Please note that this session was withdrawn and is no longer available in the respective programme. This withdrawal might have been the result of a merge with another session.


Quantifying and communicating uncertain information in earth sciences

In complex earth systems, 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 this uncertainty, 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.

Quantifying 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, various uncertainty propagation approaches and 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 components 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.

Co-organized by
Convener: Alice Milne | Co-conveners: Kirsty Hassall, Gerard Heuvelink, Lorenzo Menichetti, Nadezda Vasilyeva