Digital Twin Earth

13 - 16 February 2023

Venue: Lorentz Center@Oort

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A Digital Twin of the earth constitutes a new paradigm in weather and climate research and applications. The twin(s) explores climate futures interactively and informs users of climate information. The concept is mostly driven from weather, climate and computational science and urgently needs broadening to other scholarly domains.

The main aim of this workshop is to develop a new interdisciplinary research agenda on Digital Twins of the Earth. The proposed agenda will feed into European and other research programs, such as the science plan of Destination Earth.  

The workshop will bring together scientists from three communities: climate science, computer and data science and social sciences. Each of the three domains is of importance for digital twin development for environmental sciences and policies. However, each domain has different research foci, challenges and terminology and we will identify and reconcile these during the workshop. In this workshop we will focus on the research needs. We ask each senior participant to bring an early career scientist to get more independent fresh views on these new developments. 

Topics we will discuss are:

  1. Basic concepts of digital twins: interactivity between user and digital object, navigation in virtual worlds, efficacy of storylines virtualized in digital worlds, reproducibility (from a sciences point of view).
  2. Digital twins of the earth: how should earth be represented and to what detail and complexity (uncertainty, spread aspects, complexity) including how to represent relevant human activities, in particular disruptive events.
  3. Use of digital twin earth: how do humans perceive information from digital twins, how do people respond to information that contains uncertainty and what are the implications for climate (in)action?

Workshop set up

The first part of the workshop will focus on sharing the challenges and terminology of each domain related to the concept of digital twins (as far as we understand what that is given the wide range of interpretations).

The various interpretations will be made explicit with extended pitches by participants of 10 minutes (to be selected before the workshop), followed up by moderated discussions and collecting issues, questions, etc.

In the second part of the workshop we will bring the various concepts and viewpoints together and reconcile them to an interdisciplinary research agenda on Digital Twin Earth. Already identified major common issues are: interactivity, system representation (climate up to society) and (digital) infrastructures.

Throughout the workshop we will reserve time for early career researchers to reflect on the discussions and the outcomes.

Workshop Part 1:

  • Domain challenges relevant to Digital Twins of the Earth (day 1 and day 2):

    • Concept of Digital Twins

    E.g. overview of industrial digital twins and of DestinE’s first two digital twins (weather extremes and climate adaptation)

    • Main challenges from societal applications point of view

    E.g. sectoral impact of physical climate changes, climate policies, decision making under uncertainty

    • Main challenges from climate science and simulation point of view

    E.g. physical processes relevant to extremes in weather and climate, representation in simulations (numerical, learned models etc) and fidelity thereof, uncertainty propagation

    • Main challenges from a social science point of view

    E.g. perceived objectivity and trust in digital technologies, uptake of information in embedded social environments, user experience of interactivity with digital tools.

    • Main challenges from a computer and data science point of view

    E.g. distributed data and compute infrastructures, data management, latency, interactivity

    Workshop Part 2:

  • Research agenda on Digital Twin Earth (day 3 and day 4):

    • Systems representation in Digital Twin Earth
    • Interacting with Digital Twin Earth
    • Infrastructures for Digital Twin Earth
    Please login to view the participants information. You have received the log in details in your registration confirmation.

    Wilco Hazeleger, Utrecht University  

    Bjorn Stevens, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology  

    Veronika Eyring, German Aerospace Center (DLR) and University of Bremen  

    Catrin Finkenauer, Utrecht University  

    Peter Sloot, University of Amsterdam  

Jedidja van Bree-Waarsenburg

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