Science & Technology Australia urges the government to address a shortfall in climate scientists following the release of a Review of Climate Science Capability by the Australian Academy of Science today.
Australia contributes significantly to the global effort to measure climate and weather, which has ramifications for Australia’s defence capability, primary production, risk mitigation, and disaster prediction and response.
Kylie Waker, CEO of Science & Technology Australia, says the report is a compelling argument for better investment and more enduring coordination in this critical area of research.
“With the equivalent of 420 full time staff working on climate science around Australia, an increase of 77 staff over four years is an achievable and realistic goal to have set,” Ms Walker said.
“The impact of Australia’s efforts to observe, understand, project and model climate and weather need to be preserved so that we can confidently and meaningfully tackle some of the most pressing issues facing humankind – climate change.”
Ms Walker commended the Australian Academy of Science for leading the report, saying that it showed the real impact that recent reductions in climate capability have had on research.
“We need to address the shortage – climate science capabilities are becoming increasingly important,” she said.
“Science & Technology Australia is heartened that the report has pointed out that most climate science capabilities are not at immediate risk, but it is concerning that the vast majority of climate science capabilities in Australia have been labelled as vulnerable.”
“The forecast for climate science in Australia continues to be stormy, and we only have further declines to look forward to if we don’t move to address this shortage soon.”