Forecasting Natural Events That Could Have A Major Impact On Society

1107 Words Mar 21st, 2016 null Page
Forecasting natural events such as landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions is a challenging task compounded by disagreeing outlooks. People want precise warnings of these events, however the scientific community is not able to make available forecasts as accurate as wanted because these natural events are only partly understood. The present situation is an uneasy compromise, with Earth scientists recognizing that public support requires that major efforts be made to forecast potential natural disasters, and the public becoming increasingly aware that probabilistic forecasts though fraught with uncertainty-are useful in decision making. Effective forecasting of natural events that could have a major impact on society involves cooperation among three groups who are not always accustomed to working closely with one another: scientists, who are responsible for making the forecasts and for estimating their degree of uncertainty; public officials, who are responsible for the safety and welfare of their constituents; and the news media, who are responsible for accurate communication of information to the public. There is no way to win in a natural disaster; one can only hope to reduce the losses. Close cooperation among these three groups, with each understanding the different problems faced by the others, can lead to significant reductions in public risk. On the other hand, lack of trust, understanding, or cooperation can easily exacerbate a disaster or potential…

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