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How can we characterize the boundary of the climate system? Should climate states be partly characterized in physical terms? How can we to develop a sufficiently general notion of climate sensitivity? This workshop will bring climate scientists and philosophers together to illuminate such foundational issues.

Climate scientists and philosophers have recently examined some of the issues raised by basic concepts in climate science, including the concepts of climate, climate state, climate sensitivity, radiative forcing and internal variability. These issues include, among others, how to characterize the boundary of the climate system, whether climate states should be partly characterized in physical terms, and how to develop a sufficiently general notion of climate sensitivity. This workshop will bring climate scientists and philosophers together to further illuminate such foundational issues and to consider how they might be addressed in a way that helps to further our understanding of climate and our ability to model it. The workshop will also consider the quantification of uncertainty in climate modelling and climate model-based decision making.

The workshop is supported by the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (University of Toronto), the School of Environmental Science (University of Toronto) and the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry (University of Queensland).

Full Program (pdf)

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