Assessing climate model projections: State of the art and philosophical reflections

Abstract

The present paper draws on climate science and the philosophy of science in order to evaluate climate-model-based approaches to assessing climate projections. We analyze the difficulties that arise in such assessment and outline criteria of adequacy for approaches to it. In addition, we offer a critical overview of the approaches used in the IPCC working group one fourth report, including the confidence building, Bayesian and likelihood approaches. Finally, we consider approaches that do not feature in the IPCC reports, including three approaches drawn from the philosophy of science. We find that all available approaches face substantial challenges, with IPCC approaches having as a primary source of difficulty their goal of providing probabilistic assessments.

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Joel Katzav
University of Queensland

References found in this work

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A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1980 - In Yuri Balashov & Alexander Rosenberg (eds.), Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readings. Routledge. pp. 211.
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Science as Social Knowledge.Sharon L. Crasnow - 1992 - Hypatia 8 (3):194-201.

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Citations of this work

The Epistemology of Climate Models and Some of its Implications for Climate Science and the Philosophy of Science.Joel Katzav - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (2):228-238.
A Practical Philosophy of Complex Climate Modelling.Gavin A. Schmidt & Steven Sherwood - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (2):149-169.
Climate Models: How to Assess Their Reliability.Martin Carrier & Johannes Lenhard - 2019 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 32 (2):81-100.
Introduction to Assessing Climate Models: Knowledge, Values and Policy.Joel Katzav & Wendy S. Parker - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (2):141-148.

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