Publication Abstracts

Schmidt and Sherwood 2015

Schmidt, G.A., and S. Sherwood, 2015: A practical philosophy of complex climate modelling. Eur. J. Phil. Sci., 5, no. 2, 149-169, doi:10.1007/s13194-014-0102-9.

We give an overview of the practice of developing and using complex climate models, as seen from experiences in a major climate modelling center and through participation in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). We discuss the construction and calibration of models; their evaluation, especially through use of out-of-sample tests; and their exploitation in multi-model ensembles to identify biases and make predictions. We stress that adequacy or utility of climate models is best assessed via their skill against more naïve predictions. The framework we use for making inferences about reality using simulations is naturally Bayesian (in an informal sense), and has many points of contact with more familiar examples of scientific epistemology. While the use of complex simulations in science is a development that changes much in how science is done in practice, we argue that the concepts being applied fit very much into traditional practices of the scientific method, albeit those more often associated with laboratory work.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Schmidt, G. A. and Sherwood, S.},
  title={A practical philosophy of complex climate modelling},
  journal={Eur. J. Phil. Sci.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - sc06500e
AU  - Schmidt, G. A.
AU  - Sherwood, S.
PY  - 2015
TI  - A practical philosophy of complex climate modelling
JA  - Eur. J. Phil. Sci.
VL  - 5
IS  - 2
SP  - 149
EP  - 169
DO  - 10.1007/s13194-014-0102-9
ER  -

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