Cautionary Remarks on the Planetary Boundary Visualisation
Abstract. The Planetary Boundary (PB) concept has captured attention across academia and the public alike. Its unique visual representation has been key to the development of the concept and its dissemination. In this commentary, we outline three areas of concern to facilitate further enhancement in the PB concept’s visualisation. Firstly, the radial bar plot leads to a quadratic scaling of the effect sizes. Secondly, the colour gradations denoting the risk of each boundary transgression use complex non-linear patterns, which complicates interpretation. Thirdly, the conjunction of quadratic effect scaling and specific colour coding may unintentionally amplify the perception of high-risk areas. We recommend a careful revision of the visual language employed in PB communication, aiming to address these concerns.
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