A major study to understand climate variability and predict climate change should proceed in the same direction, a National Research Council (NRC) panel has recommended. The panel also urged the implementation of a number of future research activities. The study, known as the Continental-Scale Intercomparison Project (GCIP), the first of five continental-scale projects of the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX), began in 1990.
Recent efforts to study climate have emphasized the importance of improved understanding of many aspects of the hydrologic cycle and the exchange of energy and water at the atmosphere-surface interface. To address these issues within the context of the Mississippi River basin, the World Climate Research Programme established the GEWEX GCIP. The NRC established a panel specifically to evaluate and provide scientific leadership and guidance on the scientific strategies, plans, and priorities of the GEWEX Program. This panel's report, “GCIP: A Review of Progress and Opportunities,” also highlighted the major accomplishments of the study so far. It was released June 8 at the GCIP Mississippi River Hydrometeorology Conference in St. Louis, Mo.