Climate adaptation research inevitably involves uncertainty issues - whether
you build a model, use climate scenarios, or evaluate policy processes. Uncertainties propagate
from one field of research (e.g. socio-economic scenarios) to the other (e.g. climate scenarios).
It is therefore essential to look over the borders of ones own discipline and find out
which uncertainties exist in ones input data and how results are used by others.
The Dutch research program Knowledge for Climate (KfC) noticed a need for exchange of information
about dealing with uncertainties among the different disciplines in the program.
Therefore the three day Autumn School Dealing with Uncertainties was organized in October
2012, which brought together 38 researchers in climate adaptation (PhDs/postdocs) ranging
from governance, decision management, climate impacts and climate physics.
Aims of the Autumn School are 1) Active learning about uncertainties and dealing with uncertainties
in research and decision making, 2) Obtaining insight in different approaches for
communication about and visualization of uncertainties, 3) Constructing of common frame of
reference (CFR) for dealing with uncertainties and communication about uncertainties to help
researchers in climate adaptation to improve interaction between disciplines.
The mornings consisted of lectures about aspects of uncertainty and climate change. In the
afternoon students worked with the information given in the morning, in case sessions and a
serious game. The days were closed by a discussion. The lectures and discussions contributed
to the “Common Frame of Reference”, containing common definitions, do’s and don’ts in
dealing with uncertainties and communicating etc. Relevant literature is collected in a Digital
J Bessembinder, B Overbeek. Autumn school ‘“Dealing with uncertainties in research for climate adaptation