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Communication

The Evolution of Communicating the Uncertainty of Climate Change to Policymakers: A Study of IPCC Synthesis Reports

1
Applied Physics Department, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
2
Faculty of Information and Audiovisual Media, University of Barcelona, 08014 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: João Santos
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2466; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052466
Received: 3 February 2021 / Revised: 14 February 2021 / Accepted: 20 February 2021 / Published: 25 February 2021
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports on climate change have served to alert both the public and policymakers about the scope of the predicted changes and the effects they would have on natural and economic systems. The first IPCC report was published in 1990, since which time a further four have been produced. The aim of this study was to conduct a content analysis of the IPCC Summaries for Policymakers in order to determine the degree of certainty associated with the statements they contain. For each of the reports we analyzed all statements containing expressions indicating the corresponding level of confidence. The aggregated results show a shift over time towards higher certainty levels, implying a “Call to action” (from 32.8% of statements in IPCC2 to 70.2% in IPCC5). With regard to the international agreements drawn up to tackle climate change, the growing level of confidence expressed in the IPCC Summaries for Policymakers reports might have been a relevant factor in the history of decision making. View Full-Text
Keywords: uncertainty; climate change; decision making; content study; IPCC uncertainty; climate change; decision making; content study; IPCC
MDPI and ACS Style

Molina, T.; Abadal, E. The Evolution of Communicating the Uncertainty of Climate Change to Policymakers: A Study of IPCC Synthesis Reports. Sustainability 2021, 13, 2466. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052466

AMA Style

Molina T, Abadal E. The Evolution of Communicating the Uncertainty of Climate Change to Policymakers: A Study of IPCC Synthesis Reports. Sustainability. 2021; 13(5):2466. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052466

Chicago/Turabian Style

Molina, Tomas, and Ernest Abadal. 2021. "The Evolution of Communicating the Uncertainty of Climate Change to Policymakers: A Study of IPCC Synthesis Reports" Sustainability 13, no. 5: 2466. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052466

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