Understanding Climate Change Scenarios. a Second Order Observation of Climate Change Databases

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 18:20
Oral Presentation
Manuel MEZA CUERVO, Interdisciplinary Institute on Human Ecology and Sustainability (INTERHES), Mexico
Oscar ÁLVAREZ-MACOTELA, Interdisciplinary Institute on Human Ecology and Sustainability (INTERHES), United Kingdom
Understanding climate change scenarios. A second order observation of climate change databases

Climate change is a contested scientific debate. Despite a broad consensus about climate change taking place, we do not have a clear forecast of the expected scale of that change over the following decades. However, scenarios such as 6DS and RCP8.5 suggest that the current trajectory could lead to a plausible temperature increase of 4- 5 ºC. The implications of such change are uncertain.

Governments and public and private organizations have begun to set tasks and goals to minimize climate change effects. These actions are related to how they perceive the causes and effects of the problem, but it is unclear upon what information they base their decisions.

Climate change databases are a set of information that allow society to develop environmental knowledge to improve the decision-making process, but the databases are in themselves frameworks to interpret reality. Databases are a reflect of what is considered relevant to make decisions about climate change.

A Sociocybernetics perspective offers a way to observe the databases as a knowledge system with specific delimitations, elements and interrelations. This perspective will enable us to set a second order observer who explains how this knowledge could improve or limit the making of better decisions by exploring:

  1. How available databases are focusing on the problem
  2. What agents are intervening in constructing those databases
  3. Who has access to those databases i.e. understanding that the access is restricted for economic, infrastructural and knowledge factors

We want to understand how the information in the databases could impact the decisions about how to face climate change, and who is going to benefit from those decisions.