A quantitative descriptionof the growth of climate change science is presented based on the increase in the number of abstracts of scientific publications dealing with the many aspects of this broad subject. Thisnumber now totals 7000 and is doubling every 11 years. The annual rate ofpublication per author and number of authors per paper in climate change science, 1.75 and 2.5respectively, were similar to those for scientific publications in general but, based on theU.S. data, the cost per publishing scientist is very high largely because of the sums allocatedto satellite programs related to climate change research. The total global cost of currentclimate change research is estimated at three billion U.S. dollars annually. Two plausible but verydifferent interpretations of the growth curve of climate change research are presented andused to discuss its future. The importance of extra-scientific factors in controlling thegrowth of climate change studies is emphasized, limiting the predictive value of thescientometric analysis presented.