Climate models, confirmation and calibration

Authors
Katie Steele
Australian National University
Charlotte Werndl
University of Salzburg
Abstract
We argue that concerns about double-counting -- using the same evidence both to calibrate or tune climate models and also to confirm or verify that the models are adequate --deserve more careful scrutiny in climate modelling circles. It is widely held that double-counting is bad and that separate data must be used for calibration and confirmation. We show that this is far from obviously true, and that climate scientists may be confusing their targets. Our analysis turns on a Bayesian/relative-likelihood approach to incremental confirmation. According to this approach, double-counting is entirely proper. We go on to discuss plausible difficulties with calibrating climate models, and we distinguish more and less ambitious notions of confirmation. Strong claims of confirmation may not, in many cases, be warranted, but it would be a mistake to regard double-counting as the culprit
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axs036
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Calibration: Modelling the Measurement Process.Eran Tal - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 65:33-45.
On Defining Climate and Climate Change.Charlotte Werndl - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):337-364.

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