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Method, Measurement, and Management in IPCC Climate Modeling

Abstract

The IPCC is the world’s leading scientific body addressing climate change, but there is growing dissatisfaction with its heavily economic and econometric approach to analyzing the climate-relevant aspects of human thought and behavior. This article documents and discusses the problem before sketching two examples of how other cultural domains besides the economic—the political and cosmological—might be incorporated into modeling the human dimensions of climate change. In conclusion, the article deploys these examples to explore why the IPCC has been reluctant to model non-economic realms of culture. The results underscore the importance of Victor’s (Nature 520:27–29, 2015) call for a parallel global mechanism to address the IPCC’s evasion of controversial policy-relevant questions.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. Counts include nouns and adjectival and adverbial modifiers (i.e., “economics” includes “economic” and “economically”). Only direct references to the parameter are included (i.e., demographic references to “population” are included; references to a statistical population or community are excluded; “value” is included in references to a cultural value but excluded in references to components of an equation). Report’s glossary and index excluded from counts.

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Acknowledgments

My warmest thanks to Cindy Isenhour, Heather Yocum, and two anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier drafts.

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Correspondence to Paul Roscoe.

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Roscoe, P. Method, Measurement, and Management in IPCC Climate Modeling. Hum Ecol 44, 655–664 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-016-9867-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-016-9867-0

Keywords

  • IPCC
  • Climate modeling
  • Economic reductionism
  • Political economy
  • Cosmology