Selecting and weighting dynamical models using data-driven approaches
Abstract. In geosciences, multi-model ensembles are helpful to explore the robustness of a range of results. To obtain a synthetic and improved representation of the studied dynamic system, the models are usually weighted. The simplest method, namely the model democracy, gives equal weights to all models, while more advanced approaches base weights on agreement with available observations. Here, we focus on determining weights for various versions of an idealized model of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. This is done by assessing their performance against synthetic observations (generated from one of the model versions) within a data assimilation framework using EnKF. In contrast to traditional data assimilation, we implement data-driven forecasts using the analog method based on catalogs of short-term trajectories. This approach allows us to efficiently emulate the model's dynamics while keeping computational costs low. For each model version, we compute a local performance metric, known as the contextual model evidence, to compare observations and model forecasts. This metric, based on the innovation likelihood, is sensitive to differences in model dynamics and considers forecast and observation uncertainties. Finally, the weights are calculated using both model performance and model codependency, and then evaluated on climatologies of long-term simulations. Results show good performance in identifying numerical simulations that best replicate observed short-term variations. Additionally, it outperforms benchmark approaches such as model democracy or climatologies-based strategies when reconstructing missing distributions. These findings encourage the application of the proposed methodology to more complex datasets in the future, like climate simulations.
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