I am a high school Biology teacher with a crazy passion for climate and environmental changes. I wish I had known this before I started college. I have been out of college for a year and have been teaching ever since. I would really love to learn more about climate, weather, atmosphere and maybe even go back to school for this. What would be the best approach? I have a B.A. in Biological Science. Would I go back for a B.A. in Atmospheric sciences or just jump into a Masters?

Are there any books on the topic of climate/climatology that you would recommend?

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    $\begingroup$ Do you just want to know more for your personal curiosity or do you seek to work as a climate scientist eventually? You might be able to get into a Masters directly, I even know a trained biologists who works as a climate scientist for a meteorological institute, but I believe she does have a MSc and PhD (in Biology). $\endgroup$
    – gerrit
    Feb 7, 2017 at 20:35
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    $\begingroup$ I think we need more trained biologists in Earth science, and probably more geographers and geologists to work as biologists. At least there should be one in every group from a neighboring field. $\endgroup$
    – user2821
    Feb 8, 2017 at 10:22
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    $\begingroup$ Please add a country tag $\endgroup$
    – Jan Doggen
    Feb 9, 2017 at 10:54

3 Answers 3


You do not need another Bachelor's degree. After graduating with a bachelors degree in natural science, I taught high school for three years, and then went to graduate school to study air quality in an environmental engineering program. Many students in my group studied air quality / climate change interactions and climate change was a significant part of our class curriculum. If you have good computer skills and a good academic record, then you should have no problem finding a university that will fund you to do Master's work in climate-related environmental sciences. Universities need graduate students because they perform a fundamental duty (e.g. teaching or researching) at a low cost compared to a professor or post-doc. However, you should keep in mind that after you graduate, you may not be able to find a job doing what you want in climate-science, unless you are prepared to write funding proposals.

Climate change is a vast field which is not all about the atmosphere. Biology plays a significant role. I would suggest you try to get involved with climate-related marine biology, changes in ecosystems due to climate change, or the effects that increased carbon/temperature have on plants/animals. Though, jumping into atmospheric science as your primary area of study will put you at a competitive disadvantage since many graduate students will have studied that in their Bachelor's program.

As for a book, I suggest you read David MacKay's "Sustainable Energy, without the hot air", and I also suggest you familiarize yourself with the IPCC reports and Global Carbon Project.


There are many universities and institutions that offer free online course nowadays. They are taught by world-famous leader in the field of the subject. I recently attend this course offer by University of Exeter on Climate change. It is very easy to follow and there is homework and test to do https://www.exeter.ac.uk/climatechangecourse/ People can get a certificate after they complete the course. I recommend you to watch documentary about climate change and read some science magazine which has the latest development on climatology. Visit a science museum and attend some open lectures will definitely help.

In terms of career, you could do a PhD in climate science which has a strong element in biology and ecology in terms of Earth system modeling. This is a email subscription that send you regular advertisement on PhD positions and relevant jobs. http://mailman.ucar.edu/mailman/listinfo/es_jobs_net

Computer programming and data visualization are very important skills you need for climatology. So maybe some courses on how to use R, Python, Matlab, Fortran would also be useful. Hope this helps.


Climate science is a very exciting field to get into right now. Not only do we have a change at the top in politics in the USA and the prospect of big changes there but the new theory of a Gravity Induced Temperature Gradient is coming to the fore. I recommend researching and reading about both sides of the debate, not just the CAGW theory stuff. If the ideas of Loschmidt (c.1870's) and the recent experimental results of R.Graeff (2007) take precedence over the current consensus theories then there will be great opportunities opening up in this field for those with the right knowledge and background. Good luck with it !

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    $\begingroup$ There is no debate amongst serious scientists about whether climate change is real. This is fake news. Sad! $\endgroup$
    – bon
    May 2, 2017 at 19:48
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    $\begingroup$ @bon. There is nothing fake about Loschmidt's theory of a Gravity Induced Temperature Gradient and the extensive work by R.Graeff involved over 800 individual experiments which seemed to confirm the effect. It may or may not be a valid theory (early days yet) but at the very least it deserves further investigation and practical experiments. A 10m high column of Argon would be good as we expect over 3K Gravity induced differential so highly signficant, easily measured to better than 5% accuracy. Someone running with this idea may, if its true, have a Nobel prize soon ! $\endgroup$
    – user7733
    May 3, 2017 at 19:22

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