GCOS GOOS WCRP/OOPC IX/3 
   
page 48 
ANNEX VI 
WCRP 
Dr V. Ryabinin gave a review of the WCRP status. The 25th Session of the WCRP 
Joint Scientific Committee (JSC XXV) took place in Moscow on 1 6 March 2004. It 
discussed the status of the WCRP and also met with the Scientific Committee of the IGBP. 
One of the most important issues on the JSC's agenda was a new WCRP initiative called 
COPES,  Coordinated Observation and Prediction of the Earth System . COPES is a new 
overarching activity that builds on all WCRP projects and provides a context in which they 
and other activities and scientists will be able to perform their research, and that will help 
show the relevance of this research. Dr Ryabinin presented COPES to the meeting. 
The COPES initiative results from realisation of several challenges that the WCRP is 
currently facing including, among others, the need to convert the achievements accumulated 
in many WCRP sectors into more comprehensive and skilful prediction of the climate system, 
a need to address the seamless prediction/projection problem spanning days, weeks, seasons, 
years, decades, centuries, and bridging with climate assessments, a growing demand to 
consider predictions of the broader climate / Earth System and to demonstrate the use to 
society of WCRP enabled predictions. COPES will facilitate prediction of the climate/earth 
system variability and change for use in an increasing range of practical applications of direct 
relevance, benefit and value to society. It will be achieved through determination of aspects of 
the climate/earth system that are and are not predictable, at weekly, seasonal, interannual and 
decadal through to century time scales and improvement of observing systems, data 
assimilation techniques and models of the climate/earth system. Close cooperation with 
IGBP, GCOS, NWP centres, and other partners in all aspects of COPES is foreseen. 
The aims of COPES require WCRP to study how the observations of important 
climate variables contribute to the increased predictability of climate at various time  and 
space scales. The observational issues of COPES will require the coordinated collection and 
reanalysis of climate observations to describe the structure and variability of the climate 
system, and to generate dynamically balanced and internally consistent states of the coupled 
climate system for the numerical prediction of climate. Special efforts will be required to 
obtain and assimilate data from the new generation of environmental satellites to meet the 
scientific objectives embedded in COPES. An urgent task under COPES will be to define the 
in situ and space observing systems for the next decade required to address the aims and 
objectives of WCRP, and for the implementation of the COPES strategy. In particular, 
consideration will need to be given to identifying gaps and deficiencies in existing observing 
systems, which may have resulted in reduced predictability. 
Under COPES, the new observational data, particularly those from the new generation 
of satellites, will be exploited to the maximum possible extent in pursuit of the aims and 
objectives of WCRP and in particular to determine what can be predicted and how it can be 
done. The Coordinated Enhanced Observing Period (CEOP) led by the WCRP Global Energy 
and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) is viewed as an example of coordinated global 
observational activity in support of COPES. 
Climate observations need to be tailored for specific purposes and set in a framework 
that will achieve best value. A commitment is needed to create a comprehensive, reliable, 
end to end, `Global Climate Observational System', which will produce long term, high 
quality, temporally homogeneous data sets and products. Observations should adhere to the 
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