The role of 'complex' empiricism in the debates about satellite data and climate models

Abstract
climate scientists have been engaged in a decades-long debate over the standing of satellite measurements of the temperature trends of the atmosphere above the surface of the earth. This is especially significant because skeptics of global warming and the greenhouse effect have utilized this debate to spread doubt about global climate models used to predict future states of climate. I use this case from an under-studied science to illustrate two distinct philosophical approaches to the relation among data, scientists, measurement, models, and theory. I argue that distinguishing between 'direct' empiricist and 'complex' empiricist approaches helps us understand and analyze this important scientific episode. I also introduce a complex empiricist account of testing and evaluation, and contrast it with the basic Hypothetico-Deductive approach to the climate models used by the direct empiricists. This more developed complex empiricist apporach will serve philosophy of science well, as computational models become more wide-spread in the sciences.
Keywords climate models  Hypothetico-Deductivism  tropospheric warming  satellite data  radiosonde data  greenhouse effect warming  hypothesis testing
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2012.02.001
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References found in this work BETA
Elisabeth A. Lloyd (2009). Varieties of Support and Confirmation of Climate Models. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):213-232.

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Citations of this work BETA
Anna Leuschner (2015). Uncertainties, Plurality, and Robustness in Climate Research and Modeling: On the Reliability of Climate Prognoses. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 46 (2):367-381.

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