Measurements, Models, and Hypotheses in the Atmospheric Sciences

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Measurements in atmospheric science sometimes determine universal functions, but more commonly data are collected in the form of case studies. Models are conceptual constructs that can be used to make predictions about the outcomes of measurements. Hypotheses can be expressed in terms of model results, and the best use of measurements is to falsify such hypotheses. Tuning of models should be avoided because it interferes with falsification. Comparison of models with data would be easier if the minimum data requirements for testing some types of models could be standardized.

* Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

+Radiation Sciences Branch, Atmospheric Sciences Division, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia.

Corresponding author address: David A. Randall, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. E-mail: randall@redfish.atmos.colostate.edu

Measurements in atmospheric science sometimes determine universal functions, but more commonly data are collected in the form of case studies. Models are conceptual constructs that can be used to make predictions about the outcomes of measurements. Hypotheses can be expressed in terms of model results, and the best use of measurements is to falsify such hypotheses. Tuning of models should be avoided because it interferes with falsification. Comparison of models with data would be easier if the minimum data requirements for testing some types of models could be standardized.

* Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

+Radiation Sciences Branch, Atmospheric Sciences Division, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia.

Corresponding author address: David A. Randall, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. E-mail: randall@redfish.atmos.colostate.edu
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