Climate-Change Program to Aid Poor Nations Is Shut
The New York Times,
The move, which center officials say resulted from the shrinking of federal science budgets, is being denounced by many experts on environmental risk, who say such research is more crucial than ever in a world with rising populations exposed to climate threats.
In e-mail exchanges, these experts said the eliminated program, the Center for
The Center for
One scientist, Ilan Kelman, a senior research fellow at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in
"In terms of value for money," he added, "Dr. Glantz's science was among the best, being cutting-edge and cost-effective, yet influencing the world. He also ensured that science was used for humanity and by humanity."
Eric J. Barron, who was named the director of the atmospheric research center in May, said the step had been unavoidable given steady erosion of the center' budget, most of which comes from the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Barron said that over the last five years more than 110 positions at the center, of about 1,000 supported by the science foundation, had been cut from other programs as varied as solar physics, atmospheric chemistry and social science.
Altogether, the eliminated program had an annual budget of about $500,000. The budget for the entire atmospheric research center is $120 million.
In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Dr. Glantz said that he was let go Monday and that three other researchers were also losing their jobs. One, Tsegay Wolde-Georgis, left a similar program at
Roger A. Pielke Jr., a former staff scientist at the atmospheric research center and now a political scientist at the nearby
Knowledge related to the societal dimensions of global environmental problems is fundamental to efforts to arrive at practical and effective solutions, Dr. Pielke said. If anything, we need to expand attention in these areas.
Clifford A. Jacobs, the National Science Foundations section head for the atmospheric research center and related programs, said the decision did not mean that the center was interested only in basic physical climate science.
This came as a very, very difficult decision, Dr. Jacobs said. You have to protect your core activities, but as budgets keep shrinking you have to redefine your core.
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