WGNE’s history can be traced back to 1967 when it was formed under Global Atmospheric Research Programme (GARP). In 1985, WGNE evolved under the joint supervision of the Commission for Atmospheric Sciences (CAS) and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) into a group aiding the development of atmospheric models for use across cross-timescales. Following the 2020 WMO Constituent Body Reform, it now reports to the newly established Research Board.  The purpose of WGNE is to foster collaborative development of models of the Earth system (design, implementation, error diagnosis and model revision) across the full range of temporal and spatial scales.

The Working Group is committed to promoting and coordinating the global, long-term development of complex coupled Earth System Models (ESMs) to simulate fast weather-climate-water-biogeochemical processes for research and operational applications. They identify, prioritise, link and understand common systematic errors across time scales in coupled ESMs, and share solutions within the model development community. The group promotes the use of innovative approaches, such as machine learning, and provides guidance on the use of exascale computing to address scalability issues in Earth system modelling. They provide advice on the appropriate level of complexity required in coupled ESMs for specific applications and maintain close links with specialised modelling, user, working or focus groups. In addition, they identify technological and scientific trends in Earth system modelling and advise the Global Data Processing and Forecasting System (GDPFS) and research groups on emerging issues. The group promotes quality assurance by facilitating inter-comparison and exchange of internationally accepted model assessment information, ensuring efficient and accurate use of models in operational weather and climate services. Finally, they advise the Research Board and other WMO research programmes on the development of ESMs.

WGNE is supporting numerical experimentation research activities of the

Cover image: “Weather Forecasting Factory” by Stephen Conlin, 1986. Based on the description in Weather Prediction by Numerical Process, by L.F. Richardson, Cambridge University Press, 1922, and on advice from Prof. John Byrne, Trinity College Dublin. Image: ink and water colour, c. 50 x 38.5 cm.© Stephen Conlin 1986. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Reference

  • Foster and coordinate the worldwide, long-term development of complex coupled Earth system models (ESMs) to simulate fast weather-climate-water-biogeochemical processes for application in research and operations.
  • Identify, prioritise, link and understand common systematic errors and their solutions across different time-scales in coupled ESMs, sharing this information across the model development community.
  • Promote the use of innovative approaches such as machine learning and provide guidance to utilise exascale computing for Earth system modelling, e.g. to overcome scalability issues.
  • Provide advice on the right level of complexity required in coupled ESMs for a particular application.
  • Maintain close links to specialised modelling, user, working or focus groups.
  • Identify technological and scientific trends in Earth system modelling and advise seamless global data-processing and forecasting systems (GDPFS) (via the Research Board), and research groups within the programmes, of these emerging themes.
  • Encourage quality assurance through facilitation of intercomparison and exchange of internationally accepted model evaluation information relevant to their efficient and accurate use in operational weather & climate services.
  • Advise the Research Board, and hence the other WMO research programmes, on the development of ESMs.