The Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) has produced a combined satellite and in situ global precipitation estimate, beginning 1979. The annual average GPCP estimates are here analyzed over 1979–2004 to evaluate the large-scale variability over the period. Data inhomogeneities are evaluated and found to not be responsible for the major variations, including systematic changes over the period. Most variations are associated with El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) episodes. There are also tropical trend-like changes over the period, correlated with interdecadal warming of the tropical SSTs and uncorrelated with ENSO. Trends have spatial variations with both positive and negative values, with a global-average near zero.