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Two Articles in Nature Climate Change by Social Scientists Prof. Emily Boyd and Visiting Prof. Dana Fisher.

Nature

At LUCSUS, we have two articles released today, 25th September 2017, in Nature Climate Change.

LUCSUS Director Professor Emily Boyd and Dr. Rachel James (ECI, Oxford University) and Dr. Richard Jones (UK Met Office) with colleagues Otto (Oxford) and Young (Reading) present the first academic empirical study of expert opinions on loss and damage.

The string of Atlantic hurricanes that has devastated the Caribbean has prompted fresh calls to make nations and communities more resilient to the effects of climate change and especially to address “loss and damage” in island nations.

While there are already official agreements about “loss and damage” in international climate policy there is still disagreement about its actual meaning and what significance it has for different actors.

Interviews with 38 experts, including negotiators, practitioners, and researchers, between April and November 2015 revealed four distinct perspectives, yet also important areas of commonality on the relevance of climate risk assessment, monitoring and evaluation and the importance of research-policy dialogue.

Boyd and colleagues hope their work will help policymakers and practitioners better understand each other as they move forward on implementing international agreements.

Dana R. Fisher (UMD Department of Sociology) and Philip Leifeld (University of Glasgow) studied membership recruitment for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) which synthesised research on ecosystem services between 2001 and 2005, utilizing the knowledge of 1,360 expert members.

Fisher and Leifeld discovered that nominations to the MA were largely driven by pre-existing membership in other international organisations, as well as by personal relationships.

As Congress debates whether to continue to fund the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is preparing to issue its sixth assessment report on the latest climate change research, Fisher and Leifeld note that the IPCC’s nominations process is similar to the MA’s, but not identical. Even with the differences, the researchers say there is much to learn from their findings about how recruitment to these assessments is related to who eventually serves.

Fisher and Leifeld highlight the need to look more closely at how nominations occur and what criteria are used to ensure that the best possible scientists are brought into these assessments and to ensure transparency is upheld to make science better and more effective in shaping policy. 

Articles in Nature Climate Change

'A typology of loss and damage perspectives' by LUCSUS Professor Emily Boyd and Dr. Rachel James (ECI, Oxford University) and Dr. Richard Jones (UK Met Office) with colleagues Otto (Oxford) and Young (Reading).

Membership nominations in international scientific assessments by Philip Leifeld (University of Glasgow) and Dana R. Fisher (University of Maryland).

 

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