With government funding for climate science stagnant, a new center at Columbia University is working to engage corporate donors to back research on environmental changes and how humans can adapt to them, the journal Nature writes. Seeded by the university with an initial budget of $3.1 million, the Center for Climate and Life, hopes to build a $200 million endowment and hand out $10 million a year in grants.
"It’s a very new way of funding science," said Peter deMenocal, the center's director and a palaeoclimatologist at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. The institute will offer financial support to scientists and Columbia and at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which is located on the New York City campus. It follows a trend of researchers turning to private giving to fund climate studies, according to Nature. Investment manager Jeremy Grantham's environment-focused foundation has established similar research centers at multiple universities.