Government U-turn on CSIRO climate science

According to a report from the ABC, the Federal Government’s new Minister for Industry, Innovation & Science Greg Hunt has instructed the CSIRO to renew its focus on climate science, promising it will be a “bedrock function” of the organisation.

Hunt said both he and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have directed the organisation to make climate science a core component of its work.

“Climate science is important, it’s significant, it’s critical to our long-term planning.”

He has announced an extra 15 jobs focusing on climate science, as well as additional support, costing $3.7 million a year.

It was only in February that CSIRO confirmed it would halve the number of employees in climate science, with around 100 jobs to go from two main monitoring and modelling programs.

This followed a restructure announcement that could impact 350 employees. CSIRO boss Larry Marshall told a Senate committee the cuts emerged after consultation within the agency and would meet the body’s innovation strategy.

This was despite thousands of international climate scientists signing an open letter urging CSIRO to reconsider the cuts, with the head of the World Meteorological Organisation’s Climate Research Program criticising the move.

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