Climate Change, Climate Variability, and Decision-Making

Forecasts of both climate change and climate variability-the latter entailing variation at the intra-annual, annual, or decadal scales–pose problems for decision making because of their inherent uncertainty. While strong scientific evidence of upcoming changes exist both for long-term secular change and heightened variability, this evidence gets milled together with institutional practices, political pressures, and decision heuristics that suffuse both public and private decision-making. My research in this area aims to enhance our understanding of the grinder mill to support more efficacious interventions.

Note that in an attempt to honor the confusing spirit of copyright law, I’ve not uploaded PDFs of my papers to this page, but

  • I provide pointers to most of the publishers’ websites, which typically provides at least access to each paper’s abstract
  • I’ve made most of these available as full text through and
  • I’m happy to send PDFs attachments to individuals under the fair use doctrine, so contact me via email if interested


Roberts, Patrick S., and Kris Wernstedt. 2018: “Herbert Simon’s Forgotten Legacy for Improving Decision Processes.”  International Public Management Journal:1-26. At

Wernstedt, Kris, Patrick S. Roberts, Joseph Arvai, and Kelly Redmond. 2018:  “How Emergency Managers (Mis?)Interpret Forecasts.”  Disasters 43(1), 88-109. At

Roberts, Patrick and Kris Wernstedt. 2018:  “Decision Biases and Heuristics Among Emergency Managers: Just Like the Public They Manage For?” The American Review of Public Administration. At

Roberts, Patrick and Kris Wernstedt. 2016:  “Using Climate Forecasts Across a State’s Emergency Management Network.” Natural Hazards Review. (see )

Wernstedt, Kris and Fanny Carlet. 2014:  “Climate Change, Urban Development, and Stormwater:  Perspectives from the Field.” Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 140(4), 543-552. (paper at )

Wernstedt, Kris, Patrick Roberts, and Mathew Dull. 2009:  “Can Climate Signals Inform Emergency Management? Preliminary Evidence.” Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 6(1), Article 54.  (paper at )

Wernstedt, Kris. 2009:  “Integrated Transport and Urban Design Choices to Reduce Carbon Emissions:  Public Attitudes in the Washington, DC USA Metropolitan Area. World Transport Policy & Practice, 14(4), 36-47. (paper at

Wernstedt, Kris and Robert Hersh. 2004:  “Climate Forecasts and Flood Planning Under the Reign of ENSO.” Natural Hazards Review, 5(2), 97-105. (paper at )

Wernstedt, Kris and Robert Hersh. 2002:  “Climate Forecasts in Flood Planning:  Promise and Ambiguity.” Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 38(6), 1703-1714. (see )

Hersh, Robert and Kris Wernstedt. 2002:  “Gauging the Vulnerability of Local Water Utilities to Extreme Weather Events.” Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 45(3), 341-361. (paper at )