Abstract

Consumers of climate model information face difficulty in assessing which models and projections are best for their particular needs. This difficulty stems from the abundance of climate information, as well as the relative inaccessibility or unavailability of information concerning a given model’s quality, trade-offs, and suitability for a particular geographic region or decision-making application. Consumer reports have traditionally provided potential consumers with background knowledge and a review of available products and services to help to make decisions. As a knowledge broker for climate information in the Great Lakes region, the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA) team has developed a suite of climate model consumer-report style documents to help climate information consumers make decisions when selecting models and projections for their work. To develop the reports, GLISA reviewed examples of consumer reports from other sectors, relied on the feedback and advice of our ongoing Practitioner Working Group comprised of real-world consumers, and incorporated otherwise-unavailable information from model developers. Due to close, continuing partnership with our Practitioner Working Group, the content and the formatting of our climate model consumer reports respond directly to the needs of consumers. Our reports therefore evolve based on needs of the practitioners as well as with the knowledge generated by our research in usability of climate knowledge. We pose that climate model consumer reports, especially when developed in the context of trusted user-knowledge broker relationships, contribute to making climate information more relevant to and usable by practitioners.

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