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Luz Calvo, Isadora Christel, Marta Terrado, Fernando Cucchietti, and Mario Pérez-Montoro

Abstract

The visual communication of climate information is one of the cornerstones of climate services. It often requires the translation of multidimensional data to visual channels by combining colors, distances, angles, and glyph sizes. However, visualizations including too many layers of complexity can hinder decision-making processes by limiting the cognitive capacity of users, therefore affecting their attention, recognition, and working memory. Methodologies grounded on the fields of user-centered design, user interaction and cognitive psychology, which are based on the needs of the users, have a lot to contribute to the climate data visualization field. Here, we apply these methodologies to the redesign of an existing climate service tool tailored to the wind energy sector. We quantify the effect of the redesign on the users’ experience performing typical daily tasks, using both quantitative and qualitative indicators that include response time, success ratios, eye-tracking measures, user perceived effort and comments among others. Changes in the visual encoding of uncertainty and the use of interactive elements in the redesigned tool reduced the users’ response time by half, significantly improved success ratios, and eased decision making by filtering non-relevant information. Our results show that the application of user-centered design, interaction, and cognitive aspects to the design of climate information visualizations reduces the cognitive load of users during tasks performance, thus improving user experience. These aspects are key to successfully communicating climate information in a clearer and more accessible way, making it more understandable for both technical and non-technical audiences.

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Marta Terrado, Llorenç Lledó, Dragana Bojovic, Asun Lera St. Clair, Albert Soret, Francisco J. Doblas-Reyes, Rodrigo Manzanas, Daniel San-Martín, and Isadora Christel

Abstract

Climate predictions, from three weeks to a decade into the future, can provide invaluable information for climate-sensitive socioeconomic sectors, such as renewable energy, agriculture, or insurance. However, communicating and interpreting these predictions is not straightforward. Barriers hindering user uptake include a terminology gap between climate scientists and users, the difficulties of dealing with probabilistic outcomes for decision-making, and the lower skill of climate predictions compared to the skill of weather forecasts. This paper presents a gaming approach to break communication and understanding barriers through the application of the Weather Roulette conceptual framework. In the game, the player can choose between two forecast options, one that uses ECMWF seasonal predictions against one using climatology-derived probabilities. For each forecast option, the bet is spread proportionally to the predicted probabilities, either in a single year game or a game for the whole period of 33 past years. This paper provides skill maps of forecast quality metrics commonly used by the climate prediction community (e.g., ignorance skill score and ranked probability skill score), which in the game are linked to metrics easily understood by the business sector (e.g., interest rate and return on investment). In a simplified context, we illustrate how in skillful regions the economic benefits of using ECMWF predictions arise in the long term and are higher than using climatology. This paper provides an example of how to convey the usefulness of climate predictions and transfer the knowledge from climate science to potential users. If applied, this approach could provide the basis for a better integration of knowledge about climate anomalies into operational and managerial processes.

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Dragana Bojovic, Roberto Bilbao, Leandro B. Díaz, Markus Donat, Pablo Ortega, Yohan Ruprich-Robert, Balakrishnan Solaraju-Murali, Marta Terrado, Deborah Verfaillie, and Francisco Doblas-Reyes
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