Narrator: This is Science Today. There's a great deal of effort among federal agencies to come up with ways to improve climate forecasting - especially in countries prone to flooding or drought, such as Central America and Africa. Joel Michaelsen, a professor of geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says there are a few ways to do this.
Michaelsen: One is just look for precursors that would allow us to make better forecasts several months in advance. But another is to take the kinds of forecasts that are made by federal agencies in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and convert them into information that is more easy to interpret and to evaluate in the countries themselves. What we do is to provide ways of interpreting that on a local scale so that people in Africa can come up with some estimate that what are the chances there's going to be a crop failure at a certain level and things of that nature.
For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.