Informing decisions with a climate synthesis product: Implications for regional climate services

Zack Guido, Dawn Hill, Michael Crimmins, Daniel Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The demand for regional climate information is increasing and spurring efforts to provide a broad slate of climate services that inform policy and resource management and elevate general knowledge. Routine syntheses of existing climate-related information may be an effective strategy for connecting climate information to decision making, but few studies have formally assessed their contribution to informing decisions. During the 2010-11 winter, drought conditions expanded and intensified in Arizona and New Mexico, creating an opportunity to develop and evaluate a monthly regional climate communication product-La Ni~na Drought Tracker-that synthesized and interpreted drought and climate information. Six issues were published and subsequently evaluated through an online survey. On average, 417 people consulted the publication each month. Many of the survey respondents indicated that they made at least one drought-related decision, and the product at least moderately influenced the majority of those decisions, some of which helped mitigate economic losses. More than 90% of the respondents also indicated that the product improved their understanding of climate and drought, and that it helped the majority of them better prepare for drought. The results demonstrate that routine interpretation and synthesis of existing climate information can help enhance access to and understanding and use of climate information in decision making, fulfilling the main goals for the provision of climate services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
JournalWeather, Climate, and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science


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