Establishing a climate change information source addressing local aspects of a global issue. A case study in New York State

part of Bridging the gap between science and policy: the importance of mutual respect, trust and the role of mediators

This case study describes the development of a climate change information system for New York State, one of the physically largest states in the United States. Agriculture (including dairy production and vineyards) and water-related tourism are large parts of the state economy, and both are expected to be affected dramatically by climate change. The highly politicized nature of the climate change debate in America makes the delivery of science-based information even more urgent and challenging. The United States does not have top-down science communication policies, as many countries do; this case will describe how diverse local and state agencies, corporations, NGOs, and other actors collaborated with university researchers to create a suite of products and online tools with stable, science-based information carefully crafted and targeted to avoid politicization and facilitate education and planning for community, agricultural and business planners and state policy makers who are making decisions now with 20 to 50 year time frames.