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Carbon emissions must be halved over the next decade to hold the global average temperature increase to the range in the Paris Agreement, “recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.” But even this bold mitigation will not eliminate the risks humans face from climate change. In the coming years we e...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceSymposium

Anthropogenic climate change (CC) poses a serious global threat, and human responses to this problem are usually framed in terms of mitigation (the reduction of human actions that contribute to climate change) and adaptation (the response to actual or expected impacts of changes in the climate with the aim of reducing vulnerabilities and enhancing ...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceSymposium

Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) characterizes the response of Earth’s temperature to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 and is one of the most important and most studied metrics in climate science. For decades, estimates of ECS have been stable around 1.5°C to 4.5°C. In the most recent coupled model intercomparison project (CMIP6), however, ma...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceSymposium

Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) is a key metric when trying to understand the past, present and future behavior of Earth’s climate. Several models used in the latest IPCC report’s Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 (CMIP6) have failed to yield an ECS value within the consensus range estimated by several previous climate models (IPCC ...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceSymposium

This symposium focuses on a constellation of issues concerning climate risks and responses to these risks. In the climate policy literature, this is often referred to as adaptation or climate change impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation. The last decades have seen not only substantial improvements in our ability to measure past climatic change and...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceSymposium

It has been argued that possibilistic assessment of climate model output is preferable to probabilistic assessment (Stainforth et al. 2007; Betz 2010, 2015; Katzav 2014; Katzav et al. 2012 and 2021). I aim to articulate a variant of a possibilistic approach to such assessment. On my variant, the output of climate models should typically be assessed...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceSymposium

It has been argued that climate modeling can be partially characterized as exhibiting ontic competitive pluralism (i.e., that models compete for truth in some sense). I argue that (1) because climate models are all of the same model-type, they are not ontic competitors; instead (2) they compete in terms of local skill. Counterintuitively, locally p...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceContributed Papers

Climate change policy—including matters involving both mitigation and adaptation—is informed by assessments of the risks and damages caused by climate change. Such assessments, in turn, depend on our ability to attribute specific impacts to climate change. Of particular interest is the exacerbating effect climate change is having on damaging, c...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceSymposium

It is well known that the path to greater precision in physics is not smooth. Because differences in subsequent experiments often fall outside the nominal uncertainties of the prior art, science often has to deal with discordance that stimulates increased focus on what were presumed to be small effects. Examples include the history of measurements ...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceSymposium

Climate scientists frequently employ heavily idealized models. How should these models be interpreted? Some philosophers have promoted a possibilist interpretation, where climate models stand in for possible scenarios that could occur, but don't provide information about how probable those scenarios are. The present paper argues that possibilism is...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceContributed Papers

Two ideas that run through much of Western environmentalist thought are (1) nature is that which is untouched by humans, and (2) intervening in nature is generally bad, morally and epistemically. These ideas continue to be quite influential in environmental conservation. They define what successful outcomes look like, and what strategies are allowa...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceSymposium

Consensus is often regarded as an important criterion for laypeople or decision-makers to arbitrate between the opinions of experts. Other criteria include tracking record and unbiasedness of experts, as well as validity of evidence and soundness of arguments. Overall, these criteria aim to ensure that expert judgment is grounded in objective argum...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceSymposium

Paleoclimate proxy data are playing an increasingly central role in contemporary climate science. First, proxy data about key paleoclimates in Earth’s history can be used to benchmark the performance of state-of-the-art climate models by providing crucial “out of sample” tests. Paleoclimates provide data about the response of the Earth to cli...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceSymposium

Equilibrium climate sensitivity is a measure of the sensitivity of earth’s near-surface temperature to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. When numerous state-of-the-art climate models recently indicated values for climate sensitivity outside of a range that had been stable for decades, climate scientists faced a dilemma. On the one hand, t...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceSymposium