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Using climate models to estimate the quality of global observational data sets

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Science  28 Oct 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6311, pp. 452-455
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf6369

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Models and data: A two-way street

Data are used to drive models of climate and other complex systems, but is the relationship between data and models a one-way process? Massonnet et al. used climate models to assess the quality of the observations that such models use. Starting with a simple model and progressing to more complex ones, the authors show that models are better when they are assessed against the most recent, most advanced, and most independent observational references. These findings should help to evaluate the quality of observational data sets and provide guidance for more objective data set selection.

Science, this issue p. 452

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