Applications of proxy system modeling in high resolution paleoclimatology
Evans, Michael N.
Tolwinski-Ward, S. E.
Thompson, D. M.
Anchukaitis, Kevin J.
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KeywordForward modeling; Observational network optimization; Data-model comparison; Hypothesis evaluation; Reconstruction; Uncertainty modeling
A proxy system model may be defined as the complete set of forward and mechanistic processes by which the response of a sensor to environmental forcing is recorded and subsequently observed in a material archive. Proxy system modeling complements and sharpens signal interpretations based solely on statistical analyses and transformations; provides the basis for observing network optimization, hypothesis testing, and data-model comparisons for uncertainty estimation; and may be incorporated as weak but mechanistically-plausible constraints into paleoclimatic reconstruction algorithms. Following a review illustrating these applications, we recommend future research pathways, including development of intermediate proxy system models for important sensors, archives, and observations; linking proxy system models to climate system models; hypothesis development and evaluation; more realistic multi-archive, multi-observation network design; examination of proxy system behavior under extreme conditions; and generalized modeling of the total uncertainty in paleoclimate reconstructions derived from paleo-observations.
© The Author(s), 2013. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Quaternary Science Reviews 76 (2013): 16-28, doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.05.024.
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