The Science Challenges: complexity and uncertainties ...
We need to acknowledge that there are several different types of uncertainties: epistemic, and aleatory. We constantly mix these, and many of us focus on the aleatory uncertainties, are unconfortable with epistemic uncertainties. But the epistemic are those that are of interest in the climate change debate. These are the ones that open the door for the unexpected, where resilience comes in.
An engeneering approach does not work since we do not understand the system well enough, have not full control, and cannot validate our approaches. It is more the physiological/medical approach we need to take: we can use some medicine very carefully, but we have to account for the fact that the organism
Rowley, R. J., Kostelnick, J. C., Braaten, D., Li, X., Meisel, J., 2007. Risk of rising sea level to population and land area. EOS Transactions, 88(9), 105, 107 (pdf).
How should we deal with the uncertainties?