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Climate variability has major impacts in many parts of the world, including Australia. Developments in understanding of the El Nino - Southern Oscillation Phenomenon have introduced some skill in seasonal to inter-annual climate forecasting. Can this skill be harnessed to advantage? Or do we just continue to observe these impacts? How does a decision-maker managing an agricultural or natural ecosystem modify decisions in response to a skillful, but imprecise, seasonal climate forecast? Using Australian experience as a basis, this book focuses on these questions in pursuing means to better manage climate risks.The state of the science in climate forecasting is reviewed before considering detailed examples of applications to: farm scale agricultural decisions (such as management of cropping and grazing systems); regional and national scale agricultural decisions (such as commodity trading and government policy); and natural systems (such as water resources, pests and diseases, and natural fauna). Many of the examples highlight the participatory and inter-disciplinary approach required among decision-makers, resource systems scientists/analysts, and climate scientists to bring about the effective applications. The experiences discussed provide valuable insights beyond the geographical and disciplinary focus of this book. The book is ideally suited to professionals and postgraduate students in ecology, agricultural climatology, environmental planning, and climate science.
Contributors. Preface. Section I: Introduction. 1. The importance of climate variability and seasonal forecasting to the Australian economy; B. White. 2. The relevance of seasonal climate forecasting to a rural producer; S. Plant. 3. Understanding and predicting the world's climate system; M. Cane. 4. A general systems approach to applying seasonal climate forecasts; G. Hammer. Section II: Seasonal Climate Forecasting. 5. The development and delivery of current seasonal climate forecasting capabilities in Australia; R. Stone, G. de Hoedt. 6. The potential for improved statistical seasonal climate forecasts; W. Drosdowsky, R. Allan. 7. Global climatic models and their potential for seasonal climatic forecasting; B. Hunt, A.C. Hirst. 8. Operational experience with climate model predictions; N. Nicholls, et al. 9. Stochastic down-scaling of general circulation model simulations; B. Bates, et al. 10. Statistical methods for deriving seasonal climate forecasts from GCM's; R. Stone, et al. Section III: Farm Scale Agricultural Decisions. 11. Using seasonal climate forecasts to manage dryland crops in northern Australia -- Experiences from the 1997/98 seasons; H. Meinke, Z. Hochman. 12. The potential value of seasonal climate forecasting in managing cropping systems; P. Carberry, et al. 13. Comparing the value of seasonal climate forecasting systems in managing cropping systems; G. Hammer, et al. 14. Managing climatic variability in Queensland's grazing lands -- New approaches; P. Johnston, et al. 15. Simulation of grazing strategies for beef production in north-east Queensland; G. McKeon, et al. 16. Managing climate variability in grazing enterprises: A Case study for Dalrymple shire, north-eastern Australia; A. Ash, et al. 17. Seasonal climate forecasting and the management of rangelands: Do production benefits translate into enterprise profits?; M.S. Smith, et al. 18. Building knowledge and skills to use seasonal climate forecasts in property management planning; J. Clewett, et al. 19. Opoortunities to improve the use of seasonal climate forecasts; N. Nicholls. Section IV: Regional and National Scale Agricultural Decisions. 20. Aussie GRASS: Australian grassland and rangeland assessment by spatial simulation; J. Carter, et al. 21. Using seasonal climate forecasts in forecasting the Australian wheat crop; D. Stephens, et al. 22. Can seasonal climate forecasts predict movements in grain prices? S. Chapman, et al. Section V: Natural Systems. 23. Climate variability, seasonal forecasting and invertebrate pests -- The need for a synoptic view; R. Sutherst. 24. ENSO regulation of Indo-Pacific green turtle populations; C. Limpus, N. Nicholls. 25. Streamflow variability, seasonal forecasting and water resources systems; F. Chiew, et al. 26. The effect of climate on the incidence of vector-borne viral diseases in Australia: The potential value of seasonal forecasting; J. Mackenzie, et al. Section VI: Synthesis. 27. Applying seasonal climate forecasts in agricultural and natural ecosystems -- a synthesis; G. Hammer.
'The book provides the first consolidated collection of R-D in this area, and while there is still a great deal to learn, the book represents a significant step towards achieving more widespread and prudent use of SCFs around the world. We therefore have no hesitation in recommending this book to those who work in the development, delivery, or application of seasonal-to-interannual climate predictions and to meteorological service providers generally' Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 82:10 (2001)