Recent News


Insurance and Adaptation: Farmer Driven Opportunities (Video)

The Financial Instruments Sector team at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society works with farmers, development organizations and agencies, insurance companies and other research institutes to design insurance products that are tailored to local and regional climate risks and economic systems. With the help of the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, we’ve produced this video […]

cape town

IRI’s Role in South Africa’s Seasonal Climate Forecast Operations

Several decades of climate research have shown seasonal temperature and rainfall patterns over southern Africa to be predictable months in advance. While scientists recognized the importance of the El Niño Southern Oscillation on seasonal climate variability in this region during the 1980s, South Africa first began issuing regular seasonal forecasts in the early 1990s. Over the past twenty years, enhanced modeling systems have […]


El Niño and Global Health: Latest Bulletin

The Public Health group at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society has posted a new update of its bulletin on El Niño, focused on providing information to assist health planners and practitioners concerned with malaria in Eastern Africa. Emerging El Niño Conditions: Notes for the East African Malaria Community, takes into account IRI’s latest forecasts. As with previous bulletins, IRI […]

Mark Cane at the Tropics Rule Symposium.

Climate Services: Two conferences on two continents

By Adam Sobel  This post originally appeared on Sobel’s blog.  Out this month is his new book, Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future.  I spent this past week in Darmstadt, Germany, for the Climate Symposium. This was a conference organized by EUMETSAT (one of the European space agencies) and the World Climate […]


October Climate Briefing: El Niño Wait Continues

From the October climate briefing, given by IRI’s Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston: Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Changes from last month’s briefing Based on the latest models, the chance of an El Niño developing during the current (October-December) season is between 65 and 70%, down slightly from last month. These odds for the October-December season are similar to those issued by […]

A mother and child rest under an insecticide treated bed net to help combat malaria in the Chongwe District, Zambia on 3/26/09. *NOT RELEASED. Gates Foundation

Data for Malaria Decision Making in Africa

Earlier this year, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society and Columbia Global Centers | Africa  supported a two-day meeting of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania called “Strengthening National Climate Data and Information for Malaria Decision Making in Africa”. The meeting, held August 4-5, provided an overview of existing […]


Crop Models to Integrate Data from Space with Climate Forecasts

In a few months, NASA will launch a new satellite mission called Soil Moisture Active Passive, SMAP, which will provide high-resolution global coverage of soil moisture conditions. The International Research Institute for Climate and Society is collaborating with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the CGIAR’s Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security to develop a crop-forecasting […]


Field Notes: Climate, Health and the Maasai

IRI’s Pietro Ceccato recently attended the 2nd Capacity Building Workshop for the World Health Organization TDR/IDRC research initiative on Population Health Vulnerabilities to Vector-Borne Diseases: Increasing Resilience under Climate Change Conditions in Africa, held at the Nelson Mandela University in Arusha, Tanzania. He shares his observations here. Earlier this year, I attended a workshop in Arusha, Tanzania […]

Figure 3. Mean forecasts of statistical models for the Nino3.4 SST anomaly for overlapping 3-month periods from JFM 2012 to JJA 2014, and the corresponding observations. The observations are shown by the orange line, while the forecasts are shown by the dark blue line (1-month lead), blue-green line (4-month lead) and light blue line (7-month lead). Current forecasts extending out through early 2015 are shown. See footnote 3 for the definition of lead time. Image credit: IRI/NOAA

How Good Have ENSO Forecasts Been Lately?

By IRI Chief Forecaster Tony BarnstonThis post originally appeared on’s ENSO blog. Reproduced with permission.  One of my responsibilities as the lead ENSO forecaster at IRI is to judge how well the forecasts have matched reality. One way I do this is I go back through the archived forecasts and make graphics that compare the forecasts […]

UN Photo of General Assembly during Climate Summit 2014

8 Ways We Can Strengthen Development and Increase Climate Resilience

Today, President Obama announced a new executive order that will help vulnerable nations around the world be more resilient to climate and disasters.  Climate variability and change pose a set of serious risks and challenges, but as the President highlighted, we can be better equipped to overcome them. For nearly two decades, the International Research […]

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