|Title||Research Process: CLEAR - Climate
and Environment in Alpine Regions
Project: ICRA - Integrated Climate Risk Assessment
|Collaborators||Carlo Jaeger (EAWAG), Huw Davies|
|Keywords||Climate Policy, Climate Risk, Computer Models, Democracy, Focus Groups, Integrated Assessment, Perception, Risk Cultures, Alps, Central Europe, Alpine Region, Switzerland|
This project is a core component of the project CLEAR Climate and Environment in Alpine Regions. CLEAR is a coherent, trans-disciplinary study of issues that pertain directly to climate-related change in the Alpine region. CLEAR spans the interfaces between the fields of physical, ecological, social science. It will provide increased understanding of the pertinent issues, especially with respect to complexity and uncertainty; deliver a range of state-of-the-art modelling-tools; develop an overall methodology for integrated climate risk assessments; and provide policy relevant information on response strategies and a mechanism for testing likely measures before policy implementation.
The described project by Jaeger et al. serves as platform
for the overall integration of the CLEAR research process. The
complexity of environmental problems such as climate change means
that knowledge from such diverse realms as the natural and the
social sciences must be integrated. Computer models are important
tools for the integration of scientific knowledge. There is no
doubt that computer models and computer simulations are essential
instruments in assessing the complex environmental dynamics that
lie beyond the limits of experimental research. However, it would
be seriously misleading to think of computer models as being
sufficient for forming wise policy. For this reason, the project
will supplement the current integrated assessment methodology
Developing a procedure for Integrated Assessment. The project will develop an IEA-methodology that combines two tools: computer models and focus groups. Models are seen as a tool for organizing scientific knowledge. Focus groups will be used as a tool for organizing a social process involving scientists and non-scientists. Together, these tools will ensure that the models are not used as substitutes for democratic decision-making. A large part of the research will be devoted to testing the IEA-methodology, i.e. the interaction between people and models.
Providing a platform for modellers. The focus groups will serve as a platform and laboratory for modellers. The interactions between the developers and the users of the models will allow the characteristics of the user interface, as well as of problematic model structures, to be improved. The overall rationale of the CLEAR modelling activity with respect to integrated assessment is to build models that inform laypeople about the basic functioning and the intrinsic uncertainties of crucial processes of climate change.
Generating and analyzing advanced integrated assessments.
Methods: The following methods are used:
Focus groups: about 50 session-units each year, one-shot
Standardized questionnaires will be distributed to panel members.