Climate Change Scientist

In 2015, 196 countries committed through the Paris Agreement to ensure temperature increases from greenhouse gas emissions are capped at 1.5°C, and the impacts of resulting climate change are minimised. Understanding climate change and its causes is critical to developing mitigation and adaptation measures that builds resilience for people and nature. Climate science investigates significant changes in temperature, precipitation and other measures of climate over several decades.

Climate change scientists research, collect and evaluate climate data and develop models that predict changes to the environment, economy and society. They advise government on policy and legislation that can help to mitigate the impacts of climate change and advise businesses and industry and civil society on mitigation and adaptation measures.

Climate change scientists can work in global teams with other climate specialists and policy makers to address matters of climate change. They mostly work in office environments, analysing data and writing reports and making recommendations from findings.


Climate change scientists require extensive knowledge of factors causing climate change and strong competence in mathematical modelling. They will also benefit from:

  • Extensive problem-solving ability 
  • Excellent logical reasoning and analytical skills 
  • Ability to work with and manage large datasets
  • Strong research competence


Research policies, practices or procedures for climate management

Create models to simulate effects of changes to climate

Provide analytical support and advise on climate change policy 

Make legislative recommendations related to climate change


B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Geography specialising in Climate Science at all universities

B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Meteorology at UP

B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Ocean and Atmospheric Science at UCT

B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Climate Change and Development at UCT


National, provincial and local government.

NGOs, community-based and development organisations and private companies and consultancies.

Research institutions.

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