Title: Uncertainty communication: The Intergovernamental Panel Climate Change Reports
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC42300
ISBN: 978-0-19-569849-7
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC42300
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Climate change (CC) is now an issue widely discussed by society at levels never achieved before. Almost every day we may read or hear news about CC and global warming. This is in part due to the raised public and media interest in the possible effects of climate change on weather events patterns (not only tropical cyclone activity (Hegerl et al. 2007), but also heat waves, exceptional dry summers or floods). The association of weather events to Greenhouse Effect (GHE) and anthropogenic Greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions (correctly or not) is not recent. We may trace news in popular press about CC since the 1950s (Henson 2006), but just now society has a massive awareness of the importance of anthropogenic GHG emissions. At present moment any change in weather is easily associated to GHE and anthropogenic GHG emissions, but even with this popularization no one can deny that CC is now being taken much more seriously than some months ago. Giving the need to better communicate climate change science to policy makers and society, now that policy is starting to deal with adaptation issues, requiring the input of science to make decisions at regional / local scale, the development of guidelines to deal with expert judgement, communicate uncertainties and assess the knowledge pedigree, e.g. models or statements, is very important for an effective communication. In this chapter, we will analyse the several assessment reports and how uncertainty was dealt with; then we will discuss about the importance of information¿s pedigree. Finally we will analyse the communication process of IPCC and provide suggestions to improve it focusing on target audience, objectives and format.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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