Should we believe model predictions of future climate change?

  • Knutti R
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Predictions of future climate are based on elaborate numerical computer models. As computational capacity increases and better observations become available, one would expect the model predictions to become more reliable. However, are they really improving, and how do we know? This paper discusses how current climate models are evaluated, why and where scientists have confidence in their models, how uncertainty in predictions can be quantified, and why models often tend to converge on what we observe but not on what we predict. Furthermore, it outlines some strategies on how the climate modelling community may overcome some of the current deficiencies in the attempt to provide useful information to the public and policy-makers.

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  • Reto Knutti

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