Mind the gap! A consensus analysis of users and producers on trust in new sea ice information products

Blair, Berill; Gierisch, Andrea M.U.; Jeuring, Jelmer; Olsen, Steffen M.; Lamers, Machiel


In the ice-infested Arctic Ocean environment, the uptake of new sea ice services is an important factor in ensuring safe and efficient marine operations. Producers increasingly turn to co-production for user input, similar to the wider field of climate services. This paper asks how the uptake of sea ice information services can be optimized, by gauging the extent to which producers and users already share an understanding of how trust develops toward new products. By adopting a consensus analysis approach, we gain insights about how to balance further investments in knowledge co-production versus change implementation. We chose cultural consensus analysis, a method that produces valid estimates even in small sample sizes. Our survey presented thirty-two propositions based on seven dimensions of trust in weather, water, ice and climate services. The survey was completed by fifty-seven respondents (n = 29 users, n = 28 producers) and revealed a strong consensus model among the two groups about the necessary improvements needed to increase users’ trust in new services. Our results suggest that forecast producers for the Arctic region, specifically in the field of specialized sea ice predictions and mapping/charting, share a substantial understanding with users about how trust develops toward new products. We discuss the importance of automation, peer endorsement and perceptions of cost-performance ratio for necessary strategic approaches to help experienced forecast users to trust and adapt products to their specific operational context, and reflect on the costs associated with the use of specialized sea ice services in closing the usability gap.