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Climate Models, Calibration and Confirmation

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

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    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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    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 10:09
    Last Modified: 23 Apr 2012 10:09
    Item ID: 9099
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9099

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