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Patt, Anthony, and Chiedza Gwata. 2002. "Effective Seasonal Climate Forecast Applications: Examining Constraints for Subsistence Farmers in Zimbabwe." Global Environmental Change 12: 185-195.

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Abstract

For the last decade, climate scientists have improved their skill at predicting seasonal rainfall patterns in many parts of the world based on observations of sea surface temperatures. Making forecasts useful to decision-makers, especially subsistence farmers in developing countries, remains a significant challenge. In this paper, we discuss a set of six constraints limiting the usefulness of forecasts: credibility, legitimacy, scale, cognitive capacity, procedural and institutional barriers, and available choices. We identify how these constraints have in fact limited forecast use so far, and propose means of overcoming them. We then discuss a pilot project in Zimbabwe, where we test our proposals. Drawing from two years' observation, we offer lessons to guide future efforts at effective forecast communication.

 

 
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