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New Report: The State of Climate Prediction

A new report recently released by the National Research Council called “Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability” examines the current state of climate forecasting over time periods of a few weeks to a few years, and makes suggestions on how these forecasts might be improved. The International Research Institute for Climate and […]

What is Climate Risk Management?

By Stephen Zebiak As I wrote in the previous installment, climate risk management is a process that informs decision making through the application of climate knowledge and information. IRI’s approach to climate risk management consists of four components. The first is identifying vulnerabilities and potential opportunities posed by climate variability or change in a given […]

Managing Risk in a Changing Climate: Making the Case

by Stephen Zebiak We live in a time of rapidly escalating concern about climate change. Although scientific evidence on climate change has been steadily building over many years, only recently has the consensus concerning observed impacts and future scenarios reached a level to capture the world’s attention. Increasingly, the question of whether or not climate […]

An Active Hurricane Season Predicted

by Eric Holthaus The Atlantic hurricane season has officially started, and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society has issued its updated seasonal hurricane forecast for the region. The results continue to indicate that an above-normal season is very likely. This could spell trouble for highly vulnerable Caribbean nations such as Haiti, still reeling […]

Climate and Health Communities Training Together

For the third year in a row, public-health professionals and climate scientists from around the world are visiting Columbia University’s Lamont campus, where the International Research Institute for Climate and Society is based, to learn how to use climate information to make better decisions for health-care planning and disease prevention. They’re taking part in the […]

Climate Information Helps Prepare for Disasters

Climate-related disasters can have a devastating impact on human life and development. Globally, climate events including floods, droughts, cyclones, heat waves and mudslides contribute to tens of thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands of injuries and billions of dollars in economic losses each year. In recent years, it’s become clear that such losses can be […]

Creating More Useful Forecasts

Seasonal forecasts can be effective tools for agricultural planners,water resources managers and other decision makers. For example, after torrential rains and floods wreaked havoc in the West African nation of Ghana in 2007, displacing some 400,000 people here, the regional office of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies started using seasonal […]

New Program Aims to Mitigate Climate Threats to Food Security

A new multimillion dollar research program by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research aims to alleviate climate-related threats to the food security, livelihoods and environment of people living in the developing world. One of the key intellectual forces behind this initiative has been the International Research Institute for Climate and Society’s Jim Hansen. He’ll […]

Climate Risks in Haiti

In this Q+A, IRI staffers discuss some of the climate-related risks that could affect Haitians over the next year as they struggle to rebuild their country after a devastating earthquake in January. Currently, about 1.2 million Haitians are without proper shelter, and an additional 470,000 have been displaced from their homes, according to the U.N. […]

Climate information seen as key in new Early Warning, Early Action report

The latest World Disasters Report by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies argues that disaster-relief agencies need to shift focus from expensive response operations to cost-effective prevention measures. An important component of this, the report details, is using climate records, monitoring and forecasts to make planning decisions days, weeks, even months […]

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