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Communication of uncertain information in earth sciences: data, models and visualization (co-organized)
Convener: R M Lark  | Co-Conveners: Steve Mathers , Niklas Röber , Alice Milne , Ewa Szynkaruk , Torsten Möller 
 / Mon, 13 Apr, 13:30–17:15
 / Attendance Mon, 13 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Uncertainty impinges on most information that earth scientists generate, whether this is by observation, measurement, interpretation or modelling. It is necessary to communicate a proper appreciation of this uncertainty to the users of information if they are to make proper use of it. Users of information have diverse backgrounds, including scientists, engineers, policy makers, regulators and the general public.

In this session we will examine how data users can benefit from effective quantification and communication of the uncertainty in geoscientific information. We shall pay particular attention to the challenges of quantifying and communicating the uncertainty in climate models and 3-D geological models. This is a truly multidisciplinary task, requiring input from earth scientists, statisticians, economists and psychologists to ensure that it is successful. Various methods can be brought to bear from novel statistics, the mathematics of decision analysis, the economics of the value of information and the psychology of judgment and decision making. Visualization can be a particularly effective way to communicate uncertainty in information when this has been effectively quantified. Thus special attention will be given to the representation of uncertainty during the visual analysis process. The session will include presentations on methodology and case studies to illuminate the problem.