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Beyond Climate Models: Rethinking How To Envision the Future with Climate Change

Friday, February 17, 2012: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM, Room 205-207 (VCC West Building)

Little evidence exists that the dominant ways of communicating climate-change science with the public or policy-makers are effective. The uncertainty of future projections and the prevalence of natural science modeling that conveys dire consequences without social response options are possible contributions to this ineffectiveness. Yet innovative visualization media, such as interactive virtual globes and immersive decision theaters, promise to make future scenarios more real, salient, and open to dialog and creativity. Such visual media may serve to engage society and policy-makers more effectively, accelerating learning and building capacity for climate action. This session brings together leading multidisciplinary experts involved in communicating climate change to users and society, to reveal new research findings and stimulate a crucial scientific debate on the appropriate role of visualization tools and processes to support policy and action. It explores the benefits, risks, and dilemmas of going beyond the physical sciences and reimagining the future, through interactive visualization and discussion with session participants. Breakout discussions will be facilitated and outcomes recorded by the speakers and experts from fields such as climate scenarios, scientific visualization, multimedia decision theaters, electronic communications, psychology, and visualization ethics.


Stephen Sheppard, University of British Columbia


Arnim Wiek, Arizona State University and Olaf Gerhard Schroth, University of British Columbia


John Robinson, University of British Columbia


Mike Hulme, University of East Anglia
The Future Beyond Climate Models: Engaging and Empowering the Human Imagination

Richard Moss, Joint Global Change Research Institute
Communicating Science and Uncertainty Through Scenarios and Climate-Change Assessment

Stephen Sheppard, University of British Columbia
Dilemmas of Visualization and Visioning in Climate-Change Outreach and Planning




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