Summary for Policymakers (SPM)

Kromp-Kolb, H., Nakicenovic, N. ORCID:, Steininger, K., & Winiwarter, W. ORCID: (2014). Summary for Policymakers (SPM). In: Austrian Assessment Report 2014 (AAR14). Eds. (APCC), Austrian Panel on Climate Change, Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. 10.1553/aar14s45.

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Over the course of a three-year process, Austrian scientists researching in the field of climate change have produced an assessment report on climate change in Austria following the model of the IPCC Assessment Reports. In this extensive work, more than 200 scientists depict the state of knowledge on climate change in Austria and the impacts, mitigation and adaptation strategies, as well as the associated known political, economic and social issues. The Austrian Climate Research Program (ACRP) of the Klima- und Energiefonds (Climate and Energy Fund) has enabled this work by financing the coordinating activities and material costs. The extensive and substantial body of work has been carried out gratuitously by the researchers.

This summary for policy makers provides the most significant general statements. First, the climate in Austria in the global context is presented; next the past and future climate is depicted, followed by a summary for Austria on the main consequences and measures. The subsequent section then provides more detail on individual sectors. More extensive explanations can be found -- in increasing detail -- in the synthesis report and in the full report (Austrian Assessment Report, 2014), both of which are available in bookstores and on the Internet.

The uncertainties are described using the IPCC procedure where three different approaches are provided to express the uncertainties depending on the nature of the available data and on the nature of the assessment of the accuracy and completeness of the current scientific understanding of the authors. For a qualitative estimation, the uncertainty is described using a two-dimensional scale where a relative assessment is given on the one hand for the quantity and the quality of evidence (i.e. information from theory, observations or models indicating whether an assumption or assertion holds true or is valid), and on the other hand to the degree of agreement in the literature. This approach uses a series of self-explanatory terms such as: high / medium / low evidence, and strong / medium / low agreement. The joint assessment of both of these dimensions is described by a confidence level using five qualifiers from "very high confidence" to "high", "medium", "low" and "very low confidence". By means of expert assessment of the correctness of the underlying data, models or analyses, a quantitative evaluation of the uncertainty is provided to assess the likelihood of the uncertainty pertaining to the outcome of the results using eight degrees of probability from "virtually certain" to "more unlikely than likely". The probability refers to the assessment of the likelihood of a well-defined result which has occurred or will occur in the future. These can be derived from quantitative analyses or from expert opinion. For more detailed information please refer to the Introduction chapter in AAR14. If the description of uncertainty pertains to a whole paragraph, it will be found at the end of it, otherwise the uncertainty assessment is given after the respective statement.

The research on climate change in Austria has received significant support in recent years, driven in particular by the Klima- und Energiefonds (Climate and Energy Fund) through the ACRP, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the EU research programs. Also own funding of research institutions has become a major source of funding. However, many questions still remain open. Similar to the process at the international level, a periodic updating of the Austrian Assessment Report would be desirable to enable the public, politicians, administration, company managers and researchers to make the best and most effective decisions pertaining to the long-term horizon based on the most up-to-date knowledge.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Programs: Air Quality & Greenhouse Gases (AIR)
Energy (ENE)
Transitions to New Technologies (TNT)
Mitigation of Air Pollution (MAG)
Bibliographic Reference: In: Austrian Panel on Climate Change (APCC); Austrian Assessment Report 2014 (AAR14); Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, Vienna, Austria pp.45-64
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:51
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:24

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