What are climate models and are they any good?

Climate models represent the physical world using a series of equations based on these known physical laws. These models are virtual laboratories; these are the tools that allow us to perform experiments that we can’t conduct in the real world.

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We can liken the development of climate models to natural selection. Successful models and their components thrive, while less effective ones eventually drop off and become extinct.

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In the absence of time-travelling climatologists, models are unrivalled tools for understanding our changing climate system. That is, climate models are scientific tools. We should recognise them as such and consider them with rigorous scientific, not political, scepticism.