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"Prediction" or "Projection"

A survey among climate scientists is used to examine the terminology concerning two key concepts in climate science, namely, predictions and projections, as used among climate scientists. Contrary to established guidelines, approximately 29% of the respondents associate probable developments with projections, and approximately 20% of the respondents associate possible developments with predictions.

The data collected in a survey of climate scientists was used to determine if climate scientists favour the use of ‘projection’ or ‘prediction’ when describing their work. The paper concludes that the terminology used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is not adopted, or only loosely adopted, by a significant minority of scientists. Contrary to established guidelines, approximately 29% of the respondents associate probable developments with projections, and approximately 20% of the respondents associate possible developments with predictions.

The full paper can be found at Science Communication, Vol. 30, No. 4, 534-543 (2009)

Links

CliSci 2008 - descriptive statistics available here The full paper

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