On judging the credibility of climate predictions
Otto, Friederike E. L
Ferro, Christopher A.T.
Fricker, Thomas E.
Suckling, Emma B.
© The Author(s) 2013. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com
Incorporating a prediction into future planning and decision making is advisable only if we have judged the prediction’s credibility. This is notoriously difficult and controversial in the case of predictions of future climate. By reviewing epistemic arguments about climate model performance, we discuss how to make and justify judgments about the credibility of climate predictions. We propose a new bounding argument that justifies basing such judgments on the past performance of possibly dissimilar prediction problems. This encourages a more explicit use of data in making quantitative judgments about the credibility of future climate predictions, and in training users of climate predictions to become better judges of credibility. We illustrate the approach using decadal predictions of annual mean, global mean surface air temperature.
Vol. 132, pp. 47 - 60