Climatology is the study of climate over a period of time. It is a highly specialized field that seeks trained professional with an ability to study long-term climate trends. Climatologist can predict atmospherical changes and how these changes are going to affect our environment. It is the job of climatologists to study seasonal variations and climatic patterns over a period of time. They study the changes occurring in weather over months, years and even centuries by gathering, examining, and inferring past records of different variables of climate like temperature, sunshine, rainfall and wind. This process is conducted in specific areas or regions. This focused study helps these professionals in determining the weather of a particular season in coming times.
The predictability of a particular season is forecasted by the climatologists with the help of specific computer software. Current changes of oceans and temperatures also come under the purview of climatologists. They are in possession of vast array of information using which climate models are constructed. These models provide a useful guide in understanding historical events that shaped the climate of the earth. The idea is to predict the future events based on past information. The study conducted by climatologists is very useful in designing buildings, plan heating and cooling systems. They also aid in suggesting methods for effective land use and agricultural production.
Talking about educational qualification needed by climatologist, he/she must secure a bachelor degree in climatology or other related field. However, the complexity and expertise of the field demands applicants with a master or doctorate degree and substantial experience. The course curriculum often covers subjects like oceanography, climatology, astronomy, meteorology, mathematics, atmospheric science and physics. It is a usual norm to complete internships while pursing the education. It helps in gaining valuable practical experience. Climatology is a constantly evolving field that demands continuing education. These professionals receive precious on the job training at entry level. A climatologist must upgrade his skills on a regular basis.
The services of climatologists are regularly sought by professional weather service organizations, government organizations, professional laboratories and nonprofit agencies. This is a competitive field that gives better chances to those with advanced training and extensive experience. It is forecasted that because of increasing demand for research on weather and climate patterns and ever changing climate, the employment opportunities for climatologists are going to increase substantially. Because of relatively smaller number of professionals in climatology, the salary offered is quite lucrative.
As far as India is concerned, Climatology is a vital part of Atmospheric science which deals with the study of the gaseous outer regions of the Earth. Some of the other important subjects that come under Atmospheric science are meteorology, aeronomy and agricultural meteorology etc. A very small number of institutions in India offer courses in specialized branches like climatology.
Some of them that offer courses in atmospheric Sciences and climatology are:-
Pune University, Department of Space Science
Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi
Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore
IIT, Kharagpur & Delhi
Andhra University, Visakhapatnam
The basic eligibility requirement for MSc in climatology is a B.Sc degree from a recognized university.