Kirchhoff, C.J., M.C. Lemos, and S. Dessai


Kirchhoff, C.J., M.C. Lemos, and S. Dessai, 2013. Actionable knowledge for environmental decision making: Broadening the usability of climate science. Annual Review of Environment and Natural Resources, 38(3): 1-22. doi: 10.1146/annurev-environ-022112-112828


Despite the rapid evolution and growing complexity in models of science-society interaction, the rate and breadth of use of scientific knowledge in environmental decision making, especially related to climate variability and change, remain below expectations. This suggests a persistent gap between production and use that, to date, efforts to rethink and restructure science production have not been able to surmount. We review different models of science-policy interfaces to understand how they have influenced the organization of knowledge production and application. We then explore how new approaches to the creation of knowledge have emerged, involving both growing integration across disciplines and greater interaction with users. Finally, we review climate information use in the United States and United Kingdom to explore how the structure of knowledge production and the characteristics of users and their decision environments expose the challenges of broadening usable climate science.