Who is ‘the user’ of climate services? Unpacking the use of national climate scenarios in Switzerland beyond sectors, numeracy and the research–practice binary
Fischer, Andreas M.
Liniger, Mark A.Show all
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
By whom are national climate scenarios taken up, and which products are used? Despite numerous (national) climate scenarios being published by countries across the globe, studies of their actual uptake and application remain low. Analysing a survey and group interviews on the ways the Swiss climate scenarios CH2011 have been actually used by the Swiss adaptation community, we encoded the emerging differences in a new typology of observers, sailors, and divers. Taking an iceberg as a metaphor for climate scenarios, most respondents were sailors, accessing only key findings above the waterline (i.e., summary brochures). However, the vast majority of climate scenario data remains below the surface (i.e., downscaled climate model data), accessible only to the quarter of respondents labelled divers. Lastly, another quarter are observers, interested in the iceberg from afar, but without applying the climate information directly to their work. By describing three ways of using climate scenarios, we aim to clarify the often vague notion of ‘user’ circulating prominently in discussions around climate services and knowledge co-production. In addition, our results question the adequacy of simplifying climate scenario use by a user’s easily observable characteristics – such as being a researcher or practitioner, by sector or by numeracy. Our typology thus highlights the diversity of use(r)s within sectors or academia, but is also able to characterise various similarities of use(r)s between sectors, researchers and practitioners. Our findings assist in more nuanced and informed discussions of how ‘users’ are imagined and characterised in future developments of usable climate services. Show more
Journal / seriesClimate Services
Pages / Article No.
Subjectclimate scenarios; climate projections; use of climate science; user characterisation; tailoring of climate information
Organisational unit09576 - Bresch, David Niklaus / Bresch, David Niklaus
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