unpredictable. It summarizes the state of knowledge about the coping strategies used in specific climate-sensitive human activities and about human institutions, such as disaster insurance and emergency preparedness, that have developed to help cope with climatic variations.
Chapter 4 takes up the question, critical for making climate forecasts more useful, of how individuals and organizations are likely to respond, and how they might be led to respond more effectively, to the information in climate forecasts. It considers the ways in which climate forecast information might be useful and then considers available sources of information on how the coping systems people have developed for climate variability might respond to new information. These include actual responses to recent climate forecasts; research on how people assimilate information generally; and past experience with efforts to provide other kinds of scientific and technical information that people might use to improve their well-being, including information on practices to promote personal health and information from hazard warning systems. The chapter concludes by summarizing the state of knowledge and some promising hypotheses about how individuals and institutions are likely to respond to climate forecast information and how to make these responses more effective.
Chapter 5 examines the state of concept, methods, data, and knowledge that could be used to measure the human effects of climatic variability and the potential and actual benefits of skillful climate forecasts. It presents a conceptual framework and raises several issues that must be addressed to make such measurements, summarizes the state of scientific efforts to estimate the effects of climatic variations and the benefits of forecasts, and presents the panel's findings on these issues.
Finally, Chapter 6 summarizes the findings of the study and identifies a dozen scientific priorities—sets of research questions that, if pursued, will yield progress toward the ultimate goals of understanding and increasing the social value of seasonal-to-interannual climate forecasts. The questions fall into three broad categories: research on the potential benefits of climate forecast information, on improved dissemination of forecast information, and on estimating the consequences of climatic variations and of climate forecasts.