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Climate modelling and structural stability

Lam, Vincent (2021) Climate modelling and structural stability. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Climate modelling plays a crucial role for understanding and addressing the climate challenge, in terms of both mitigation and adaptation. It is therefore of central importance to understand to what extent climate models are adequate for relevant purposes, such as providing certain kinds of climate change projections in view of decision-making. In this perspective, the issue of the stability of climate models under small relevant perturbations in their structure (or small relevant `structural model errors' with respect to the target system) seems particularly important. Within this framework, a debate has emerged in the philosophy of science literature about the relevance for climate modelling of the mathematical notion of structural stability. This paper adresses several important foundational and epistemological questions that arise in this context, in particular about the the role of abstract mathematical considerations of a qualitative nature (in some precise, topological sense) for concrete modelling projects with mainly quantitative purposes.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Lam, Vincentvincent.lam@philo.unibe.ch0000-0002-4454-5382
Keywords: Climate models, structural stability, structural model error, hawkmoth effect, topology, dynamical systems theory, chaos theory, climate projections, decision-making
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
Specific Sciences > Climate Science and Meteorology
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Depositing User: Vincent Lam
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2021 12:32
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 12:32
Item ID: 19522
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
Specific Sciences > Climate Science and Meteorology
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Date: 2 September 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19522

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