11. decision support tools and risk assessment
Convenors: Carlo Giupponi, Richard Klein, Rob Swart
Decision support for climate adaptation policies concerns three main elements:
The first is the assessment of climate change impacts and, in particular, ways to deal with uncertainties. Uncertainties enlarge the complexity of decision-making processes. Citizens usually require policy decisions based on credible, salient and legitimate knowledge. However, scientists cannot provide certainty about potential impacts of those decisions due to unpredictable societal and physical processes. One of the ways to deal with uncertainty is the use of scenario methods. Among the issues that are important here is the need for downscaling scenarios and projections of spatial scales that are relevant for adaptation policies. To help policy makers understand and appreciate climate related risks, visualization tools such as climate (effect) atlases and 3-D tools are relevant.
The second element of decision support methods concerns the generation of promising adaptation options with multiple stake-holders. This may involve the development of models to analyse impacts of adaptation strategies on the physical environment and on various stakeholders. In a next step these model results can be integrated with tools to help explore adaptation options and negotiation processes. There are opportunities to incorporate this in user friendly ICT tools such as touch tables.
Finally, decision support tools can be used to evaluate climate adaptation alternatives. Standard tools are social cost benefit analysis and multi-criteria analysis. There are many challenges here, such as the valuation of damage, probability of individual death and group risk as a consequence of climate related accidents or disasters. Other important topics are the determination of the appropriate discount factor to trade-off current and future costs and benefits, and the evaluation of benefits of adaptation policies involving mixed land use to address climate change uncertainties.
Within the theme Decision support instruments we welcome contributions to each of the three components mentioned above.