Representing and communicating uncertainty: Climate change and riskExploratory Award
Professor Sarah Metcalfe, University of Nottingham
Professor Georgina Endfield, University of Nottingham
Dr Simon Gosling, University of Nottingham
Dr Colin Thorne, University of Nottingham
Professor Brigitte Nerlich, University of Nottingham
Professor Andrew Cliffe, University of Nottingham
Professor Neil Crout, University of Nottingham
Image credit: Mountains in the Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico. © Sarah Metcalfe.
This Exploratory Award project focused on exploring and developing the vocabulary of climate change. The investigators dound that the vocabulary used to described uncertainty associated with climate change is not consistent, even within academia, which can lead to misunderstandings or misconceptions. Through workshops the project brought together people from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, including engineering, mathematics, sociology and physical and human geography.
The objectives of the project were: a) to build understanding of the vocabulary of uncertainty in relation to climate change risks; b) to explore how understandings are communicated between groups and c) to begin to develop a vocabulary of climate change uncertainty intelligible to different groups.
This exploratory award project was supported by two project partners, Lloyds of London and Nottingham City Council. The engagement of these two partners contributed direct experience of how organisations supply and manage the dissemination of climate information and approach and apply climate change and uncertainy in their day-to-day business. Organisations approach climate change in different ways; in some cases the term itself is seen to be discredited. Tailoring messages about climate change to the target audience is seen as central.