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Inside the Greenhouse

Reconciling Supply and Demand (RSD) Theme

Progress in climate science has led to important insights into climate processes and advances in forecasting capabilities, with direct implications for societal problems such as measurement of hydrologic, agricultural, and fisheries resources. Although recent research has yielded new insight to human dimensions of climate, systematic knowledge about how the supply side for scientific information relates to the demand for information among climate decision makers, and to the capability of decision makers to use the information they do receive.

In practice, policy makers often cope with and learn about uncertainty by first making decisions and then experiencing the outcome. Transparency, communication, and mutual understanding are more important to facilitating effective policy decisions than reduction of uncertainty. From that standpoint, the next step for climate science policy is to develop knowledge and tools that can increase the ability of the supply side (climate information provider) to understand, respond to, and meet the diverse needs and capabilities of the demand side (the broad range of relevant decisions makers).

SPARC will expand and deepen the steps toward reconciling supply and demand, and apply it to other areas of climate change research throughout the following project elements.

Missed Opportunities Matrix

Demand Side Assessment - Throughout various research projects, SPARC will set the stage for characterization of the demand for climate information in the areas of agriculture, ecosystems managements, and hazard mitigation in the U.S. Refer to current research projects for more details.

Supply Side Assessment - Climate science is conducted in diverse settings, including academic departments, research centers, government laboratories, and private sector laboratories. SPARC will develop a comprehensive picture of these types of institutions looking at organizational, political, and cultural, as well as technical capabilities.

Comparative Overlay - SPARC will use the assessment of supply and demand sides of climate information to evaluate how climate science research opportunities and patterns of information production match up with demand side information needs, capabilities, and patterns of information use.

Institutional Context for Climate Science Policy - A better reconciliation of supply and demand of climate science will have to occur within science policy institutions. SPARC will seek to understand how the supply and demand functions for climate information influence science policy institutions, and vice versa.

For more information about the Regional Integrated Science and Assessment (RISA) RSD activities, click here.

For more information about the Carbon Cycle Science RSD activities, click here.