Do We Need Better Predictions to Adapt to a Changing Climate?

Published in: Eos, v. 90, no. 13, Mar. 31, 2009, p. 111-112

Posted on RAND.org on March 31, 2009

by Suraje Dessai, Mike Hulme, Robert J. Lempert, Roger A. Pielke

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Many scientists have called for a substantial new investment in climate modeling to increase the accuracy, precision, and reliability of climate predictions. Such investments are often justified by asserting that failure to improve predictions will prevent society from adapting successfully to changing climate. This Forum questions these claims, suggests limits to predictability, and argues that society can (and indeed must) make effective adaptation decisions in the absence of accurate and precise climate predictions.

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