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The Myopia of Imperfect Climate Models: The Case of UKCP09

Roman Frigg, Leonard A. Smith and David A. Stainforth
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 80, No. 5 (December 2013), pp. 886-897
DOI: 10.1086/673892
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/673892
Page Count: 12
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The Myopia of Imperfect Climate Models: The Case of UKCP09
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Abstract

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.

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