Climate index reconstructions
A new paper from the PAGES Climate Reconstruction and Impacts from the Archives of Societies (CRIAS) working group shows how historical climatologists and climate historians convert qualitative descriptions of past weather from old documents into a quantitative index form.
David Nash et al.'s "Climate indices in historical climate reconstructions: a global state of the art", available in Climate of the Past, synthesises more than 350 studies from six continents to provide the first global synthesis of the use of the index approach in climate reconstruction.
Authors summarize the range of studies that have used indices for climate reconstruction across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia, as well as the world's oceans, and outline the different methods by which indices are developed in each of these regions.
They conclude with a series of recommendations to guide the development of future index-based climate reconstructions to maximize their effectiveness for use by climate modelers, and in multi-proxy climate reconstructions.