Search - Easy Blog
Groups, events and members
Articles, News and Resources
es Español en English


Recommendations to communicate the degree of uncertainty

Experience shows that researchers often communicate ranges of uncertainty in a very scientific way, difficult for decision makers to understand. Or even worse, uncertainty is left aside to avoid too much complexity.

In general, it is necessary to describe the uncertainties that are most relevant for decision making, without too many technical details.

Uncertainties can be communicated linguistically, numerically or graphically; You can also make use of a combination of it. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has developed a guide to communicate uncertainties depending on the source and the disciplinary context. The proposed methods are mainly used in the summaries for policy makers, but can also be used in other areas.

Researchers can use a type of uncertainty to make it more "visible". Such typology helps identify where the most relevant uncertainty can be expected (for example, in data, models, expert opinion) and discuss how it can be characterized (uncertainty in knowledge, uncertainty in the values ​​of interest groups and objectives, statistical uncertainties, the uncertainties of the scenario).

In addition, a typology of such uncertainties can serve as the first step of a more elaborate evaluation, where the magnitude of the uncertainty and its impact on the relevant conclusions are evaluated explicitly and discussed with the decision makers (Petersen et al., 2012).

The importance of dealing with these issues of uncertainty in the climate sciences is justified in the dimension of risks. Especially the El Niño phenomenon has a decisive impact, and at several points, on the GDP of several countries, especially the Pacific countries. Only the Coastal Child 2017 left losses for US $ 3,100 million, according to the forecast of the consultancy Macroconsult with data from the INDECI. This would affect the Peruvian GDP in a fall of 1.6%. However, according to BBVA Research, the losses amounted to US $ 4,016 million, and Peru's GDP would be affected by 1.9% to the downside.

Leave a comment