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Government to renew CSIRO's climate science focus

New Science Minister Greg Hunt has ordered the CSIRO to restore its focus on climate science, pledging additional funding and climate science jobs.


The CTD sampler collecting data on water salinity, depth and temperature in Antarctic pancake ice.

CSIRO Marine Research

The Federal Government has changed its mind on cutting climate science from the CSIRO. It has tasked the national science research organisation with renewing its focus on climate science, and has pledged 15 new jobs and $37 million in funding over the next decade.

In February of this year, then-Science Minister Christopher Pine announced that the CSIRO would no longer be collecting data on climate change, turning their efforts to researching how to mitigate climate change.

It was a move that garnered condemnation from the scientific community, with nearly 3,000 scientists from nearly 60 nations appealing to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to reverse the decision.

"Climate science is important, it's significant, it's critical to our long term planning," new Science Minister Greg Hunt said in an interview on ABC AM this morning.

"It's a new government and we're laying out a direction that climate science matters -- and that's both the science relating to the long term trend, the long term influences, where the impacts are, as well as mitigation."

While some jobs have already been cut, the 15 new jobs will bring the total number of jobs within the division to 115. The CSIRO will also be establishing a national climate science centre in Hobart, Tasmania under the direction of chief scientist Alan Finkel.

"Climate science will be a bedrock function for research of the CSIRO, which is really one of the world's great institutions," Hunt said.