Challenges of Climate Information Synthesis and Boundary Organization Engagement

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015
Daniel Brown, Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments, Ann Arbor, MI; and L. Briley and S. Kalafatis

The Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments center (GLISA) has lead the co-development of usable climate information for decision-making in several case studies. Although each case study is made up of different users with varying information needs and capabilities, several patterns have emerged that GLISA has identified and overcome to advance the practice of applied climate information. There are three main barriers that GLISA encounters at the onset of many of the case studies: 1) information users (i.e., stakeholders) and information producers (i.e., GLISA) use different terms for describing the same types of climate data, which can lead to misunderstandings of what information is useful to users; 2) there is a mismatch between the types and quality of climate information users desire and the reality of what data and information are available or producible; and 3) information users often want to use climate data to identify their vulnerabilities, but this method can require unnecessary climate information analysis and may overlook existing vulnerabilities. Although some or all of these barriers are likely to exist at the onset of any new climate information user-producer relationship, GLISA has developed methods for overcoming them more quickly so that the process of co-developing usable climate information is more efficient and effective. In this paper we describe in detail GLISA's experiences that have lead to the realization of these barriers and the steps GLISA has taken to overcome them.