Every day, no matter where we are, we interact with the weather. Some days it is beautiful and sunny, while other times it is dangerous. Climatology or climate science is the study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time. [i] Climatologists/Climate Scientist study both the nature of climates – local, regional or global – and the natural or human-induced factors that cause climates to change. [ii] Due to the ever growing concern of climate change, and the unpredictable nature of weather, it is important for climatologist to use computer technology to track this information. Fortunately the advancement in technology within the last 50 years have allowed Climatologist to truly get a better look at what our present and future hold in terms of weather and the climate change issues. Because of the increase use of technology in climate science, there is an increase for people with a background and understanding of computer science and STEM.
The type of computer science and STEM skills needed in climate science varies depending on the job and location. To the instruments being placed in thousands of locations, from NOAA/NASA satellites in our orbits monitoring the weather, to buoys in the oceans monitoring sea levels, to Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) in Antarctica studying ice core activities, there is an endless need for people to engineer, create calculations, program software (you can even check out a NOAA guideline for their developers), understand data collected, troubleshoot, and advance this technology.
And on a related blog post on of the American Meteorological Society website, they talked about the importance of computer programmer in meteorology. “Meteorology programmers are a growing trend in today’s meteorology job world. Whether it is programming using Python, C++, Objective C, or PHP, the “new” graduate in meteorology in today’s economic climate should probably have these skills under their belt. When I spoke to a few of them…they mentioned if someone is a M.S. or Ph.D. with programming skills, they would like to talk with you.”[iii] (Curious about the difference in Meteorology and Climatology? Visit here!)
Interested in some of the research going on? Check out a few of these pages that share a lot of the information they are finding and technology they are using to track our climates.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- NASA Global Climate Change
- Antarctic Meteorological Research Center
- National Science Foundation Polar Programs
- NCAR Research Data Archive
- University of Minnesota Understanding Climate Change
Have a Computer Science career that you’re interested in knowing more about or one that you would like to share with us? If so, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may choose it for a future blog!