Date of Original Version

1985

Type

Book Chapter

Abstract or Description

Scenario analysis is a tool for addressing the magnitude and consequences of climate change and the steps that can be taken to prevent the change or mitigate the effect (Bell, 1964; Jantsch, 1967; Kahn and Wiener, 1967; Polak, 1971; Durand, 1972; Bunge, 1976). It is a style of analysis that has three principal uses, to be elaborated below. The first is jarring people out of a mindset that climate is fixed, that no actions can alter it or mitigate its effects; the tool can be used to `stretch' people's minds to encompass a wider range of actions and their implications. The second is formal modeling of the causes and consequences of climate change and of actions that can alter them. The third is a method of integrating the contributions of such various disciplines as physics and law so that diverse experts can work together without having to learn all the intricacies of other areas. While the method can be applied to many areas, climate will be the focus here, with the effects of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere receiving special attention.

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Published In

Kates, R. W., J. H. Ausubel, and M. Berberian (eds.), Climate Impact Assessment: Studies of the Interaction of Climate and Society, ICSU/SCOPE Report No. 27, John Wiley..