The Myopia of Imperfect Climate Models: The Case of UKCP09

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Philosophy of Science, ISSN: 0031-8248, Vol: 80, Issue: 5, Page: 886-897

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Frigg, Roman; Smith, Leonard A.; Stainforth, David A.
University of Chicago Press; The University of Chicago Press
Arts and Humanities
article description
The United Kingdom Climate Impacts Program's UKCP09 project makes high-resolution forecasts of climate during the twenty-first century using state of the art global climate models. The aim of this article is to introduce and analyze the methodology used and then urge some caution. Given the acknowledged systematic errors in all current climate models, treating model outputs as decision-relevant probabilistic forecasts can be seriously misleading. This casts doubt on our ability, today, to make trustworthy, high-resolution predictions out to the end of this century. © 2013 by the Philosophy of Science Association. All rights reserved.