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Climate Science: BS

Climate Science

The Climate Science Degree (CSD) program integrates basic and applied principles of meteorology, climatology with environmental physics, which are concerned with how natural laws determine the climate. Physical oceanography and land surface physics are also part of climate science because the Earth’s climate variability is strongly coupled to the oceans and land surface. In addition, interactions between land ecosystems, water and climate are studied. This includes understanding and measurements of the atmosphere, soil, water and plants, and how the data are used to address practical issues related to climate change.

Climate change is the most important environmental and hazard issues of our time. The purpose of CSD is to train the next generation of global leaders in climate and climate change sciences. CSD is focused on understanding the nature and change of our climate system by applying the principles of mathematics and physics.

The undergraduate degree program emphasizes the scientific study of the behavior of weather and climate, and applications to the important practical problems of climate prediction. CSD is unique in that it incorporates fundamental knowledge of physical climate with the emergence of a new and more complete approach, encompassing all components of the climate system—atmosphere, water, and land surface—to gain a comprehensive understanding of climate change as we face it.


Employment of climate scientists is projected to grow 10 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The best job prospects for climate science major are projected to be in private industry, one that will increasingly tackle climate change impacts on society (as a way to formulate insurance policy, for example). This job demand has been growing for the costal regions (hurricanes and sea level rise), the Great Plains (tornado alley), and western states (drought and large fires).

The job market for climate-background personnel is going through a transformational change, from sections asking people of diverse background to conduct climate-related tasks into companies directly recruiting climate scientists or risk managements. New computer models have vastly improved the accuracy and extent of forecasts and allowed climate scientists or meteorologists to tailor climate prediction to specific purposes. This will increase the need for climate scientists working in private industry as businesses demand more specialized weather and climate information.