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Typologies of Actionable Climate Information and its Use

Presentation Date
Monday, December 14, 2020 at 4:12pm



In the past few decades, scientists are increasingly collaborating with decision-makers, practitioners, and communities, to develop actionable science through a process that is often termed as ‘co-production’. There is growing evidence that co-production of science improves the likelihood of its use in decision-making. Yet, there is limited systematic examination of what makes science actionable, for whom, and to what use. Since co-production can be costly and time consuming, generalizable findings on the mechanisms of actionable knowledge are needed to increase the pace and scale of co-production efforts worldwide.

In the context of co-produced climate science for adaptation, there are many unanswered questions surrounding the information needs and preferences of users. These include: who are the users of climate science, what information is best suited to their applications, how is this information intended to be used, and how do these needs & uses evolve over time? There are scant studies documenting the diversity of users in climate science and their varied information needs, and some that identify broad use-cases for climate science in terms of conceptual and instrumental use. However, not many studies have tried to connect these two perspectives to elicit how user needs and preferences for science may differ based on context-specific use-cases. For example, are there some management decisions that are better answered with large-ensemble projections than high-resolution simulations from a smaller set of models?

Using the case of project ‘HyperFACETS’, where scientists are co-producing actionable climate research with resource managers, this work provides insights into whether certain users/use-cases may be better informed by certain types of climate information, and how these perspectives may evolve over time. Through 4 years of iterative co-production engagements (focus groups, workshops, interviews and surveys), this research aims to create typologies of actionable climate information (types of science that are useful), use-cases (ways in which science may be used), and management decisions (specific decisions that can be informed by science). These typologies can inform both scientists and practitioners looking to develop or use actionable climate science for adaptation.

Funding Program Area(s)