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Making Sustained Progress to Addressing the 'Practitioners Dilemma'

Presentation Date
Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 4:00am



Climate features, reflected in changes in atmospheric conditions, hydrology, and ecosystems, that are of greatest interest to decision makers are often highly local and unique. For instance, water managers responsible for operating reservoirs to mitigate flood risk to downstream communities might be concerned with how frequently storms that exceed a particular intensity occur within their specific watersheds. Yet, the principal tools developed by the science community for understanding climate change were not designed with these information needs in mind. There has been a proliferation of methods and tools from the geosciences for translating global climate model information from coarser- to finer-scale resolution that is potentially of value to decision making. But practitioners still face the challenges of determining which method is most fit to address a particular issue and understanding the range of possible climate outcomes using uncertainty information that is compatible with a given decision-making approach.

Calls to address this challenge are not new but are becoming increasingly more urgent and necessary as practitioners are seeing climate impacts and wanting to take action. To make sustained progress in addressing this challenge, there is an effort underway to more collectively understand the scientific and institutional issues involved in evaluating the ability of climate information to provide actionable knowledge for specific decision applications. This presentation will provide perspective to date on this effort, sharing what grand challenges and potential solutions are for more effectively using climate science in decision making and, importantly, how efforts to continually connect ongoing research and ever-adapting applications can be sustained. This is an ongoing effort so an opportunity for sharing and feedback with the AGU community will be welcomed.

Funding Program Area(s)