Capacity Building

The scale, importance, and complexity of the climate challenge implies a critical need to increase the workforce performing fundamental and decision-relevant climate research, implementing responses to climate change, and working at the interface between science and decision making. Thanks to more than three decades of research on climate change, the research community in the United States and elsewhere is strong, at least in research areas that have received significant emphasis and support. However, level or declining climate research funding over the past decade (as documented, for example, in NRC [2009k]) has limited the number of young scientists and engineers entering the research workforce at just the point when an influx of young scientists and engineers is critically needed to revitalize the nation's climate research. Moreover, the more integrative and decision-relevant research program described in Chapter 4 will require expanded intellectual capacity in several previously neglected fields as well as in interdisciplinary research areas. It will also require greater intellectual capacity among state, local, and national government agencies, universities, and other public and private research labs, as well as among science managers coordinating efforts to advance the science of climate change. Building and mobilizing this broad research community will require both a concerted effort and a new approach.

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