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The social and technical construction of weather: El Nino and other climatic events in Sub-Saharan Africa

Research reports

Recent concern about the consequences of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has focused more general attention on the role of government in both monitoring and disseminating predictions concerning likely future weather patterns. Governments have become increasingly aware of the significance of such predictions both in developing drought preparedness, reinforcing requests for assistance and providing an alibi for defects in the provision of services to rural areas. The paper argues that the impacts of global climate modelling are as much socio-political as technical and that claims concerning droughts, floods, forest fires and other possible consequences of large-scale oscillations must be decoded as much for their political significance as their predictive element.

Roger Blench and Zoë Marriage