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