Climatic Change

, Volume 78, Issue 1, pp 217-225

First online:

Adaptive Management of the Global Climate Problem: Bridging the Gap Between Climate Research and Climate Policy

  • Joseph ArvaiAffiliated withEnvironmental Science and Policy Program, and Dept. of CARRS, Michigan State UniversityDecision Research Email author 
  • , Gavin BridgeAffiliated withUniversity of Oklahoma
  • , Nives DolsakAffiliated withUniversity of Washington
  • , Robert FranzeseAffiliated withUniversity of Michigan
  • , Tomas KoontzAffiliated withOhio State University
  • , April LuginbuhlAffiliated withOhio State University
  • , Paul RobbinsAffiliated withUniversity of Arizona
  • , Kenneth RichardsAffiliated withIndiana University
  • , Katrina Smith KorfmacherAffiliated withUniversity of Rochester
    • , Brent SohngenAffiliated withOhio State University
    • , James TanseyAffiliated withOxford University
    • , Alexander ThompsonAffiliated withOhio State University

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To date the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concerned itself with gathering a state of the art review of the science of climate change. While significant progress has been made in enhancing our integrated understanding of the climate system and the dynamics of the social systems that produce an array of potential greenhouse gases, it is also clear from the panel's reports how far the science community is from being able to present a dynamic and synoptic view of the climate system as a whole. Clear evidence of these complexities and uncertainties inherent in the climate system is evident in efforts aimed at designing robust policy interventions. In this paper, we argue that the adaptive management framework in ecosystem management may be a useful model for guiding how the IPCC can continue to be relevant both as a scientific establishment and as a policy-relevant scientific endeavor.