Policy ForumClimate

The Ethiopia Food Crisis--Uses and Limits of Climate Forecasts

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Science  08 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5485, pp. 1693-1694
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5485.1693

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Post-cold war investment in science--particularly in the case of seasonal to interannual climate forecasting--is increasingly justified by the goal of demonstrating explicit societal benefit. A review of the 2000 food crisis in Ethiopia and the state of the science of seasonal forecasting is sobering and underscores the need to foster more realistic expectations among both policy-makers and scientists about the uses and limits of climate forecasts in alleviating complex social problems.