Climate research gets the chop

Friday, 05 February, 2016

Up to 350 positions at Australia’s CSIRO will be made redundant, with its climate research divisions to bear the brunt of the job losses.

The Climate Council announced it is dismayed at news that hundreds of climate science jobs will be slashed at CSIRO.

Professor Will Steffen said CSIRO’s research was crucial to understanding how climate change was affecting Australia.

“It is deeply disturbing that we are destroying our world-class science capability that has taken decades to build,” he said.

“As climate change continues apace, ravaging Australia with bushfires and bleaching our world-class coral reefs, it belies common sense to be cutting climate science and monitoring capabilities.”

Australian Greens Deputy Leader and climate change spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters agreed saying: “Turnbull’s mass sacking of climate scientists is the enemy of innovation.”

Professor Steffen said the Australian Government’s $110m cut to CSIRO’s budget in 2014 was the major reason behind the decision.

The cuts come as emissions in Australia continue to rise and the government has in recent weeks approved a new coalmine and a coal port expansion next to the Great Barrier Reef.

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said Australia was already suffering from more longer, hotter and more intense heatwaves and more frequent and severe bushfires and drought.

“Protecting Australians from these events means our emergency services, defence forces and firefighters all need to understand how our climate is changing,” she said.

“This preparation will be under threat if we don’t have the ability to assess the impact of a changing climate.”

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