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The Uncertainty Handbook: Download and Translations

Posted on 23 February 2016 by BaerbelW

UHB-EN-ThumbHave you ever struggled with the communication of climate change uncertainties? Are you frustrated by climate sceptics using uncertainty - inherent in any area of complex science - as a justification for delaying policy responses? Then the new ‘Uncertainty Handbook’ - a collaboration between the University of Bristol and Climate Outreach (former COIN) - is for you.

The Handbook distills the most important research findings and expert advice on communicating uncertainty into a few pages of practical, easy-to-apply techniques, providing scientists, policymakers and campaigners with the tools they need to communicate more effectively around climate change. Download the report here, and check out our 12 principles for more effectively communicating climate change uncertainty here.


The Authors:

The Uncertainty Handbook was authored by Dr. Adam Corner (Climate Outreach), Professor Stephan Lewandowsky (University of Bristol), Dr Mary Phillips (University of Bristol) and Olga Roberts (Climate Outreach). All are experts in their fields and have expertise relating to the role of uncertainty in climate change or how best to communicate it.


The Uncertainty Handbook has been translated into the following languages:










Note to other translators:

If you'd like to translate the Uncertainty Handbook into another language, please contact us by selecting "Enquiry about translations" from the contact form's dropdown menu. We'll then get in touch with additional information.

This post has been cross-posted at Shaping Tomorrow's World.

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Comments 1 to 7:

  1. I downloaded the English and German versions to a MacBook and viewed them in Preview. The text looked like it was full of gaps and missing letters. At first I thought this was just going to be a witty first-page pun on 'uncertainty', but both versions were like this from start to finish. I had no similar problems using Preview to read The Debunking Handbook. Has anyone had similar issues reading The Uncertainty Handbook in Adobe's PDF viewer (Mac or PC)? Or has my MacBook flipped :)?

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  2. ajadedmug - I'll check with folks at Climate Outreach who created the handbook and let them know about your issue - unless you'd like to let them know yourself via a comment on their own page for the downloads?

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  3. BaerbelW - I thought that a more prudent first step would be to establish whether other Mac users in the Skeptical Science community are seeing this issue. If I email Climate Outreach, they may waste time investigating a software issue that is in reality solely related to my MacBook or to Macbooks running older versions of software and OS.

    My MacBook runs Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5 (11G63) and Preview Version 5.5.3 (719.31). As a test comparison, I downloaded the latest Adobe reader to compare, and the documents were then perfectly readable. I then deleted the Adobe Reader and tried with Preview again. This time more of the text was viewable, but there are still major gaps. This is something that I have never seen before with Preview. I have tried opening numerous other .pdf files that I have already viewed previously with Preview and there were no problems.

    I have written a draft email to Climate Outreach and will wait 48 hours to see if anyone responds before I send it, if I send it. I am probably untypical: most PC or Mac users probably use Adobe reader. I don't, because Preview has worked fine for me over the last eight years...until yesterday. Given most people with a computer will use an Adobe reader, this Preview issue is probably more curious than significant, and may be limited to people like me who are running older versions of operating system and software.

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  4. For what it's worth, I had no problems with the english version on a Mac running OS X El Capitan (10.11.3) and Preview 8.1. Pages 19 and 20 are blank, but that seems like it could be intentional.

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  5. SteveS - Thanks very much: that is worth a deal, and is exactly the sort of response that I was hoping to get. I shall now amend my draft email to Climate Outreach and explain that the problem appears not to exist on a Mac for the most recent versions of OS and Preview. Then I shall send it :). CO can then judge whether it wishes to investigate further. 

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  6. I'm confirming SteveS's observation. Furthermore, Adobe Reader also shows the last two pages as being blank.

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  7. I confirm SteveS's observations, but on a PC using Adobe Acrobat, Windows 10. I can't say I like the main font they use in the text. Several letters, eg a,r,v,u, x, are smaller/less tall than the others and I find it uncomfortable reading the words!

    As far as the inherent uncertainty in climate science prognostications go, there has just been an important paper published in Nature which apparently firmly establishes and quantifies causality for CO2/CH4 increases and changes in GMTA ((global mean surface temperature anomalies) from 1850 onwards and previously back 800,000 years

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