New ways of incorporating climate change science into decision making

In an earlier Tyndall Centre project, Drs Alex Haxeltine and John Turnpenny researched the information needs of users of climate change research. They asked leading people from public, private and NGO organisations what it is that they wanted to know about climate change. Their aim was to enhance the usability and direction of the Tyndall Centre’s integrated assessment process – a central theme of Tyndall Centre research. Their earlier study led to a detailed strategy for an ongoing process of information-exchange with users. This new project applies their strategy to two case-studies to demonstrate their approach and assess the usefulness of integrated assessments for information users. The case studies are matching the spatial scales at which climate change information is required: international-national and regional-local. The first case study will address the role of the UK in international climate agreements. It involves analysis of the costs required to achieve a range of global greenhouse gas stabilisation targets, and the associated benefits which would result in terms of averted climate impacts. The analysis is carried out using a global integrated assessment model, CIAM-n, which is a prototype Community Integrated Assessment Model linking economic, climatic, and biophysical modules, and which will involve a range of institutions. An example of an issue that this case study may address is the economic impacts of climate change damage. It is also likely that a more sophisticated treatment of the global carbon cycle will be available within CIAM-n than was previously possible, and will enhance the quality of the scientific advice. The second case study is creating scenarios of how the East of England, and Norfolk, may look under a 60% emissions reduction and under adaptation to climate change. It involves scenario creation methods and integration of qualitative and quantitative research results both from within and outside the Tyndall Centre. In both case studies interaction with users of the research is a key element.

An earlier Tyndall Centre study led to a detailed strategy for an ongoing process of informationexchange with users of climate change research. This new project demonstrates the approach and assesses the usefulness of integrated assessments of climate change for public, private and NGO organisations.

More information
Contact the lead investigator of Project T3.13 (Application of the pilotphase Tyndall interactive integrated assessment process): Dr Alex Haxeltine Tyndall Centre HQ Zuckerman Institute for Connective Environmental Research University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ Tel: 01603 593902 Other researchers involved in this project are: Dr John Turnpenny, Dr Rachel Warren, and Dr Jonathan Köhler, Tyndall HQ Professor Tim O’Riordan, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia

Useful Websites
Haxeltine’s and Turnpenny’s previous study. Tyndall Working Paper 31 Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Project duration: June 2003 – December 2004

Round 3

© M Robinson