J8.1
The Necessity of Communicating Uncertainty—Opinions From the Interface

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Thursday, 27 January 2011: 11:00 AM
The Necessity of Communicating Uncertainty—Opinions From the Interface
611 (Washington State Convention Center)
Jeanne M. Schneider, USDA/ARS, El Reno, OK

Many federal, state, and local agencies are now required to develop climate-informed decision support for their respective jurisdictions and responsibilities. Many, if not most, of the public servants facing this task lack the training or experience to appreciate the challenges and subtleties of this interdisciplinary effort, and will not have the time or resources to develop the knowledge. Such knowledge is critical to the assessment of skill and definition of related risks associated with climatologies and climate forecasts, and in the development of scientifically sound plans and programs to manage our nation's natural resources. Based on personal experience over the last decade doing similar work, and familiarity with the work of other groups developing applied climate-based decision support (e.g., NOAA RISAs), the author will offer opinions concerning the necessity of developing easily understood definitions of uncertainty, and communication of the uncertainty of all climate products offered by national, regional, or state agencies. Examples of both effective and ineffective statements of uncertainty will be presented.