Climate Services: No need to wait for disasters to happen
This is the third of ten interviews with climate and development experts conducted at the International Conference on Climate Services, held at Columbia University in October 2011.
Maarten Van Aalst is the Director of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre. In this interview he talks about how the Red Cross is using climate information to mobilize resources ahead of time. He also brings up the risks of over-interpreting climate forecasts and models.
“We’ve become increasingly aware that we need to anticipate disasters rather than just wait for them to happen. We’ve seen a strong increase in weather-related disasters over the past years. People are confronted with increasing uncertainty in a changing climate. And we need climate information to be able to see disasters coming ahead of time, not just hours, but also weeks, months, and even decades in terms of trends.”