During the past few decades, national and international investments in climate observations, research, and modeling have resulted in significant progress in experimental and practical climate prediction and projection. They have also led to significant improvement in scientific understanding of the climate, its change and variability. These efforts provide a sound scientific foundation for developing the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). However, implementation of the GFCS will require further expansion of climate research aimed at developing applications of climate knowledge over a wide range of socio-economic sectors important to all regions of the world. Systematic conversion of existing climate knowledge into practical solutions in turn requires a change in how climate research is conducted. In order to meet the diverse needs for climate services, professional networks should be developed to unite climate researchers and practitioners in the field.