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Public trust, perceived accuracy, perceived likelihood, and concern on multi-model climate projections communicated with different formats

Toshio Fujimi (), Masahide Watanabe and Hirokazu Tatano ()
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Toshio Fujimi: Kyoto University
Hirokazu Tatano: Kyoto University

Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 2021, vol. 26, issue 5, No 3, 20 pages

Abstract: Abstract Scientific uncertainties in climate change projections are generally addressed using an ensemble method, in which multiple models are used to generate climate projections. In the interest of transparent and honesty, such uncertainty should be communicated to the general public. Thus, it is important to investigate how such uncertainty should be communicated to the general public. This study explored three uncertainty representation formats—average, range, and multi-value—to investigate how each format affected the general public’s trust, perceived accuracy, perceived likelihood, and concern after acknowledging the presence of uncertainty in climate projections (i.e., the use of multi-model climate projections). We conducted a web survey of 2400 participants in Japan, in which we randomly assigned each participant to one of three formats by which climate projection uncertainty was presented. We then asked participants to rate trust, perceived accuracy, perceived likelihood, and concern regarding the climate projections. The multi-value format enhanced trust and perceived accuracy and partially increased perceived likelihood and concern regarding the climate projections compared to the average and range formats, regardless of participants’ numeracy and education level. This study suggests that the multi-value format might be effective for communicating multi-model projections and promoting public trust and support for climate polices.

Keywords: Climate change; Climate projection; Uncertainty; Risk communication; Trust; Concern (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s11027-021-09950-9

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