WCRP was established in 1980 under the joint sponsorship of the International Science Council (ISC) (previously the International Council for Science (ICSU), until July 2018) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). In 1993 the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO also became a sponsor.
WCRP has made enormous contributions to advancing climate science over the past 40 years. For example, see:
- 25th Anniversary Brochure
- WCRP Film: 40 years of international climate science
- Article: The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) celebrates its 40th anniversary
As a result of WCRP efforts, it is now possible for climate scientists to monitor, simulate and project global climate with unprecedented accuracy, and provide climate information for use in governance, decision-making and in support of a wide range of practical end-user applications.