Agricultural Value of ENSO Information under Alternative Phase Definition
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The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) effect has been found to be associated with regional climate variations in many regions of the world, and, in turn, with variation in crop yields. Previous studies have found that early releases of ENSO phase information could permit agricultural producers to make adjustments in their decisions and in turn generate an increase in agricultural sector welfare. This study examines whether the value of the agricultural responses can be enhanced by releasing more detailed ENSO information. Namely we evaluate the implications for projected agricultural welfare under release and adaptation to the Stone and Auliciems five phase definition of ENSO states as opposed to the more standard three phase definition. This value is estimated using a stochastic, U.S./global agricultural model representing 22 climate years. The results indicate that the release and exploitation of the more detailed ENSO phase definition almost doubles the welfare impact. The results also indicate that there is room for up to another doubling of information value through further refinements.
author list (cited authors)
Chen, C., McCarl, B., & Hill, H.