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Varieties of approaches to constructing Physical Climate Storylines: a review

Baldissera Pacchetti, M., Coulter, L., Dessai, S., Shepherd, T. G., Sillmann, J. and Van den Hurk, B. (2024) Varieties of approaches to constructing Physical Climate Storylines: a review. WIREs Climate Change, 15 (2). e869. ISSN 1757-7799

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/wcc.869


The Physical Climate Storyline (PCS) approach is increasingly recognized by the physical climate research community as a tool to produce and communicate decision-relevant climate risk information. While PCS is generally understood as a single concept, different varieties of the approach are applied according to the aims and purposes of the PCS and the scientists that build them. To unpack this diversity of detail, this paper gives an overview of key practices and assumptions of the PCS approach as developed by physical climate scientists, as well as their ties to similar approaches developed by the broader climate risk and adaptation research community. We first examine varieties of PCS according to the length of the causal chain they explore, and the type of evidence used. We then describe how they incorporate counterfactual elements and the temporal perspective. Finally, we examine how value judgements are implicitly or explicitly included in the aims and construction of PCS. We conclude the discussion by suggesting that the PCS approach can further mature in the way it incorporates the narrative element, in the way it incorporates value judgments, and in the way that the evidence chosen to build PCS constrains what is considered plausible.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:113954


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