Mote, who is involved with all three centers, said work with stakeholders is gaining traction, but the gap that exists between scientists and decision-makers is still too large.
"The centers here and elsewhere around the country are driven by stakeholder demands, but that needs to reach deeper into the research enterprise," Mote said. "We're working with some water districts, forest managers and community leaders on a variety of issues, but that's just the tip of the iceberg."
Richard Moss, a senior scientist with the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, said the Science article grew out of a NASA-funded workshop held in 2012 at the Aspen Global Change Institute in Colorado, which focused on how to improve support for decision-making in the face of a changing climate.
"Traditionally, we think that what society needs is better predictions," said Moss, who was lead author on the Science article. "But at this workshop, all of us climate and social scientists alike recognized the need to consider how decisions get implemented and that climate is only one of many factors that will determine how people will adapt."
OSU's Mote said examples abound of issues that need the marriage of stakeholders and climate scientists. Changing snowmelt runoff is creating concerns for late-season urban water supplies, irrigation for agriculture, and migration of fish. An increasing number of plant and animal species are becoming stressed by climate change, including the white bark pine and the sage grouse. Rising sea levels and more intense storms threaten the infrastructure of coastal communities, which need to examine water and sewer systems, as well as placement of hospitals, schools and nursing homes.
Mote, Moss and their colleagues outline a
|Contact: Phil Mote|
Oregon State University