Factors that influence the use of climate forecasts: Evidence from the 1997/98 El Niño event in Peru

Benjamin S. Orlove, Kenneth Broad, Aaron M. Petty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This article analyzes the use of climate forecasts among members of the Peruvian fishing sector during the 1997/98 El Niño event. It focuses on the effect of the time of hearing a forecast on the socioeconomic responses to the forecast. Finding are based on data collected from a survey of 596 persons in five ports spanning the length of the Peruvian coast. Respondents include commercial and artisanal fishers, plant workers, managers, and firm owners. These data fill an important gap in the literature on the use of forecasts. Though modelers have discussed the effects of the timing of the dissemination and reception of forecasts, along with other factors, on acting on a forecast once it hs been heard, few researchers have gathered empirical evidence on these topics. The 1997/98 El Niño event was covered extensively by the media throughout Peru, affording the opportunity to study the effect of hearing forecasts on actions taken by members of a population directly impacted by ENSO events. Findings of this study examine the relationships among 1) socioeconomic variables, including geographic factors, age, education, income level, organizational ties, and media access; 2) time of hearing the forecast; and 3) actions taken in response to the forecast. Socio-economic variables have a strong effect on the time of hearing the forecast and the actions taken in response to the forecast; however, time of hearing does not have an independent effect on taking action. The article discusses the implications of these findings for the application of forecasts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1735-17433
Number of pages15699
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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