Climate Science and Decision Making

This article focuses on understanding the science of climate change and how such understanding might better contribute to decision processes and the design of decision support tools. An increasing emphasis on adaptation demands greater efforts to understand the diversity of users (e.g. emergency planners, water resource managers, policy analysts, and farmers) and their evolving climate information needs. 

This assessment also identifies opportunities for geographic perspectives that can increase the understanding of physical processes causing interannual variability and improve climate model output for climate impact assessments. The authors suggest that geographers’ broad training and attention to interaction between environmental and human systems prepares them to offer new insights about the way users might incorporate climate information into complex management settings. In addition, geographers also could improve methods to translate seasonal forecasts or long-term climate change scenarios to the scale at which such information matters to end users. The report also recommends collaborative efforts involving nature-society research to contribute to understanding the diversity of climate information users, their evolving needs, and to the development of strategies for communicating risk and uncertainty.

Publication Date: April 2007

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Kirstin Dow
  • Gregory Carbone

Related Organizations:

Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Climate science

Go To Resource