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Validation and forecasting accuracy in models of climate change

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  • Fildes, Robert
  • Kourentzes, Nikolaos
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    Abstract

    Forecasting researchers, with few exceptions, have ignored the current major forecasting controversy: global warming and the role of climate modelling in resolving this challenging topic. In this paper, we take a forecaster's perspective in reviewing established principles for validating the atmospheric-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) used in most climate forecasting, and in particular by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Such models should reproduce the behaviours characterising key model outputs, such as global and regional temperature changes. We develop various time series models and compare them with forecasts based on one well-established AOGCM from the UK Hadley Centre. Time series models perform strongly, and structural deficiencies in the AOGCM forecasts are identified using encompassing tests. Regional forecasts from various GCMs had even more deficiencies. We conclude that combining standard time series methods with the structure of AOGCMs may result in a higher forecasting accuracy. The methodology described here has implications for improving AOGCMs and for the effectiveness of environmental control policies which are focussed on carbon dioxide emissions alone. Critically, the forecast accuracy in decadal prediction has important consequences for environmental planning, so its improvement through this multiple modelling approach should be a priority.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169207011000604
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Forecasting.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (October)
    Pages: 968-995

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:27:y:2011:i:4:p:968-995

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ijforecast

    Related research

    Keywords: Validation Long range forecasting Simulation models Global circulation models Neural networks Environmental modelling DePreSys Encompassing Decadal prediction;

    References

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    1. Marc C. Kennedy & Anthony O'Hagan, 2001. "Bayesian calibration of computer models," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 63(3), pages 425-464.
    2. Armstrong, J. Scott & Fildes, Robert, 2006. "Making progress in forecasting," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 433-441.
    3. Gardner, Everette Jr., 2006. "Exponential smoothing: The state of the art--Part II," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-666.
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    5. Makridakis, Spyros & Hibon, Michele, 2000. "The M3-Competition: results, conclusions and implications," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 451-476.
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    7. Fang, Yue, 2003. "Forecasting combination and encompassing tests," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 87-94.
    8. Zhang, Guoqiang & Eddy Patuwo, B. & Y. Hu, Michael, 1998. "Forecasting with artificial neural networks:: The state of the art," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 35-62, March.
    9. Green, Kesten C. & Armstrong, J. Scott, 2007. "Global warming: Forecasts by scientists versus scientific forecasts," MPRA Paper 4361, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Green, Kesten C. & Armstrong, J. Scott & Soon, Willie, 2009. "Validity of climate change forecasting for public policy decision making," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 826-832, October.
    11. Green, Kesten C & Armstrong, J Scott & Soon, Willie, 2008. "Benchmark forecasts for climate change," MPRA Paper 12163, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. George B. Kleindorfer & Liam O'Neill & Ram Ganeshan, 1998. "Validation in Simulation: Various Positions in the Philosophy of Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(8), pages 1087-1099, August.
    13. Fildes, Robert, 1992. "The evaluation of extrapolative forecasting methods," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 81-98, June.
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