Learning to crawl: How to use seasonal climate forecasts to build adaptive capacity

Patt, A. (2009). Learning to crawl: How to use seasonal climate forecasts to build adaptive capacity. In: Adapting to Climate Change: Thresholds, Values, Governance. Eds. Adger, W.N., Lorenzoni, I., & O'Brien, K.L., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521764858 10.1017/CBO9780511596667.007.

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The Pacific Ocean covers almost half the Earth. Its eastwest axis is longest near the Equator, and it is here that the related processes of El Niqo and the Southern Oscillation, together known as ENSO, take place. El Niqo refers to the periodic warming of the surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific, while the Southern Oscillation refers to the fluctuation in air pressure differential between Darwin, Australia and Tahiti. What determines the periodicity of ENSO is the time it takes for pressure waves to cross from Indonesia to South America, and then bounce back again. Because the ocean is so wide, that process takes several years. Because there is so much water there, and water holds a lot of energy, ENSO phases can alter weather patterns around the world.

Inter-annual climate variability of this sort has always existed. In terms of human experience, it is likely that people have and will continue to experience climate change not as a gradual rise in temperature, but rather as a shift in the frequency and intensity of particular weather events. Climatic risks and climate variability are a substantial drain on the economies of least developed countries, and indeed the effects of climate variability on society are significantly greater than the effects of climate change probably will be, at least for the next 30 years.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Earth; Atmospheric sciences; Climatology and climate change; Environmental economics
Research Programs: Risk and Vulnerability (RAV)
Bibliographic Reference: In: W.N. Adger, I. Lorenzoni, K.L. O'Brien (eds); Adapting to Climate Change: Thresholds, Values, Governance; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK pp.79-95
Related URLs:
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:42
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:38
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/8916

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