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Whose Probabilities? Predicting Climate Change with Ensembles of Models

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

Today's most sophisticated simulation studies of future climate employ not just one climate model but a number of models. I explain why this “ensemble” approach has been adopted—namely, as a means of taking account of uncertainty—and why a comprehensive investigation of uncertainty remains elusive. I then defend a middle ground between two camps in an ongoing debate over the transformation of ensemble results into probabilistic predictions of climate change, highlighting requirements that I refer to as ownership, justification, and robustness.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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Footnotes

Thanks to Lenny Smith and Reto Knutti for helpful discussion. This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant 0824287.

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