An example of verification in pattern recognition and signal processing

http://contextearth.com/2018/04/29/enso-model-verification-via-fourier-analysis-infill/

The underlying issue is how does one confirm a hypothetical scientific model without having a controlled experiment to test against?

The best you can do is use portions of the data to align/calibrate the model and then use other orthogonal parts of the data to verify. Otherwise one can always predict future behavior and then wait 20 to 50 years to verify -- which unfortunately is detrimental to progress :(