Right climate to make move into science - National News - National - Education - The Advertiser
IT IS a rapidly growing field, calling for bright minds and big thinkers, but there are not enough environmental and climate scientists coming through university to meet demand.Flashback: Scientists 'losing climate fight' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
The director of the Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, Professor Andy Pitman, said while the need for climate scientists in academia, government institutions and the corporate world was fast increasing, ''we aren't training the next generation of students … to fill in those niches''.
In a bid to boost the numbers of climate scientists, the climate change research centre at the University of NSW is offering honours scholarships to graduates. .
Professor Pitman said many students, conscious of their HECS debt, forgo science or postgraduate degrees and enter what they see as more lucrative careers in business, finance and mining, but it was a misconception that science graduates did not do well.
''Almost invariably, climate PhDs with a physics or maths background find themselves in demand overseas and with excellent salary packages,'' he said. ''This is a growing area with a small number of such specialists, making them an elite that are coming in at the ground floor of a worldwide demand, so it is a great way to fast-track a career.''
Climate systems researchers have the chance ''to pursue some very serious science that will significantly affect policy and - because the field is so new - change our fundamental understanding of climate''
Professor Pitman says sceptics have used the IPCC's error to skew the climate change debate.
"Climate scientists are losing the fight with the sceptics," he said.
"The sceptics are so well funded, so well organised. "They have nothing else to do. They don't have day jobs so they can put all their efforts into misinforming and miscommunicating climate science to the general public, whereas the climate scientists have day jobs and [managing publicity] actually isn't one of them.
"All of the efforts you do in an IPCC report is done out of hours, voluntarily, for no funding and no pay, whereas the sceptics are being funded to put out full-scale misinformation campaigns and are doing a damn good job, I think.
Professor Pitman has also played down the significance of the error in the IPCC's report.
"There are two paragraphs that have been questioned in a 1600-page document," he said.
"After two years, people have been going over that report with considerable care and have found a couple of errors of fact in a 1600-page document.
"I mean, we ought to be talking about the other 1599 pages that no one has found any problems with."