Climatic Change

, 108:745 | Cite as

Improving conveyance of uncertainties in the findings of the IPCC

Article

Abstract

Authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) received guidance on reporting understanding, certainty and/or confidence in findings using a common language, to better communicate with decision makers. However, a review of the IPCC conducted by the InterAcademy Council (2010) found that “the guidance was not consistently followed in AR4, leading to unnecessary errors . . . the guidance was often applied to statements that are so vague they cannot be falsified. In these cases the impression was often left, quite incorrectly, that a substantive finding was being presented.” Our comprehensive and quantitative analysis of findings and associated uncertainty in the AR4 supports the IAC findings and suggests opportunities for improvement in future assessments.

Supplementary material

10584_2011_185_MOESM1_ESM.doc (50 kb)
ESM 1(DOC 50 kb)

References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LMIMcLeanUSA
  2. 2.Center for Science and Technology Policy ResearchUniversity of Colorado/CIRESBoulderUSA

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