General Principles (click to view principles list)
1. What are my goals?
2. How does climate matter to me?
3. What choices do I have to respond to climate forecasts?
4. What is the climate going to be like?
5. What are the potential impacts of climate on me, given a climate forecast?

A climate forecast gives you the probability of various climate states, each of which implies you might experience particular climate-related impacts. Mapping out the potential impacts and their probabilities can help you decide what actions to take in response to the forecast (see Step 6). In general, you need to consider:

  • Recent occurrences (both climatic and societal) might worsen or reduce the impacts of climate on you. For example, the implications of a forecast of a higher probability of dry conditions are likely to be worse for an area that has been experiencing a prolonged drought compared with a region that has recently had good rainfall.

  • The various climate states and their probabilities, as given by the climate forecast (see Step 4)

  • The effects that the various climate states have had on you in the past. For example, a public health official may be concerned about dengue outbreaks. In the past, dengue outbreaks have been associated with above-normal rainfall, so a forecast for a higher probability of above-normal rainfall implies that there is a higher chance that a dengue outbreak will occur (See Step 1).

Either way, you must always remember that even though one climate state may be more likely, other states are still possible.


6. What decisions should I use to increase the odds of an outcome that is preferred?