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We are learning how livestock owners in South Africa respond to extreme weather events, and how high-tech weather forecasts may help them in their work.

Our research is supported by the NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program
Climate in dryland ecosystems is more variable than in wetter areas, with droughts more frequent. The developing field of long range climate forecasting means that an important new source of information will be available to people living in drylands. But in general, how these forecasts may benefit livestock owners is not well understood. We are exploring the value of climate forecasting to livestock ranches and pastoralists, where drought can decrease production and causes livestock to starve.

We are using interview results to learn how livestock producers in northern South Africa adjust their management to respond to climate variability and how they use, or might use if packaged well, climate forecasts. We are also determining the benefit of climate forecasting on humal well-being by using ecosystem and socioeconomic computer models that incorporate forecasts.

Edited: February 19, 2007