What can the instrumental record tell us about longer timescale paleoclimatic reconstructions?
- Cite this paper as:
- Jones P.D., Briffa K.R. (1996) What can the instrumental record tell us about longer timescale paleoclimatic reconstructions?. In: Jones P.D., Bradley R.S., Jouzel J. (eds) Climatic Variations and Forcing Mechanisms of the Last 2000 Years. NATO ASI Series (Series I: Global Environmental Change), vol 41. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
Paleoclimatic data provide our only real estimates of past climatic variability on the decadal-to-century timescale for the last few millenia. Here we consider, through analyses of the instrumental data, how many evenly-spaced reconstructions would be required to estimate continental and hemispheric-scale average temperatures. The number required depends on the timescale of interest with fewer required the longer the timescale. The ability of paleoclimatic reconstructions to record faithfully the course of climate variability similarly on all timescales is briefly considered.
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