The programme was launched in March 2009 as the Joint Climate Research Programme. In its initial phase, JCRP funded research posts which covered areas of existing collaboration considered priorities by NERC and the Met Office. The JCRP also established the MONSooN supercomputer service, jointly-owned by both organisations, to enable NERC and Met Office scientists to share data and run models on the same platform.
It was recognised that the areas of joint interest in both research and facilities extend beyond climate. In addition to the collaborative projects on weather research, examples of joint facilities include the jointly owned research aircraft (Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements) and existing cooperation on the Argo float programme. It became clear that the benefits of broadening the scope of the JCRP to encompass all areas of joint interest could be substantial. In addition, the increasing appreciation of the seamless nature of weather and climate and the importance of fundamental oceanic and atmospheric processes and weather phenomena in climate prediction is driving a move towards a more unified approach to weather and climate research. These factors led to the the programme being renamed the Joint Weather & Climate Research Programme, JWCRP.
The JWCRP is now focused on identifying critical gaps in the existing national portfolio of weather and climate research and alligning resources so that these significant research challenges can be addressed by the Met Office and NERC in co-funded, co-designed projects. In recognition of this the JWCRP refreshed the Strategic Programme Board in 2013 to include NERC Heads of Centre for NCAS, NCEO, NOC, BAS, CEH and PML, NERC Head of Research and members of the Met Office Science Directorate.
- To ensure that the UK has access to internationally competitive tools and infrastructure for maintaining its world-leading national capability in observing, understanding, modelling and predicting weather and climate, and their impacts.
- To enable closer collaboration between NERC and the Met Office by working to eliminate existing barriers, to align more closely their respective research activities, and to ensure effective participation in relevant new research programmes from both organisations.
- To propose new activities to address critical gaps in the existing national portfolio of weather and climate research and to be actively involved in promoting and developing those activities.
- To develop mechanisms to promote the more effective pull through of research and development into improved weather and climate forecasts.