Abstract

Simple mental models, such as the analogy of climate to a greenhouse, are commonly used to convey complex facts of climate dynamics. We consider simple models for climate-related decision support—for informing choices rather than for understanding facts. We identify attributes of “good” simple models both in general and for informing decisions under uncertainty, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of illustrative simple models in the climate domain, and present and assess a medical analogy we believe useful for climate related decision support: thinking of climate change as a serious, progressive disease. Finally, we consider reasonable expectations for the effects of such models.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-768X
Print ISSN
0037-783X
Pages
pp. 581-606
Launched on MUSE
2015-12-14
Open Access
No
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