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Ensembles as Evidence, Not Experts: On the Value and Interpretation of Climate Models

Dethier, Corey (2022) Ensembles as Evidence, Not Experts: On the Value and Interpretation of Climate Models. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Climate scientists frequently interpret climate models as providing probabilistic information, a practice that has come under substantial criticism from philosophers of science. The present paper defends this interpretation. I show that the probabilistic information provided by “ensembles” of climate models is invaluable to climate science; it provides important information about how to distribute confidence over various alternatives. Importantly, this information is best understood and treated as evidence (rather than as some kind of deferral-worthy expert function). From this perspective, it becomes clear that the criticisms raised by philosophers only motivate a moderate position according to which some but not all uses of the probabilities generated by “ensemble-
based methods” are appropriate.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Dethier, Coreycorey.dethier@gmail.com0000-0002-1240-8391
Additional Information: Draft; comments extremely welcome. Please contact at corey.dethier[at]gmail.com before citing or quoting.
Keywords: climate models; probabilities; ensembles; statistics; higher-order evidence
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Climate Science and Meteorology
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Depositing User: Mr Corey Dethier
Date Deposited: 18 May 2022 13:30
Last Modified: 18 May 2022 13:30
Item ID: 20629
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Climate Science and Meteorology
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Date: 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20629

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