I hope everyone enjoyed our visit to the Limnological Research Center and the Center for Dendrochronology yesterday. I think it's important to understand the much of Holocene paleoclimatology depends on information recorded by complex biological and geological systems, and I hope seeing things first-hand gave you a better sense for the challenges involved with pulling information out of wood or mud.
Next week, we'll have the last of our 'orientation' discussions (afterwards, we'll start talking about specific questions/systems). We'll start class by discussing how tree-ring records are used as proxies (surrogates) for past climate change, so please re-read 'Dendroclimatology' by Brian Luckman.
In the second half of class, we'll talk about how paleoclimatologists use statistics to describe their data and to make inferences about the past behavior of the climate system. To prepare for that discussion, please read 'Timescales of changeby Pat Bartlein.
Because we'll only spend one class on statistical methods, we'll focus on understanding the terms used commonly in climate science and try to develop a 'survival guide' that will help us interpret some of these tools.