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likely to be used by large actors because the benefit is likely to be proportional to the magnitude of the decision that benefits from the forecast. However, the actual cost threshold is likely to vary also with the type of activity, with various attributes of the forecast (accuracy, timeliness, etc.), and with the situations and institutional contexts of affected actors.

In sum, climate forecasts are useful only in relation to the actions people can take, given forecast information, to improve their outcomes. Many factors specific to forecasts and to the recipients' decision situations affect the potential usefulness of forecast information. To improve the usefulness of climate forecasts, it is important to identify the decision-relevant attributes of forecast information for particular activities and actors and to encourage forecasters to provide information with those attributes when possible. It is also important to consider what the recipients of climate forecasts are likely to do in practice, given the coping strategies they actually use, their ability to modify those strategies in response to forecast information, the normal routines of their activities, their usual practice in dealing with new information that is offered to them as helpful, their level of trust in the forecast and its source, and other realities of their situations. Available evidence suggests that the benefits from improved information typically go disproportionately to the wealthy and better educated. Closing the gap between the potential value of climate forecast information and its actual value will depend on developing focused knowledge about which forecast information is potentially useful for which recipients, about how these recipients process the information, and about the characteristics of effective information delivery systems and messages for meeting the needs of particular types of recipients. It may also depend on improved understanding of how to design information systems that effectively reach marginalized and vulnerable groups.



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