Authors
Julie Jebeile
University of Bern
Anouk Barberousse
Université Paris-Sorbonne
Abstract
Convergence of model projections is often considered by climate scientists to be an important objective in so far as it may indicate the robustness of the models’ core hypotheses. Consequently, the range of climate projections from a multi-model ensemble, called “model spread”, is often expected to reduce as climate research moves forward. However, the successive Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicate no reduction in model spread, whereas it is indisputable that climate science has made improvements in its modelling. In this paper, after providing a detailed explanation of the situation, we describe an epistemological setting in which a steady model spread is not doomed to be seen as negative, and is indeed compatible with a desirable evolution of climate models taken individually. We further argue that, from the perspective of collective progress, as far as the improvement of the products of a multi-model ensemble is concerned, reduction of model spread is of lower priority than model independence.
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DOI 10.1007/s13194-021-00387-0
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References found in this work BETA

Robustness Analysis as Explanatory Reasoning.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw008.
Confirmation and Robustness of Climate Models.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):971–984.
Model Robustness as a Confirmatory Virtue: The Case of Climate Science.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 49:58-68.
Varieties of Support and Confirmation of Climate Models.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2009 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):213-232.

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