Climate and Environment

  • Shira Daskal, Adar Ben-Eliyahu, Gal Levy, Yakov Ben-Haim, Ronnen Avny, 2022, Earthquake vulnerability reduction by building a robust social-emotional preparedness program, Sustainability, vol.14, 5763. Abstract.
  • Wei-Chih Lin, Yu-Pin Lin, and Yung-Chieh Wang, 2016, A decision-making approach for delineating sites which are potentially contaminated by heavy metals via joint simulation, Environmental Pollution, 211: 98-110.


    This work develops a new approach for delineating sites that are contaminated by multiple soil heavy metals and applies it to a case study. First a number of contaminant sample data are transformed into multiple spatially un-correlated factors using Uniformly Weighted Exhaustive Diagonalization with Gauss iterations (U-WEDGE). Sequential Gaussian simulation (sGs) is then used to generate sets of realizations of each resultant factor. These are then transformed into sets of sGs contaminant distribution realizations, which are then used to analyze the local and spatial (global) uncertainties in the distribution and concentration of contaminants via joint simulation. Finally, Info-Gap Decision Theory (IGDT) is used to consider different monitoring and or remediation regimes based on the analysis of contaminant realization spatial uncertainty. In our case study each heavy metal contaminant was considered individually and together with all other heavy metals; as the number of heavy metals considered increased, higher critical proportion values of local probability were chosen to obtain a low global uncertainty (to provide high reliability). Info-Gap Decision Theory (IGDT) yielded the most appropriate critical proportion values which minimized information loss in terms of specific goals. When the false negative rate is set to zero, meaning that it is necessary to monitor all potentially polluted areas, the corresponding false positive rates are at least 63%, 65%, 66%, 68%, 70%, and 78% to yield robustness levels of 0.50, 0.60, 0.70, 0.80, 0.90, and 1.00 respectively. However, when the false negative rate tolerance threshold is raised to 50%, the false positive rate tolerance which yields robustness levels of 0.50, 0.60, 0.70, 0.80, 0.90 and 1.00 drop to 12%, 14%, 15%, 18%, 20%, and 39%. The case study demonstrates the effectiveness of the developed approach at making robust decisions concerning the delineation of sites contaminated by multiple heavy metals.


    Decision-making, Robustness, Contaminated sites, Conditional simulation, Uncertainty, Heavy metals, Soil, GIS.

  • Jim W. Hall, Robert J. Lempert, Klaus Keller, Andrew Hackbarth, Christophe Mijere, and David J. McInerney, 2012, Robust Climate Policies Under Uncertainty: A Comparison of Robust Decision Making and Info-Gap Methods, Risk Analysis, 32 (10): 1657-1672.


    Abrupt change; climate change; deep uncertainty; info-gap; robust decision making


    This study compares two widely used approaches for robustness analysis of decision problems: the info-gap method originally developed by Ben-Haim and the robust decision making (RDM) approach originally developed by Lempert, Popper, and Bankes. The study uses each approach to evaluate alternative paths for climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions given the potential for nonlinear threshold responses in the climate system, significant uncertainty about such a threshold response and a variety of other key parameters, as well as the ability to learn about any threshold responses over time. Info-gap and RDM share many similarities. Both represent uncertainty as sets of multiple plausible futures, and both seek to identify robust strategies whose performance is insensitive to uncertainties. Yet they also exhibit important differences, as they arrange their analyses in different orders, treat losses and gains in different ways, and take different approaches to imprecise probabilistic information. The study finds that the two approaches reach similar but not identical policy recommendations and that their differing attributes raise important questions about their appropriate roles in decision support applications. The comparison not only improves understanding of these specific methods, it also suggests some broader insights into robustness approaches and a framework for comparing them.

  • Manning, L.J., J.W. Hall, H.J. Fowler, C.G. Kilsby and C. Tebaldi, 2010, Using probabilistic climate change information from a multimodel ensemble for water resources assessment, Water Resources Research, VOL. 45, doi:10.1029/2007WR006674.