Research on climate and issues connected with climate change is carried out nationally, regionally
and internationally. Internationally, climate-related research is coordinated by a variety of
international programmes and organizations; some of the major ones being the International
Council for Science (ICSU), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the International
Geosphere–Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global
Environmental Change (IHDP), DIVERSITAS, as well as partnerships and networks, such as the Earth
System Science Partnership. In addition, a number of regional networks promote and support
climate-relevant research activities, including activities to enhance research capacity in the
regions, such as the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and the Asia-Pacific
Network for Global Change Research (APN).
Information on national and cooperative research activities can be found in Parties’ national
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has a well established role in the Convention
process in communicating scientific information to the Convention through its regular assessment
reports and its wide range of special reports and technical papers. Although it does not carry
out its own research, it plays a key role in assessing the information from worldwide climate
research in peer-reviewed literature, journals, books and other sources. It also has an important
function in identifying priority needs for further research activities.
Research undertaken that is relevant to climate change focuses on a wide range of topics such as
earth sciences, climate processes and system, climate variability, climate modelling and prediction,
including extreme events; impacts of and vulnerabilities to climate change, including adaptation to
it, and climate change mitigation. It also covers a broad spectrum of sectors, society,
economies and ecosystems, as well as cross-cutting and interdisciplinary research.