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Visually communicating future climate in a web environment

October 15, 2020

While there is growing demand for use of climate model projections to understand the potential impacts of future climate on resources, there is a lack of effective visuals that convey the range of possible climates across spatial scales and with uncertainties that potential users need to inform their impact assessments and studies. We use usability testing including eye tracking to explore how a group of resource professionals (foresters) interpret and understand a series of graphical representations of future climate change, housed within a web-based decision support system (DSS), that address limitations identified in other tools. We find that a three-map layout effectively communicates the spread of future climate projections spatially, that location-specific information is effectively communicated if depicted both spatially on a map and temporally on a time series plot, and that model error metrics may be useful for communicating uncertainty and in demonstrating the utility of these future climate datasets.

Publication Year 2020
Title Visually communicating future climate in a web environment
DOI 10.1175/WCAS-D-19-0152.1
Authors Corey Davis, Heather D Aldridge, Ryan Boyles, Karen McNeal, Lindsay C. Mauldin, Rachel M. Atkins
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Weather, Climate, and Society
Index ID 70215476
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center