Communicating future climate projections of precipitation change.

Citation metadata

Date: May 2021
From: Climatic Change(Vol. 166, Issue 1-2)
Publisher: Springer
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 246 words

Document controls

Main content

Abstract :

Keywords: Interpretation; Visualisation; Uncertainties; Ensembles Abstract Understanding how precipitation may change in the future is important for guiding climate change adaptation. Climate models are the primary tools for providing information on future precipitation change, though communicating and interpreting results of different model simulations is challenging. Using an online survey, completed by producers and users of climate model information, we compare and evaluate interpretations of different approaches used to summarise and visualise future climate projections. Results reveal large differences in interpretations of precipitation change arising from choices made in summarising and visualising the data. Respondents interpret significantly smaller ranges of future precipitation change when provided with the multi-model ensemble mean or percentile information, which are commonly used to summarise climate model projections, compared to information about the full ensemble. The ensemble mean is found to be particularly misleading, even when used with information to show model agreement in the sign of change. We conclude that these approaches can lead to distorted interpretations which may impact on adaptation policy and decision-making. To help improve the interpretation and use of climate projections in decision-making, regular testing of visualisations and sustained engagement with target audiences is required to determine the most effective and appropriate visualisation approaches. Author Affiliation: (1) Met Office, Exeter, UK (2) Faculty of Science, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK (3) School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK (a) Article History: Registration Date: 05/11/2021 Received Date: 03/06/2020 Accepted Date: 05/10/2021 Online Date: 05/27/2021 Byline:

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A663219347