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During the summer 2001 annual meeting of the American Association of State Climatologists (AASC), it was decided that a policy statement by this organization on climate was needed. This community which provides climate service to individual states and regions, had here to fore not provided its view on the subject of climate prediction capabilities and climate services.

Among the major conclusions of the resulting policy statement is that our ability to skillfully predict the future climate, due to both natural causes and human forcings, is limited to approximately a season or so. The policy also states that monitoring and assessments of societal and environmental vulnerability to climate variability and change are the topics which should be emphasized, in terms of the allocation of resources in this area.