Articles | Volume 16, issue 5
Clim. Past, 16, 1807–1820, 2020
Clim. Past, 16, 1807–1820, 2020

Research article 28 Sep 2020

Research article | 28 Sep 2020

Does a proxy measure up? A framework to assess and convey proxy reliability

F. Garrett Boudinot and Joseph Wilson

Cited articles

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Dee, S. G., Steiger, N. J., Emile-Geay, J., and Hakim, G. J.: On the utility of proxy system models for estimating climate states over the common era, J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 8, 1164–1179,, 2016. 
Dee, S. G., Russell, J. M., Morrill, C., Chen, Z., and Neary, A.: PRYSM V2.0: A proxy system model for lacustrine archives, Paleoceanogr. Paleoclim., 33, 1250–1269,, 2018. 
Elderfield, H.: Foraminiferal Mg/Ca paleothermometry: expected advances and unexpected consequences, Goldschmidt Conference, Davos, Switzerland, 17–23 August, Geochmim. Cosmochim. Acta, 66, A213, 2002. 
Short summary
We propose a framework that can guide the development, application, and interpretation of different forms of measurement. Using temperature measurements as a case study, we demonstrate the need for a distinction between different measurements based on their different uncertainties and provide prescriptive language and measures that can aid a researcher's ability to assess data from different measurements. This framework can apply to a wide range of proxy measurements and fields of science.