Climate ‘proxies’ are sources of climate information from natural archives such as tree rings, ice cores, corals, lake and ocean sediments, tree pollen, or human archives such as historical records or diaries, which can be used to estimate climate conditions prior to the modern period (e.g. mid 19th century to date) during which widespread instrumental measurements are available. Proxy indicators typically must be calibrated against modern instrumental information to yield a quantitative reconstruction of past climate.
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