Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 3:45 PM
Climate change science mid-life crisis—challenges and opportunities
209 (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Many fields of science go through a life cycle of great interest and major funding increases followed by a draw down in resources and interest as the science matures and moves into a different phase. Climate change science is currently in such a transition where, although there is much work to be done, there is the perception and reality that most people are convinced that anthropogenic global warming is happening and so the basic question is solved. This perception was the basis for a white paper prepared for the National Academies Decadal Survey Panel to conclude that “diffuse objectives and a lack of priorities have already left the (U. S. Climate Change Research Program) program ‘marginalized and politically expendable'”.
Although we look forward to the findings of the Decadal Survey Panel, scientists must actively pursue strategies to transition from a short term research program to a sustainable long-term program. This will mean forming and taking advantage of new partnerships and relationships between individual scientists, cooperating agencies, and international partners. The challenges and opportunities in moving to this new paradigm will be discussed as well as similar evolution of science in other disciplines.