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The role of scientific information in an emerging environmental crisis

At the beginning of the General Assembly 2020 EGU has published a declaration on the significance of geoscience expertise to meet global societal challenges. At the same time, a global public health crisis was happening due to COVID-19. During any public crisis including this public health crisis or any emerging environmental crisis, authorities often seek advice from experts to take the best possible actions. In many countries systems are in place for several potential environmental disasters such as floods and storms. However, for less frequent or new issues there is no established protocol. As sometimes fast reaction is key to save lives, experts may find themselves in the situation that a statement has to be issued under strong time constraints and without peer-review. In this great debate we would like to discuss different aspects of the requirement for fast information and how to address it, especially how to deal with the related lack of quality assessments and uncertainties. We will also discuss how this COVID-19 public health crisis could draw on the experience gained during other disasters that happen more frequently and which lessons we can learn from that.

Public information:
Vasiti Soko (Director of the National Disaster Management Office, Fiji)
Matthew Hort (Head of Atmospheric Dispersion and Air Quality Research, Met Office, UK)
Nadejda Komendantova (Research Group Leader, Cooperation and Transformative Governance Research Group, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria)
William Pan (Assoc. Prof., Global Environmental Health, Duke Global Health Institute, USA)

Convener: Oksana Tarasova | Co-convener: Claudia VolosciukECSECS

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  • Vasiti Soko
  • Matthew Hort, Met Office, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales
  • William Pan
  • Nadejda Komendantova, IIASA, Austria
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