Multi-model ensembles in climate science: mathematical structures and expert judgements

Jebeile, Julie; Crucifix, Michel (2020). Multi-model ensembles in climate science: mathematical structures and expert judgements. Studies in history and philosophy of science, 83, pp. 44-52. Elsevier 10.1016/j.shpsa.2020.03.001

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Projections of future climate change cannot rely on a single model. It has become common to rely on multiple simulations generated by Multi-Model Ensembles (MMEs), especially to quantify the uncertainty about what would constitute an adequate model structure. But, as Parker points out (2018), one of the remaining philosophically interesting questions is: “How can ensemble studies be designed so that they probe uncertainty in desired ways?” This paper offers two interpretations of what General Circulation Models are and how MMEs should be designed. In the first interpretation, models are combinations of modules and parameterisations; an MME is obtained by “plugging and playing” with interchangeable modules and parameterisations. In the second interpretation, models are aggregations of expert judgements that result from a history of epistemic decisions made by scientists about the choice of representations; an MME is a sampling of expert judgements from modelling teams. We argue that, while the two interpretations involve distinct philosophical tools, they both could be used in a complementary manner in order to explore ways of designing better MMEs.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Jebeile, Julie Alia Nina

Subjects:

100 Philosophy

ISSN:

0039-3681

Publisher:

Elsevier

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Julie Alia Nina Jebeile

Date Deposited:

09 Jun 2021 16:34

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 16:41

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.shpsa.2020.03.001

Uncontrolled Keywords:

climate models, expert judgements, uncertainty

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/155264

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/155264

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