Climate Science: An Empirical Example of Postnormal Science

Climate Science: An Empirical Example of Postnormal Science This paper addresses the views regarding the certainty and uncertainty of climate science knowledge held by contemporary climate scientists. More precisely, it addresses the extension of this knowledge into the social and political realms as per the definition of postnormal science. The data for the analysis is drawn from a response rate of approximately 40 from a survey questionnaire mailed to 1000 scientists in Germany, the United States, and Canada, and from a series of in-depth interviews with leading scientists in each country. The international nature of the sample allows for cross-cultural comparisons.With respect to the relative scientific discourse, similar assessments of the current state of knowledge are held by the respondents of each country. Almost all scientists agreed that the skill of contemporary models is limited. Minor differences were notable. Scientists from the United States were less convinced of the skills of the models than their German counterparts and, as would be expected under such circumstances, North American scientists perceived the need for societal and political responses to be less urgent than their German counterparts. The international consensus was, however, apparent regarding the utility of the knowledge to date: climate science has provided enough knowledge so that the initiation of abatement measures is warranted. However, consensus also existed regarding the current inability to explicitly specify detrimental effects that might result from climate change. This incompatibility between the state of knowledge and the calls for action suggests that, to some degree at least, scientific advice is a product of both scientific knowledge and normative judgment, suggesting a socioscientific construction of the climate change issue. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society American Meteorological Society

Climate Science: An Empirical Example of Postnormal Science

Loading next page...
 
/lp/ams/climate-science-an-empirical-example-of-postnormal-science-sJZQX5riFu
Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0477
D.O.I.
10.1175/1520-0477(1999)080<0439:CSAEEO>2.0.CO;2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper addresses the views regarding the certainty and uncertainty of climate science knowledge held by contemporary climate scientists. More precisely, it addresses the extension of this knowledge into the social and political realms as per the definition of postnormal science. The data for the analysis is drawn from a response rate of approximately 40 from a survey questionnaire mailed to 1000 scientists in Germany, the United States, and Canada, and from a series of in-depth interviews with leading scientists in each country. The international nature of the sample allows for cross-cultural comparisons.With respect to the relative scientific discourse, similar assessments of the current state of knowledge are held by the respondents of each country. Almost all scientists agreed that the skill of contemporary models is limited. Minor differences were notable. Scientists from the United States were less convinced of the skills of the models than their German counterparts and, as would be expected under such circumstances, North American scientists perceived the need for societal and political responses to be less urgent than their German counterparts. The international consensus was, however, apparent regarding the utility of the knowledge to date: climate science has provided enough knowledge so that the initiation of abatement measures is warranted. However, consensus also existed regarding the current inability to explicitly specify detrimental effects that might result from climate change. This incompatibility between the state of knowledge and the calls for action suggests that, to some degree at least, scientific advice is a product of both scientific knowledge and normative judgment, suggesting a socioscientific construction of the climate change issue.

Journal

Bulletin of the American Meteorological SocietyAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Mar 2, 1999

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off