WCRP activities address issues of scientific uncertainty in the Earth's climate system including transport and storage of heat by the ocean, the global energy and hydrological cycle, the formation of clouds and their effects on radiative transfer, and the role of the cryosphere in climate. These activities match the scientific priorities identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and provide the basis for responding to issues raised in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. WCRP also lays the scientific foundation for meeting the research challenges posed in Agenda 21. Together with the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and the International Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Programme, WCRP provides the international framework for scientific cooperation in the study of global climate change.
Scientific guidance for the programme is provided by a Joint Scientific Committee consisting of 18 scientists selected by mutual agreement between the three sponsoring organizations.