HECT: High-Dimensional Ensemble Consistency Testing for Climate Models


Climate models play a crucial role in understanding the effect of environmental and man-made changes on climate to help mitigate climate risks and inform governmental decisions. Large global climate models such as the Community Earth System Model (CESM), developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, are very complex with millions of lines of code describing interactions of the atmosphere, land, oceans, and ice, among other components. As development of the CESM is constantly ongoing, simulation outputs need to be continuously controlled for quality. To be able to distinguish a ‘climate-changing’ modification of the code base from a true climate-changing physical process or intervention, there needs to be a principled way of assessing statistical reproducibility that can handle both spatial and temporal high-dimensional simulation outputs. Our proposed work uses probabilistic classifiers like tree-based algorithms and deep neural networks to perform a statistically rigorous goodness-of-fit test of high-dimensional spatio-temporal data.

Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning workshop at NeurIPS 2020