Circa. Circulations of Knowledge in the History of Climate Modeling

Circa. Circulations of Knowledge in the History of Climate Modeling

In my PhD thesis I investigate several historical moments and epistemological facets in the genealogy of so called General Circulation Models (GCM). In order to put their representational inner workings into perspective, I embed the history of observing, modeling, and predicting states and behaviour of the general (planetary) circulation of the atmosphere into a broader context of theoretical, technological, and practical thinking. On a larger scale my thesis asks for a historiographical reflection of this very history, following the inspiration of Michel Serres' writings on a "meteorological epistemology".

During my stay at the Institute I work on a chapter that focuses on the instrumented analysis of climate archives, specifically deep-sea sediment cores. I am interested in the operative role of such proxy data as a "natural" repository and "observational" linkage to constrain numerical experiments of certain deep-time climatic events. By discussing an exemplary simulation of a perceived pre-Quaternary analogue to current, in geohistoric terms quite abrupt climatic change (for experts: the PETM), I investigate the modes of (proxy) representation, time evolution and non-linearity in modeling a climate history of Earth and in setting the scene for the "Anthropocene".