In his dissertation, Peter Stempel at the University of Rhode Island has done outstanding research about the ways in which realism used in visualizations influences the perception of risk (see the figure above for an example). His particular focus has been on storm surges and sea level rise, continuing some of the work done by Prof. Stephen Sheppard, David Flanders, me and others at the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning at UBC and published in Sheppard (2012) “Visualizing Climate Change”.
Peter has also made a short presentation at a recent estuarine and coastal modelling conference last week and you can watch a narrated version here: https://vimeo.com/171324965
Now, the University has created a position for someone to participate in and continue the work Peter has begun. This position is a fully funded assistantship focused on visualization (PhD). Rhode Island University are actively recruiting applicants.