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Marina Baldissera Pacchetti, Suraje Dessai, Seamus Bradley, and David A. Stainforth

Abstract

There are now a plethora of data, models, and approaches available to produce regional and local climate information intended to inform adaptation to a changing climate. There is, however, no framework to assess the quality of these data, models, and approaches that takes into account the issues that arise when this information is produced. An evaluation of the quality of regional climate information is a fundamental requirement for its appropriate application in societal decision-making. Here, an analytical framework is constructed for the quality assessment of science-based statements and estimates about future climate. This framework targets statements that project local and regional climate at decadal and longer time scales. After identifying the main issues with evaluating and presenting regional climate information, it is argued that it is helpful to consider the quality of statements about future climate in terms of 1) the type of evidence and 2) the relationship between the evidence and the statement. This distinction not only provides a more targeted framework for quality, but also shows how certain evidential standards can change as a function of the statement under consideration. The key dimensions to assess regional climate information quality are diversity, completeness, theory, adequacy for purpose, and transparency. This framework is exemplified using two research papers that provide regional climate information and the implications of the framework are explored.

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Marina Baldissera Pacchetti, Jillian Schacher, Suraje Dessai, Marta Bruno Soares, Rob Lawlor, and Joseph Daron
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