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WIREs Clim Change
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Assessing the value of seasonal climate forecasts for decision‐making

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Seasonal climate forecasts (SCF) can support decision‐making and thus help society cope with and prepare for climate variability and change. The demand for understanding the value and benefits of using SCF in decision‐making processes can be associated with different logics. Two of these would be the need to justify public and private investment in the provision of SCF and demonstrating the gains and benefits of using SCF in specific decision‐making contexts. This paper reviews the main factors influencing how SCF is (or can be) valued in supporting decision‐making and the main methods and metrics currently used to perform such valuations. Our review results in four key findings: (a) there is a current emphasis on economic ex ante studies and the quantification of SCF value; (b) there are fundamental differences in how the value of SCF is defined and estimated across methods and approaches; (c) most valuation methods are unable to capture the differential benefits and risks of using SCF across spatiotemporal scales and groups; and (d) there is limited involvement of the decision‐makers in the valuation process. The paper concludes by providing some guiding principles towards more effective valuations of SCF, notably the need for a wider diversity and integration of methodological approaches. These should particularly embrace ex‐post, qualitative, and participatory approaches which allow co‐evaluation with decision‐makers so that more comprehensive and equitable SCF valuations can be developed in future. This article is categorized under: Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change > Institutions for Adaptation

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