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Climate Models, Calibration and Confirmation

Steele, Katie and Werndl, Charlotte (2012) Climate Models, Calibration and Confirmation. [Preprint]

climatecalibrationconfirmation_Pittsburgh_Final.pdf - Submitted Version

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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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Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: confirmation, calibration, tuning, double-counting, climate science, Bayesianism
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Specific Sciences > Earth Sciences
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Depositing User: Charlotte Werndl
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2012 14:09
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2012 14:09
Item ID: 9099

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