SSS10.4

In complex systems, such as terrestrial ecosystems uncertain information (whether in observation, measurement, interpretation or models) is the norm, and this impinges on most knowledge that earth scientists generate. It is important to quantify and account for uncertainty in our models and predictions otherwise results can be misleading. This is particularly important when predictions are to be used in a decision-making process where the end user needs to be able to properly evaluate the risk involved.

Quantitative estimation of uncertainty is a difficult challenge, that continually calls for the development of more refined tools. Many diverse methods have been developed, such as non-linear kriging in spatial prediction, stochastic simulation modelling and other error propagation approaches and even methods including the use of expert elicitation, but many challenges still remain. A second and often overlooked challenge with uncertainty is how to communicate it effectively to the end users such as scientists, engineers, policy makers, regulators and the general public.

In this session, we will examine the state of the art of both uncertainty quantification and communication in earth systems sciences. We shall give attention to three components of the problem: 1) new methods and applications of uncertainty quantification, 2) how to use such information for risk assessment, and 3) how to communicate it to the end-user. Dealing with uncertainty across all these three layers is a truly multidisciplinary task, requiring input from diverse disciplines (such as earth science, statistics, economics and psychology) to ensure that it is successful. The main aim of this session is to connect the three components of the problem, offering multiple perspectives on related methodologies, connecting scientists from different fields dealing with uncertainty and favouring the development of multidisciplinary approaches.

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Co-organized by EOS4
Convener: Alice Milne | Co-conveners: Kirsty Hassall, Gerard Heuvelink, Lorenzo MenichettiECSECS, Nadezda Vasilyeva
Displays
| Wed, 06 May, 14:00–15:45 (CEST)

In complex systems, such as terrestrial ecosystems uncertain information (whether in observation, measurement, interpretation or models) is the norm, and this impinges on most knowledge that earth scientists generate. It is important to quantify and account for uncertainty in our models and predictions otherwise results can be misleading. This is particularly important when predictions are to be used in a decision-making process where the end user needs to be able to properly evaluate the risk involved.

Quantitative estimation of uncertainty is a difficult challenge, that continually calls for the development of more refined tools. Many diverse methods have been developed, such as non-linear kriging in spatial prediction, stochastic simulation modelling and other error propagation approaches and even methods including the use of expert elicitation, but many challenges still remain. A second and often overlooked challenge with uncertainty is how to communicate it effectively to the end users such as scientists, engineers, policy makers, regulators and the general public.

In this session, we will examine the state of the art of both uncertainty quantification and communication in earth systems sciences. We shall give attention to three components of the problem: 1) new methods and applications of uncertainty quantification, 2) how to use such information for risk assessment, and 3) how to communicate it to the end-user. Dealing with uncertainty across all these three layers is a truly multidisciplinary task, requiring input from diverse disciplines (such as earth science, statistics, economics and psychology) to ensure that it is successful. The main aim of this session is to connect the three components of the problem, offering multiple perspectives on related methodologies, connecting scientists from different fields dealing with uncertainty and favouring the development of multidisciplinary approaches.

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