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Forecasts: Prediction is the process of making a statement about what will happen in the future. It can be based on past experience, current trends, or expert knowledge. See also Statements, Assertions, Method, Knowledge, Future, Certainty.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Hans von Storch on Forecasts - Dictionary of Arguments

Norgaard I 119
Prediction/Real Forecasts/von Storch: Real forecasts are also hardly possible: even if we are able to prepare a successful forecast for the coming ten or thirty years, we cannot claim the ‘success’ of our prediction scheme, because a single success may also have taken place by coincidence.
Most outlooks of possible future climatic developments take the form of conditional predictions—assumed developments of greenhouse gas emissions/concentrations and other factors are used as external drivers in climate models (e.g. von Storch 2007)(1). As such they are scenarios, namely possible future developments, and not predictions, namely most probable developments (cf. the discussion in Bray and von Storch 2009)(2).
Scenarios/von Storch: Such scenarios are often falsely labeled as ‘predictions’ in the media, and even by some research institutions. They are prepared with quasi‐realistic climate models (e.g. Müller and von Storch 2004)(3), often abbreviated by GCM (which historically stands for General Circulation Models and not for Global Climate Models).
Indirect evidence is used for improving the
Norgaard I 120
estimate of such uncertain quantities (…). Because of the long waiting time for getting a new realization of the climate system, climate science must rely on historical ‘instrumental’ data, data which have been measured for often quite different purposes, under different conditions, with different instruments and standards. Alternatively, proxy data may be used, for instance data on tree growth or ice accumulation, which may have ‘recorded’ aspects of the geophysical environment. The ‘instrumental’ data usually suffer from ‘inhomogeneities’ (e.g. Jones 1995(4); Karl et al. 1993(5)). >Proxy-Data/von Storch
, >Homogenization/von Storch.
Inhomogeneities/Measurements/von Storch: Indeed, it may be a good rule of thumb that almost all time series, extending across several decades of years, suffer from some inhomogeneities—the more easily detectable inhomogeneities are ‘abrupt’. An example is the effect of continuous urbanization, which can be separated from the natural variability only within large error bars (Lennartz and Bunde 2009)(6). Cf. >Homogenization/von Storch.

1. von Storch, H. 2007. Climate change scenarios—purpose and construction. In H. von Storch, R. S. J. Tol, and G. Flöser (eds.), Environmental Crises: Science and Policy.
2. Bray, D. and von Storch, H. 2009. ‘Prediction’ or ‘projection’? The nomenclature of climate science. Sci. Comm. 30: 534–43, doi:10. 1177/1075547009333698.
3. Müller, P., and von Storch, H. 2004. Computer Modelling in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences—Building Knowledge. Berlin: Springer Verlag.
4. Jones, P. D. 1995. The instrumental data record: Its accuracy and use in attempts to identify the ‘CO2 Signal’. Pp. 53–76 in H. von Storch and A. Navarra (eds.), Analysis of Climate Variability: Applications of Statistical Techniques. Berlin: Springer Verlag.
5. Karl, T. R., Quayle, R. G., and Groisman, P. Y. 1993. Detecting climate variations and change: New challenges for observing and data management systems. J. Climate 6: 1481–94.
6. Lennartz, S., and Bunde, A. 2009. Trend evaluation in records with long‐term memory: application to global warming. Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L16706.

Hans von Storch, Armin Bunde, and Nico Stehr, „Methodical Challenges of the Physics of Climate”, in: John S. Dryzek, Richard B. Norgaard, David Schlosberg (eds.) (2011): The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Storch, Hans von
Norgaard I
Richard Norgaard
John S. Dryzek
The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society Oxford 2011

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