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WCRP Open Science Conference 2023: Bridging Climate Science and Society

Kigali, Rwanda

WCRP Open Science Conference (OSC) 2023 (#WCRP2023) will take place in Kigali, Rwanda, 23-27 October 2023, at the Kigali Convention Centre.


Date: 23-27 October 2023
Location: Kigali, Rwanda


The Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), on behalf of the Government of Rwanda, provided a strong proposal to host the WCRP OSC 2023 in Kigali and will support WCRP to deliver a true hybrid event. This event at the heart of the African continent will allow strong engagement with research communities, stakeholders and practitioners in Rwanda and the region. This will be facilitated by joint efforts with local partners, such as the Rwanda Meteorology Agency and the University of Rwanda.

The WCRP OSC 2023 Scientific Organising Committee has already started to discuss the format of the conference to ensure that it will foster future climate science leadership, through workshops, public exhibits, forums, and other associated events. A fundraising drive is also in place, as well discussions on innovative ways to deliver effective remote participation options to ensure inclusion and engagement while minimizing our carbon footprint.

Open Science Conference 2023

Bridging Climate Science and Society

The WCRP Open Science Conference 2023 will bring together diverse research communities, programmes and partners to discuss the latest developments in climate science, with an emphasis on science-based information for decision making.

WCRP is looking at innovative ways to bridge science and society and to foster future climate science leadership, through workshops, public exhibits, forums, and other associated events.

The following themes will be covered during the conference:

. Recent advances in climate science
. Climate research challenges and opportunities
. Regional climate extremes and risks
. Useful and useable climate information

The Conference will highlight advances and challenges in research on the coupled Earth System. It will feature sessions on modelling, observations, and the development of climate information for society. There will be a strong focus on climate risk, including the consequences, likelihoods and responses to the impacts of climate change, as well as the innovations needed to ensure that climate science information, data, and training are accessible to all those who seek them.

Grand Challenges
The Conference will celebrate the achievements of WCRP’s Grand Challenges. These are extremely successful WCRP activities that will close at the end of 2022.

Important dates

September – Call for Poster Cluster and Side event proposals
November - 3rd circular with programme outline
December 1 2022 - Abstract submission, financial support application and registration open
28 February 2023 14 March 2023 - Abstract submission and financial support application deadline
April- May - Abstract review and financial support notifications
June 2023 - Final programme with speakers 22 & 28 October - Early to Mid-Career Scientistsʼ Event
23-27 October 2023 - WCRP Open Science Conference


The following Conference Session topics comprise the 40 oral and poster sessions that will take place from Monday to Thursday at the Conference. There will be five parallel oral sessions each morning and afternoon. Each session will be 2 hours long, with a combination of invited speakers and speakers selected from the abstracts submitted. Posters will be hung on the day of the relevant session and online all week as well as before the conference. For the program at a glance, click here.

For the full list of conference sessions and their details, visit the website here.

Theme 1: Advances in Climate Research
S01: Climate variability on timescales from weeks to centuries and millennia
S02: Climate predictability and prediction
S03: Global and regional monsoons
S04: Storms, eddies and jets in the atmosphere and ocean
S05: Polar processes and change
S06: Rapid and/or irreversible changes in the climate system
S07: Atmosphere-land interactions: energy, water & carbon
S08: Ocean-atmosphere interactions: energy, water & carbon
S09: Interactions between atmospheric composition and climate, including aerosol processes
S10: Lessons from paleoclimate for recent and future climate change
S11: Advances in global and regional climate modelling
S12: Advances in climate observations and model-data fusion

Theme 2: Human Interactions with Climate
S13: Carbon cycle
S14: Global energy budget
S15: Water cycle
S16: Ice sheets and sea level change
S17: Climate feedbacks and climate sensitivity
S18: Current and future forcing, including aerosols and scenarios
S19: Land use and land cover change
S20: Impacts on land and marine ecosystems
S21: Impacts on food security and water availability
S22: Impacts on human health and urban systems
S23: Circulation change in the climate system (atmosphere and ocean)
S24: Attribution of changes
S25: Regional climate change
S26: Mitigation scenarios including overshoot and climate intervention

Theme 3: Co-produced Climate Services and Solutions
S27: Hazards and Extreme events
S28: Regional information – Data and methods
S29: Regional information – Constructed for climate services
S30: Plausibility, probability, likelihood, and uncertainty
S31: Climate knowledge co-production in a decision and policy context
S32: Capacity development for climate services
S33: Linking policy and climate information
S34: Climate services: effectiveness and evaluation
S35: Regional information and scales in time and space
S36: Observations for decisions
S37: Regional attribution
S38: Connecting regional impacts and climate information
S39: Institutions and frameworks
S40: Lessons from failures

Poster clusters

Poster clusters are designed to bring together a community working on a specific topic within the broader conference themes. The aim is to help participants to organize their poster viewing and to provide a forum for discussion about the cluster topic. Posters will form a very important part of the OSC. In addition to dedicated on-site poster sessions, all posters will be posted on the hybrid platform poster gallery at least two weeks before the conference. Virtual poster sessions will be organized during these two weeks. For the program at a glance, click here.

Climate processes

PC01: Atmospheric Rivers: The nexus between weather, water, and climate extremes
PC02: Advances in understanding, observing, and modeling land-atmosphere interactions, from bedrock to boundary layer
PC03: Constraining TCRE for carbon budgets
PC04: What was the climate like in the past? What does this tell us about the future? 
PC05: Attribution and prediction of annual to decadal changes in climate
PC06: The role of stratosphere-troposphere coupling on surface weather and climate
PC07: Advances in monsoon science & prediction: Theory, observations, modelling & climate services
PC08: Extreme rainfall and temperatures over India: Forecasting challenge and role of ensemble prediction system
PC09: Safe Landing Climates for drinkable water availability in a warmer world: From raindrop to AMOC and beyond
PC10: Current and near-term variability and trends in the Antarctic climate system
PC11: The role of North Atlantic Oceanic processes on regional climate variations and change
PC12: Changes in sea surface temperature patterns in the Tropics
PC13: Effects of mesoscale to small-scale oceanic processes on climate changes
PC14: Ocean mixing and climate
PC15: Ocean predictability and prediction on subseasonal to decadal time scales
PC16: Marine heatwaves in the world oceans

Observations and modelling

PC17: How can the EO community support adaptation and mitigation for the UNFCCC Paris Agreement
PC18: Global climate observations for adaptation to climate extremes
PC19: The GCOS updated implementation plan: Observation Providers'response
PC20: Identifying and closing mountain climate observation gaps
PC21: Smart sensors for agri-food and environmental monitoring systems
PC22: Monitoring and modeling Earth System change: Integrating models and observations
PC23: Earth System models for the future
PC24: MEXT program for the advanced studies of climate change projection (SENTAN)
PC25: Towards more inclusive future climate scenarios
PC26: Open innovation for Earth science research

Risks & extremes

PC27: High risk events in the future Earth system
PC28: AI for weather and climate extremes: detection, attribution, prediction
PC29: Good practices for making regional projections of weather and climate extremes
PC30: Assessing and attributing current and future hazard risks
PC31: Climate extremes & risk: Impacts, cascades, feedbacks with biosphere and society
PC32: Understanding and modeling of weather and climate extremes and related complex risks
PC33: Climate extreme changes and associated impacts

Impacts, adaptation, mitigation, services, policy, etc.

PC34: The nexus of climate change, ecosystem & human health: Cascading socio-ecological impacts for Africa
PC35: The role of digital technology in addressing water and food security
PC36: Developments in evidence based tools and metrics for adaptation planning and monitoring
PC37: Impacts of climate change on food security
PC38: The importance of women in climate change resilience
PC39: Young students empowerment regarding climate change issues
PC40: Climate services in the Global South
PC41: Good practices in climate services - insights of the past, present, and future
PC42: Climate Resilient Land Use Policies and Practices (LUPP) in Afro-Asian countries
PC43: Evaluation of the Intersection of laws, public administration, and non-governmental initiatives in climate change mitigation
PC44: Role of climate projections in improving policies on climate change mitigation and adaptation in the agriculture and food security

PAGES poster cluster

PC04: What was the climate like in the past? What does this tell us about the future?
Convenor Marie-France Loutre, PAGES (Past Global Changes)
Description: Our society is under pressure because of many unusual phenomena and changes related to natural climate variability that are taking place at a rapid pace. Studying the past can help us figure out how rare or common such events have been. Climate reconstruction, climate modeling, and data–model intercomparison offer complementary information. New proxies and methods are still needed to improve our understanding of different climatic processes and to better understand paleoclimate across the globe. Improved techniques for data-model integration (such as data assimilation) are also essential for better utilizing paleodata for future projections.

Indeed, the study of many types of past events can shed light on the future:.

  • Paleoflood studies can improve flood-hazard scenarios with enhanced understanding of the physical processes controlling the occurrence and magnitude of floods.
  • Past changes in sea level and Earth’s cryosphere can help us constrain future sea-level rise in response to climate change.
  • Natural variability plays a role in climate. Tools are developed and tested on data from the past to understand and predict variability in the future.
  • Geoengineering is still highly debated. Assessing its positive and negative impacts on climate, ecosystems, and society is essential. Global experiments, such as past volcanic eruptions, can also highlight their consequences.
  • Past behaviors of ecosystems can illustrate potential consequences and risks for the societies, and support the decision of managers and policymakers.
  • Climate change, lives and livelihoods with a focus on Agriculture and biodiversity.

These are examples of how the past can support predictions of the future. We welcome contributions illustrating additional examples as well.

> Submit abstract


The call for abstracts is open for oral and poster presentations.  If you are submitting an abstract, you must be the presenter (in person or online).

A limited amount of financial support will be available inter alia to support deserving delegates who are

  • early to mid-career researchers (EMCRs)*; or
  • from low to lower-middle income countries

> Submit abstract


Register your interest in filling in the form available here.

Further information

For more information, please visit the conference website: