmospheric Sci-                  ets, WCRP structure and reporting lines,
ences (CAS), the World Weather Research Programme               website content (see Annex 1 / bit.ly/2BBcKZa);
(WWRP) and the Global Atmosphere Watch Pro-
gramme (GAW).                                                   A self-assessment report written by the Di-
   The Review Panel also held discussions with the              rector of WCRP on the performance of the pro-
senior representatives of WCRP core projects (GEWEX,            gramme and future plans;
CliC and SPARC) and the Grand Challenge on Un-
derstanding and Predicting Weather and Climate Ex-              Written input on WCRP achievements prepared
tremes. Through a teleconference, the Panel also                by the Chair of JSC;
held a discussion with a co-chair of the Belmont Fo-
rum, representing the research funding commu-                   Written self-assessment reports prepared by
nity (see Annex 2 for the list of people who contrib-           the Advisory Councils, Working Groups, Core
uted to the review process). During the meeting,                Projects, and Grand Challenges;
the panel identified key issues for follow-up, agreed
on the list of people to be interviewed during the              Interviews with key stakeholders during the
site visit and additional information required for              meeting in Paris and the site visit in Geneva
that visit.                                                     (see Annex 2). The stakeholders were selected
   The site visit took place on 31 May – 2 June 2017 in         based on their knowledge of, and interac-
Geneva, Switzerland, during which the Panel inter-              tions with, WCRP; and their expertise in the
viewed the leadership of WMO, ICSU and IOC of UNESCO.           climate change domain.
It also met the representatives of the WMO Climate
and Water Department, and Climate Prediction and
Adaptation Branch, GAW, WWRP, and Atmospheric
Research and Environment Branch, and the Global Cli-
mate Observing System (GCOS).
   The Review Panel also held discussions (via telecon-
ference) with the representatives of: the WCRP JSC,
the WCRP core project CLIVAR, the Future Earth Global
Paris Hub, the UNFCCC Secretariat /SBSTA, NOAA Geo-
physical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, the US Na-
tional Center for Atmospheric Research, and the UK
Context   25
26   REVIEW OF THE WCRP
2    HAT TH E REVIEW
    W
    PANEL LEA RNED
28           REVIEW OF THE WCRP

The ToRs provided the framework for the Review,           2.1 	OUTCOME  OF THE 2009
but in gathering its evidence and forming its recom-
                                                                REVIEW OF WCRP
mendations the Panel also emphasized the im-
                                                          The 2009 Review recognized a number of important
portance of the following elements during the re-
                                                          achievements of the WCRP; however, it concluded
view process:
                                                          that WCRP lacked the focus, planning and funding to
                                                          meet the challenges of global climate change. It
      The need to recognize the seamless nature of
                                                          made the following recommendations:
      climate-weather science. The Panel agreed
      to seek to understand how WCRP is addressing
                                                            1	immediately focus its 2005 WCRP Strategic
      this and furthermore how it interacts with
                                                               Framework to better capture the WCRP role in
      the weather community (including WWRP).
                                                               providing the science that underpins re-
                                                               search on climate predictability, adaptation,
      Climate science is the bedrock of the Earth sys-
                                                               and mitigation, thus strengthening the
      tem science; therefore, there is a need to
                                                               links with key end-user groups.
      ensure that the Earth system science aligns with
       the priorities of climate science and vice ver-
                                                            2	rapidly implement its focused Strategic
      sa. Therefore, the panel agreed that interactions
                                                               Framework, paying special attention to soci-
      with Future Earth should be examined.
                                                               etal needs while maintaining its science-
                                                               driven approach.
      There is a need to make sure that there is a
      strong fusion of models and observations, and
                                                            3	introduce clear priorities into WCRP as a whole,
      that their strategies and priorities are aligned.
                                                               collaborating with other Global Environmen-
      Therefore, the panel agreed that relationships
                                                               tal Change programmes to take into account
      between WCRP, GCOS and the Commission
                                                               urgent science required for IPCC and other
      for Climatology should be explored.
                                                               societal demands.

      The relationship between WCRP and the climate
                                                            4	lead the initiative on Earth system modelling,
      service community should be defined. There
                                                               in collaboration with IGBP and other Pro-
      is a risk of diluting fundamental science by try-
                                                               grammes, utilizing the full richness of relevant
      ing to be relevant to the user. Nevertheless,
                                                               disciplines, and explicitly addressing scien-
      the panel recognized that connections with the
                                                               tific problems that lie at the interfaces with
      service community are important for iden-
                                                               these disciplines.
      tifying priorities for climate research and for
      establishing relevance and impact.
                                                            5	consolidate and strengthen its focus as a user
                                                               and promoter of observations as well as its
      There is a risk that, in the future, funding
                                                               support of the components of the Global Cli-
      could be increasingly diverted from fundamen-
                                                               mate Observing System.
      tal science. WCRP should play an advocacy
      role in mobilizing funding for fundamental
                                                            6	set specific strategy and goals for building its
      climate science. There is a need for a more
                                                               scientific capacity in diversity of age and
      strategic engagement with the funding com-
                                                               gender and for participation of developing
      munities.
                                                               country scientists in planning and research.

                                                            7	build its resource capacity by enhancing sup-
                                                               port for coordination and advocacy for re-
                                                               search and infrastructure needs. This will neces-
                                                               sitate expanding its funding sources outside
                                                               traditional targets and working through IGFA.
What the Review Panel learned              29

  8	expand its strategic outreach activities to       Recommendation 5 focused on WCRP as a user and
     target greater visibility and better uptake and   promoter of observations. The WCRP Data Advisory
     utilization of WCRP outputs by the climate        Council responds directly to this recommendation,
     research community, the policy world and pri-     but in doing so WCRP may have inadvertently weak-
     vate sector, and more broadly to the general      ened the links to GCOS.
     public.
                                                        WCRP has responded well to Recommendation 6
   9 WCRP’s sponsors should meet regularly to re- which related to diversity in age, gender and devel-
       view their mutual responsibilities for the       opment status in the WCRP Community. The YESS
       Programme in light of society’s increasing need (Young Earth System Scientists) initiative is an excel-
       for climate understanding, mitigation, and       lent initiative which should continue.
       adaptation.
                                                        Recommendation 7 focused on resource mobiliza-
   10 WCRP, in partnership with other global environ- tion and the results have been mixed. Some early
       mental change programmes, should develop         progress was made in garnering support for the JPS,
       a framework for future joint research operation, but the Review Panel finds the JPS support base
       with the initial focus on the elements iden-     now worse than in 2009. WCRP responded, but seem-
       tified in this Review. A sponsor-convened 12-    ingly lacks the strategy and the financial where-
       month study is proposed to initiate and plan     withal to achieve a major change.
       the process.
                                                        Clearly outreach is now being made a priority (Rec-
Recommendations 1 and 2 were directed at devel- ommendation 8) and the WCRP was prominent
opment and implementation of a WCRP Strategic           in the IPCC 5th Assessment Report. However, engage-
Framework. WCRP established a strategy for the peri- ment with the sponsors and key partners seems
od 2005-2015 and added to this guidance through         mostly ad hoc and lacking real purpose.
the development of the Grand Challenges for the sub-
sequent period as approved by the JSC. WCRP has         Recommendation 9 stated “WCRP’s sponsors
been following this guidance but recognizes that this should meet regularly to review their mutual respon-
strategy needs to be upgraded and formalized now.       sibilities for the Programme”; there is no evidence
This lack of an up-to-date Strategic Plan means         that this recommendation has been implemented.
priorities are not clear (Recommendation 3). This
recommendation also encouraged collaboration            Recommendation 10 addressed the big picture –
with other global environmental change programmes Global Environmental Change research in general.
i.e Future Earth) and although WCRP decided not         Arguably, Future Earth has responded directly to
to become part of Future Earth, it has formed part-     this challenge, but by deciding to remain separate
nerships in some areas but overall the collaboration from Future Earth, the WCRP has lost the ability
has stalled while Future Earth is still being estab-    to lead or co-lead.
lished.

                                                       2.2 	EFFECTIVENESS OF THE
Recommendation 4 concerned leadership for
Earth system modelling and this continues to be a             CURRENT STRUCTURE
WCRP strength, especially in the Working Group         In undertaking its review the Panel emphasized the
on Coupled Modelling (WGCM) and the Coupled Mod-       importance of recognizing that WCRP is not a
el Intercomparison Project (CMIP), which under-        funding agency, and therefore cannot dictate what
pins the IPCC Assessment Reports. Earth system mod-    work is done by the participating scientists.
els started to appear in the IPCC 5th Assessment       WCRP only functions effectively if it can engage with,
Report and are likely to dominate the 6th Assessment   and gain the commitment of, the international
Report in 2022, ahead of the first Global stocktake    climate science community to its programme of work,
in 2023.                                               and in turn ensure that participants derive bene-
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