Using Climate Forecasts to Save Money and Protect Human Health
When we leave the house in the morning, we often check the local weather forecast and make some quick decisions: Should I bring an umbrella? How about a sweater? By assessing the risks and taking action, we are effectively mitigating our vulnerability to weather-related impacts. While most people do not think twice about weighing uncertain weather information and taking action based on their best estimate of risk, it has proved much more difficult for community members, policymakers, and natural-resource managers to integrate climate forecasts into their decision-making processes. By definition, climate risks have longer-term consequences, which make them easier to ignore in the short term. Yet a landfill on the island of O‘ahu in Hawai‘i demonstrated that climate information can be used to make management decisions that save time, money, jobs, and the health of our communities and natural environment.