Objectives of the Climate Adaptation Options Explorer ADx

Submitted by Ben Smith | published 19th Jul 2011 | last updated 19th Jul 2011
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The potential users of the ADx will be analysts or engineers working for decision makers such as donor agencies or policy makers. The decision analysis cycle between a decision maker and decision analysis is viewed as a blueprint for a carefully engineered conversation between two key participants, so that tight two-way communication is expected between the two (Holtzman, Kornman 1992). The ADx will help the analysts identify relevant information and consequently appropriate adaptation options to their decision makers. The relevant information can be selected according to similarities in situations, required methods, or merely their human networks. Therefore, the purpose of this tool is to support decision making processes related to adaptation to climate change for the policy maker, directory and indirectly. There are three specific objectives to develop ADx:

  • To screen decision options for climate adaptation from a given context
  • To support evaluation of adaptation options under climate uncertainty with multiple decision approaches
  • To identify and compare the advantages and disadvantages of different decision approaches and their applicability for different situations.

It is not possible to forecast all the consequences of climate change and associated impacts on a given society; however, a computer aided tool such as ADx can be still beneficial to decision makers if the tool helps them make a (better) decision, for example, by eliminating 'noisy' options. Climate change involves deep uncertainties and adaptation to climate change is a type of strategic (long term) decision making. In most cases, conventional approaches may not be applicable and one needs to use appropriate methods to handle particular types of uncertainties. Also, it will improve creditability and will be safer to test the options in multiple analyses. These issues are discussed more in later sections.

One way to handle, the uncertainties of climate change is to use ensembles of recognised climate change information, for example using tools such as the Climate Information Portal. There are volumes of climate data available from many sources around the world often of variable quality or of little use to decision-makers who do not have the time to track down data sources or the expertise to reformat, re-project and load them into appropriate analytical tools. Successful integration and dissemination is dependent on creating flexible and scalable frameworks that provide complex analysis tools for advanced users and deliver information to a wider audience in ways that will allow these users to evaluate how best they may be applied.