Climate solutions involve a wide range of actors, scales, and decisions, and what constitutes actionable climate information or use of information, varies depending on the context. A typology of actionable climate information describes the landscape of scientific information that could be deemed actionable in different contexts. A typology of use maps the different ways in which information is intended to be utilized in decision-making. Despite acknowledgement of their importance, comprehensive and empirically-derived typologies of actionable climate information and use have remained elusive, due to the data and methodological challenges associated with their development. Using the case study of a long-term co-production project, where a wide range of climate scientists collaborated with resource managers, this paper creates typologies of actionable climate information and its uses.
To our knowledge, our typology of actionable climate information is one of the few attempts to map the landscape of climate information beyond just classifications of timescale or sectoral services. Our typology of use of actionable climate information is a bottom-up categorization of how exactly climate information can or has been used by a varied set of resource managers. These typologies have three main benefits for climate researchers as well as practitioners: (a) they enable more efficient (in terms of time and cost) and more detailed climate information needs assessments; (b) they help to identify the specific scientific expertise needed to generate actionable information; and (c) they enable tailoring of information to very particular uses.
Developing actionable climate information and integrating it into decision-making are two crucial elements for promoting effective responses to climate change. However, what constitutes actionable climate information, and how it is used, varies based on the actors, systems, and scales of specific decisions. Yet, the terms ‘actionable climate information’ or ‘use of information’ are used abstractly. There is a lack of holistic understanding of the various types of information that can be deemed usable by users, and the different ways in which they may be used in decision-making. Typologies or generalizable categorizations can help to better envision the entire landscape of climate information and its uses.
Through systematic coding and analysis of ∼ four years of co-production engagements between climate scientists and resource managers, this paper presents empirically derived typologies of actionable climate information and its use and explores whether certain uses are better informed by specific types of climate information. We identified three main types of actionable climate information - Detailed data and results, Broad trends and patterns, Data improvements and guidance, and six main ways in which managers use climate information - Understand, Motivate and Communicate, Inform, Plan, Fund, and Take Action. These typologies provide a valuable starting point for climate information producers, users, and boundary spanners working on climate-informed resource management, to reduce some of the time-intensive elements of the process.