By ANDREW C. REVKIN
Published: August 6, 2008
The National Center for Atmospheric Research, an important hub for work on the causes and consequences of climate change, has shut down a program focused on strengthening poor countries' ability to forecast and withstand droughts, floods and other climate-related hazards.
The move, which center officials say resulted from the shrinking of federal science budgets, is being denounced by many experts on environmental risk, who say such research is more crucial than ever in a world with rising populations exposed to climate threats.
In e-mail exchanges, these experts said the eliminated program, the Center for Capacity Building, was unique in its blend of research and training in struggling countries.
The Center for Capacity Building (still online at ccb.ucar.edu) was created in 2004. It built on decades of work by its director, Michael Glantz, a political scientist who has focused on the societal effects of natural climate extremes and any shifts related to accumulating greenhouse gases.