The WIP serves as a counterpart to the CMIP Modeling Panel and enables the modeling groups, through the WGCM, to maintain some control over the technical requirements imposed by the increasingly burdensome MIPs. The membership also include representation of those responsible for the standards and conventions and the IT and software infrastructure underpinning the MIPS. The mission of the panel is to promote a robust and sustainable global data infrastructure in support of the scientific mission of the WGCM. Drawing on experts intimately familiar with the scientific goals of the WGCM and aware of the promises and limitations of infrastructural technologies, the WIP formulates achievable goals for global data infrastructure, ensure coordination of the various groups building components of the system, and advise the relevant institutions on the requirements and commitments needed to maintain its long term vitality.
In a 2013 letter to the WGCM, a group of concerned individuals articulated the case for establishing an Infrastructure panel to serve the WGCM and, more broadly, the WCRP community. The WGCM agreed that this would be helpful and approved the WCRP WGCM Infrastructure Panel's Terms of Reference.
Currently, the WIP is deeply involved in Phase 6 of the WCRP Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). It has written several position papers describing infrastructure requirements and defining technical specifications for CMIP6. It also directly oversees the CMIP6 Data Request, which specifies the variables that should be archived from each of the over 300 CMIP6 experiments (and defines the metadata associated with each variable). Panel member Martin Juckes (STFC, UK) has primary responsibility for the data request. A paper entitled “Requirements for a global data infrastructure in support of CMIP6” (Balaji et al. 2018) summarizes the WIP's activities, findings and recommendations, and has been accepted for publication in the GMD special issue on CMIP6.
The WIP established a CMIP Data Node Operations Team (CDNOT) to interface with CMIP6 ESGF node managers. The team is currently composed of 70 persons and co-chaired by Katharina Berger (DKRZ, Germany) and Sasha Ames (LLNL, USA), who took over from Ruth Petrie (STFC, UK) in May 2021. As called for in the CDNOT Terms of Reference , this team is coordinating CMIP6 data node operations and data management practices to meet WIP requirements. The CDNOT has primary responsibility for creating and maintaining procedures for publishing CMIP6 data and is generally facilitating communication between the WIP and the data node managers so that infrastructure and operational issues can be addressed effectively.
Further information about CMIP6 can be obtained from:
The membership list for the WIP is maintained on the WGCM Climate pages.