Constructing climate knowledge with computer models

  • Müller P
  • 58

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 9

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Computer models are powerful tools that allow us to analyze problems in unprecedented detail and to conduct experiments impossible with the real system. Reliance on computer models in science and policy decisions has been challenged by philosophers of science on methodological and epistemological grounds. This challenge is examined for the case of climate models by reviewing what they are and what climate scientists do with them, followed by an analysis of how they can be used to construct new trustworthy knowledge. A climate model is an executable computer code that solves a set of mathematical equations assumed to represent the climate system. Climate modelers use these models to simulate present and past climates and forecast likely and plausible future evolutions. Model uncertainties and model calibration are identified as the two major concerns. Climate models of different complexity address different question. Their interplay helps to weed out model errors, identify robust features, understand the climate system, and build confidence in the models, but is no guard against flaws in the underlying physics. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Peter Müller

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free