B5 - Coping with Climate-Related Uncertainties and Variabilities
Uncertainties permeate natural and social sciences on climatic change. The timescale of the climate problem sets up an environment where societal actors cannot directly react upon actual experiences of the problem; instead, they must rely on the science communication on detection and prediction of climate-change related events. Spatial and temporal variability within the climate system is complemented by variability within the social system that arises from dynamics within other policy fields. The resulting possible social reactions to variabilities and uncertainties in both climate and social systems need to be better understood to build an empirically sound basis for our understanding of plausible climate futures.
B5 pursues three intertwined objectives:
- We enhance the normative basis for decisions under uncertainty by considering decision criteria that allow for both epistemic and aleatoric uncertainty (the latter arising from internal climate variability) and for including spatial and temporal distributional aspects.
- Empirically and experimentally, we investigate how climate-relevant individual and policy decisions depend on the perceived and experienced variability and further uncertainties of the climate system and how these uncertainties manifest themselves at the macro-economic level.
- We construct and investigate prototypical climate scenarios that explicitly incorporate the social dynamics and are thus both informative to society and consistent with our understanding of social and natural processes.
Project B5 contributes to CLICCS’ overall objective by investigating how uncertainties and variabilities in natural and social processes interact and by prototypically generating more plausible scenarios of climate futures, hereby integrating and complementing process- or stakeholder-based knowledge from A6, B, and C.