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The adage "once burned, twice shy" suggests that when someone has had a bad experience, he or she is likely to shy away from being in the same situation again, having better learned to deal with it. By analogy, do societies that are forced to cope with recurring natural hazards learn from history?
This assessment reviews forecasts and societal impacts of the 1997-98 El Niņo. Underlying this review is a look at the climate-related early warning and natural disaster preparedness systems in a number of countries with the objective of improving their El Niņo- and other climate-related coping mechanisms. The following locations are targeted in this study: Bangladesh, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Panama Canal, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, and Vietnam. Based on the lessons drawn from these studies, key research and policy needs are identified in this book. Importantly, several ideas are presented for developing regional and national natural disaster preparedness plans for coping with the impacts El Niņo Southern Oscillation's warm (El Niņo) and cold (La Niņa) events.
|Michael H. Glantz is a Senior Scientist in the Environmental and Societal Impacts Group (ESIG), a program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. He is interested in how climate affects society and how society affects climate, especially how the interaction between climate anomalies and human activities affect the quality of life around the globe.|
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