The role of climate data in decisions and indecision — ASN Events

The role of climate data in decisions and indecision (10371)

Lynne Turner 1
  1. University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD, Australia

Climate data plays a central role in the assessment of mitigation and adaptation actions and the development of evidence based public policy. Climate data is being used to identify the path ahead, but not without significant challenges. Climate data is often poorly understood by those it is intended to assist. Climate data has been used to justify particular worldviews, rather than to inform them. Climate data generates surprisingly emotional responses and has become personal with the credibility and reliability of climate data and the integrity of climate scientists called into question.

With approximately 15 petabytes of climate data worldwide (mostly satellite data and climate modelling data), it is important to consider how climate data can be best used and managed to inform effective decisions. Climate data is primarily from government agencies and academic institutions. It is free, publicly available and largely unused (except by scientists). There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to decision-making and how, when and when not, to use climate data to inform your thinking. Climate data should, like many other forms of information, be able to provide the safe and objective place to deliver the facts and present the compelling case for action, delayed action or inaction. This presentation will consider the key features of effective decision making and the implications for climate data.