past forecasts, and by knowledge of adaptive coping strategies and beliefs in their effectiveness. To the extent that such expectations, interpretations, and knowledge are found to affect the use of climate forecasts, research should address how accurate expectations can be created and how an appropriate behavioral repertoire can be established by educational and informational interventions. To the extent that perceptions, expectations, and beliefs are identified that act as barriers to the effective use of climate forecasts, research should address how to alter those by appropriately organized information or education. To the extent that surprising (i.e., unexpected) outcomes are found to be required to motivate individuals or organizations to modify their beliefs and behavior, research should examine how to provide such educational surprises at small costs. Comparative studies of these questions across cultures and sectors may be particularly informative, as they have the advantage of distinguishing between components of those processes that are universally shared and those that are culture- or situation-specific.
One promising approach to these questions is through case studies of responses to short-range forecasts and to forecasts of the 1997-1998 El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) warm phase. Such research might examine how forecast information was delivered by scientists, the mass media, private information vendors, and others; who had access to the information; and how the information was received, understood, and used. It might test hypotheses developed from analogous situations to draw tentative conclusions about which characteristics of forecast information and its delivery increase its use by particular classes of recipients. Other kinds of studies, including experimental ones, can refine such tentative hypotheses and conclusions.
Research on these questions can be helpful in designing messages that convey climate forecast information in ways that are compatible with recipients' mental models, that accurately represent uncertainty and probability, and that do not mislead them about the level of skill the forecasts contain. Involvement of forecast user groups in such research is likely to increase the practical value of the findings.
These questions parallel those under question 3. The research would address the same questions, but it would focus on organizational behavior. Among the important organizations for study are firms in climate-sensitive sectors, organizations that provide coping mechanisms (e.g., in-