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Information in earth sciences: visualization techniques and communication of uncertainty (co-organized)
Convener: R M Lark  | Co-Conveners: Jon Blower , Niklas Röber , Alice Milne , Ewa Szynkaruk , Mohan Ramamurthy , Torsten Möller 
 / Thu, 21 Apr, 08:30–12:15  / 13:30–15:15
 / Attendance Thu, 21 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Convenors R.M. Lark (British Geological Survey, UK), J. Blower, University of Reading, A.E. Milne(Rothamsted Research, UK), N. Rober (Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum GmbH Germany) , Torsten Moeller (University of Vienna, Austria)

The communication of environmental information is a challenge. Data are large, multivariate, multidimensional and variable in time and space. Information is therefore complex and subject to uncertainty. Nonetheless it must be effectively communicated, both across scientific disciplines and to a wider group of stakeholders, including policy makers, managers and the general public. Effective strategies for communication are needed if the end-user of environmental information is to make proper use of it.

In this session we will discuss progress towards communication strategies to present environmental information and to communicate its uncertainty. Visualization is a key technique for helping scientists to extract information and meaning from complex data. Depending on the application domain and the specific scientific questions to be solved, different visualization strategies and techniques have to be applied. The communication of information is a 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.

The session will include presentations from multiple disciplines including computation, statistics, psychology and a range of geosciences. It will present research and case studies to show best practices or state of the art in earth science data visualization, techniques that allow an intuitive interaction with large data sets, new approaches to communicating uncertain information and new methods of quantifying uncertainty to facilitate its communication.