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Improving the Effectiveness of U.S. Climate Modeling
other and to the research community by a common modeling and data infrastructure. Furthermore, operational modeling should maintain links to the latest advances in computer science and information technology.
Human Resource Needs in Support of Climate Modeling Activities
The climate modeling community is facing an overwhelming short-age of qualified technical and scientific staff. This difficulty is, in part, due to the inability of both research and operational modeling centers to compete with the high salaries and incentives offered by the high tech industry. Some overseas groups, (e.g. ECMWF) have overcome this difficulty by providing highly lucrative salary packages that modeling groups in the United States are unable to match. This situation is aggravated in U.S. university-based modeling groups since they are often dependent on the vagaries of short term funding for employee salaries. Furthermore, this situation is impacting university graduate programs as many students receive lucrative offers from private industry prior to the completion of their degree. This human resource problem is reflected by declining graduate enrollments in all areas of the climate sciences and in the growing disparity in the quality of life of scientists, especially young ones, living in major cities, and their private sector counterparts.
Finding: The panel finds that there is currently a strain on human resources in the climate modeling community. U.S. modeling groups are having difficulty competing with private industry and with overseas institutions for the high skilled and experienced scientists and computer technologists needed to ensure an effective modeling effort in both research and operational modeling efforts.
The shortage of highly skilled technical workers is not particular to the climate modeling community, but is part of a larger shortage of human resources affecting nearly all areas of science and engineering. The complexity of this problem, and the lack of expertise on the panel to address this issue, precludes this panel from making any specific recommendations related to human resources.
Institutional Arrangements for Delivery of Climate Services
The panel has argued that the suite of designated “Climate Services” consisting of the establishment and sustenance of a climate observing system, the production of useful model products on the global and regional scale, and delivery and dissemination of these useful products would satisfy societal demands and would be of great benefit to the research community. In what form these climate services would be delivered; how much of the climate information would be developed and