The Working Group on Regional Climate (WGRC)

The WGRC's mission is to prioritize and coordinate regional climate research within the WCRP and serve as the conduit for two-way information exchange between the WCRP, and the various institutions and coordinating bodies that provide climate service including the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).

 

The demands for scientifically-based climate information are growing rapidly, spurred by the increasing recognition that human-caused climate change is a serious issue for all countries, that it will continue even with intense mitigation efforts, and that adaptation to changing climate is necessary in order to minimize negative impacts and capitalize, where possible, on positive impacts.

Detailed regional climate information (both historical and future) is required to develop policies, to assess impacts and risks, and to plan adaptation measures (e.g. changes to building codes or infrastructure planning). In addition, recent progress in climate prediction, on time scales from months to years, offers the possibility to implement better near-term decision making in climate-sensitive areas such as agriculture, transportation, tourism, energy production and water resource management. Furthermore, coordinated regional modelling and observational studies can lead to an increased understanding of, and ability to simulate, processes that are important in determining regional climate variability and change, and in realizing the potential for improved regional-scale climate predictions.

In order to better equip countries with suitable regionally-specific climate information, the WMO is implementing the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). An important aspect of this Framework is the research that underpins climate information products and services. It is the role of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) to coordinate this research internationally. The research activities that the WCRP has been involved in have contributed in important ways to improving our knowledge of the climate system, and to our ability to make quantitative predictions of future climate at global and regional scales. At this stage, the WCRP is taking steps to ensure that its research is informed by and responsive to the needs of climate service providers and the users they serve. The Working Group on Regional Climate is charged with advancing this latter objective.

Over the past two or three years, the WCRP Joint Scientific Committee (JSC) has been deliberating on ways to improve communication with, and connection to, the GFCS. A white paper of the role of the WCRP in climate services was prepared for the JSC XXXII meeting in Exeter, and the WCRP Task Force on Regional Climate Downscaling has been actively discussing the issues of improving regional climate science and information. Following on from these deliberations, it was agreed that the WCRP should institute a working group dedicated to this topic. This would serve to prioritize and coordinate regional climate research within the WCRP and serve as the conduit for two-way information exchange between the WCRP and the various institutions and coordinating bodies that promote and provide climate services including the GFCS.

 

Contact the co-chairs
for detailed information

 

clare goodess

Clare Goodess ENV UEA UK C.Goodess@uea.ac.uk

 

Bruce Hewitson

Bruce Hewitson CSAG UCT SA hewitson@csag.uct.ac.za