Constraining and enabling factors to using long-term climate information in decision-making

Journal articles or issues
July 2016
Lindsey Jones, Clara Champalle, Sabrina Chesterman, Laura Cramer and Todd A. Crane.

Climate change poses considerable challenges to the management of socio-political, economic and ecological systems. Decision makers are increasingly under pressure to ensure that long-term climate risks are factored into investment and planning decisions.

Long-term climate information is typically linked with investments and planning decisions that have long time horizons, such as large infrastructure and national development plans. Failure to consider the implications of climate change and ensure adaptive management within such investments can increase the risk of maladaptation and lock-in of irreversible or costly development trajectories.

Although considerable progress has been made in incorporating weather and seasonal forecasts into decision-making, the use of long-term climate information lags behind the pace of scientific developments. In this article we seek to better understand reasons for this shortfall. In critically assessing and synthesizing lessons from a wide range of peer-reviewed literature, this structured literature review answers the following research question: What are the main constraints and enablers to the uptake of long-term climate information in decision-making?