Confirmation and adequacy-for-purpose in climate modelling

Lloyd (2009) contends that climate models are confirmed by various instances of fit between their output and observational data. The present paper argues that what these instances of fit might confirm are not climate models themselves, but rather hypotheses about the adequacy of climate models for particular purposes. This required shift in thinking—from confirming climate models to confirming their adequacy-for-purpose—may sound trivial, but it is shown to complicate the evaluation of climate models considerably, both in principle and in practice.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8349.2009.00180.x
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References found in this work BETA
Deborah G. Mayo (2001). Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 15 (1):455-459.
Michael Weisberg (2006). Robustness Analysis. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):730-742.
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
Joel Katzav (2014). The Epistemology of Climate Models and Some of its Implications for Climate Science and the Philosophy of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (2):228-238.

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Gregor Betz (2009). Underdetermination, Model-Ensembles and Surprises: On the Epistemology of Scenario-Analysis in Climatology. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (1):3 - 21.
Gabriele Gramelsberger (2011). What Do Numerical (Climate) Models Really Represent? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42 (2):296-302.
Elisabeth A. Lloyd (2009). Varieties of Support and Confirmation of Climate Models. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):213-232.

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