Decision making under uncertainty: Bridging the gap between end user needs and climate science capability

Authors: Danielle Verdon-Kidd, Anthony Kiem and Emma Austin
Year: 2012

Current factors that prevent decision makers making robust adaptation decisions about climate related risks were identified in this study as: uncertainty in climate informattion, misunderstanding/misuse of key terminology, poor communication and/or packaging of climate science information, and a lack of appropriate decision support tools that can adequately account for uncertainty, and are capable of dealing with non-climatic influences on decision making. Recommendations proposed to address these gaps between climate science and climate change action include: (1) A formalised ‘knowledge broker’ program to communicate and translate information between science providers and end users; (2) Development of a ‘terms of reference’ for key climate change related words, agreed upon by both climate science providers and end users to reduce confusion; (3) Additional research into natural variability and baseline risk, in order to establish a realistic background against which climate change projections and associated uncertainty can be assessed; and (4) Development of decision support tools that deal explicitly with uncertainty.

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