Minds on the Information Gap

Climate risk management in the Caribbean, an educational approach

By Elisabeth Gawthrop International Research Institute for Climate and Society

As knowledge of our climate improves, the process of turning that knowledge into information usable for decision making needs attention.

The problem is that although climate scientists may give a probability for increased risk, this information is often in a variable that a decision maker can’t readily use.

Knowing why a climate event happened, being able to predict a climate extreme, these are increasingly-available types of information. But if a forecast isn’t accessible to the people who can do something with it, it is not useful information.

One of a series of discussion briefs that IRI developed with CERMES to help policy makers to understand how climate information could be used to manage water resources.

“When you learn how to use a hydrologic model, you’re automatically learning how to use climate information,” said Baethgen.

“Then you just connect the forecasts. And you have something that’s a lot more useful, because instead of forecasting climate, you’re forecasting water resources.”

International Research Institute for Climate and Society

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