Confirmation and Robustness of Climate Models

Philosophy of Science 77 (5):971–984 (2010)
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Abstract

Recent philosophical attention to climate models has highlighted their weaknesses and uncertainties. Here I address the ways that models gain support through observational data. I review examples of model fit, variety of evidence, and independent support for aspects of the models, contrasting my analysis with that of other philosophers. I also investigate model robustness, which often emerges when comparing climate models simulating the same time period or set of conditions. Starting from Michael Weisberg’s analysis of robustness, I conclude that his approach involves a version of reasoning from variety of evidence, enabling this robustness to be a confirmatory virtue..

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Author's Profile

Elisabeth Lloyd
Indiana University, Bloomington

Citations of this work

Model Evaluation: An Adequacy-for-Purpose View.Wendy S. Parker - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (3):457-477.
Robustness Analysis as Explanatory Reasoning.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw008.
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.
Robustness Analysis as Explanatory Reasoning.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):275-300.

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