Boulder: Climate research center faces more money woes
BOULDER, Colorado ” More layoffs could be coming at the troubled National Center for Atmospheric Research, which has trimmed dozens of staffers over the past year but still faces a budget shortfall that could hit $10 million by next year.
The center, which announced last week that budget woes forced it to close an office that studies climate change, has already laid off some employees and could lay off more, the Camera newspaper in Boulder reported Monday.
“We’ve had too many years of flat budgets with an increase in obligations,” NCAR Director Eric Barron told the newspaper.
The 48-year-old center, which gets most of its funding from the National Science Foundation, has already deferred raises for employees and laid off some others, for a staff reduction of more than 100 since last year. The center announced last week it would close of its Center for Capacity Building, which studied social effects of climate change.
One critic of the center says sloppy accounting, not just inadequate funding, may explain the center’s woes. Roger Pielke Jr., a professor at the University of Colorado who also studies the societal effects of global warming but isn’t part of NCAR, told the newspaper the center has wrongly claimed to have lost funding.
“Effective management means making good decision in times of plenty and lean times as well,” Pielke wrote the newspaper in an e-mail.