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should lead to a deeper knowledge of the interconnections between seasonal-to-interannual variability and dec-cen variability, an improved ability to detect anthropogenic climate change, and an improved understanding of how natural dec-cen variability is anthropogenically modified.

Decadal-to-centennial climate variability is a subtle phenomenon. It proceeds too slowly to be perceptible to our senses, but its cumulative effects ultimately define the life prospects of future generations. Informed stewardship of the Earth's resources for the generations to come must draw on the insights afforded by model predictions and extrapolation of observations that can give us a glimpse of the future. A U.S. Dec-Cen Program will be the first step toward assuming this responsibility.

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