Source: AGU Advances
The unwillingness of our community to professionalize the provision of climate information, means that large collective efforts like the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) disproportionately rely on a labor force of early career researchers, funded to perform routine analyses often disguised as research. This isn’t exactly what Jain et al.  say, but it is what I concluded after reading it. They made me wonder if the way we structure our science short circuits long-term career opportunities in favor of an ecosystem that funds our research, at discount rates, less based on its innovative potential and more on based on its provision of services. To the extent my fears are founded, we risk exploiting our wellspring of talent to provide routine, and often mundane, information in the hope that it doesn’t fundamentally challenge present understanding. Even for readers that don’t share my fears, the authors provide a clarion call for a broad discussion of how we should structure climate change information provision and how we should train our researchers to ensure their agility to deal with the intellectual challenges posed by our warming world.
Citation: Jain, S., Mindlin, J., Koren, G., Gulizia, C., Steadman, C., Langendijk, G. S., et al. . Are we at risk of losing the current generation of climate researchers to data science? AGU Advances, 3, e2022AV000676. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022AV000676
—Bjorn Stevens, Editor, AGU Advances