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Climate science needs to take risk assessment much more seriously

Sutton, R. ORCID: (2019) Climate science needs to take risk assessment much more seriously. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 100 (9). pp. 1637-1642. ISSN 0003-0007

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-18-0280.1


For decision makers, climate change is a problem in risk assessment and risk management. It is, therefore, surprising that the needs and lessons of risk assessment have not featured more centrally in the consideration of priorities for physical climate science research, or in the Working Group I contributions to the major Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This article considers the reasons, which include a widespread view that the job of physical climate science is to provide predictions and projections - with a focus on likelihood rather than risk - and that risk assessment is a job for others. This view, it is argued, is incorrect. There is an urgent need for physical climate science to take the needs of risk assessment much more seriously. The challenge of meeting this need has important implications for priorities in climate research, climate modelling and climate assessments.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
ID Code:85085
Publisher:American Meteorology Society


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