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.
Keywords Climate model projections  Epistemology of climate science
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