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What's a reliable way to measure historical temperture?

  1. Nov 21, 2009 #1

    Wax

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    I got in a global warming topic and some people are saying that historical temperature records are inaccurate. So I'm wondering if there are any reliable ways to measure historical temperature.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2009 #2
    The thread could be better on it's place in the Earth science subforum.

    Anyway, it's not about what "some people" say, it is what the mechanism is of a certain method is, to judge it's accuracy. The problem with all proxy methods is that it is an inherent affirming the consequent fallacy. For instance: 'if it is warm, the isotope ratio is heavier. The isotope ratio is heavier, hence it was warm'

    The problem is that many other factors also affect isotope ratios and one needs more than one type of proxy records to figure out what did it and hence verify it's accuracy. Always.
     
  4. Nov 22, 2009 #3
    Are you refering to truly "historic" written records (as opposed to pre-historic "proxy" measurements)? If so, I have heard it argued for example, that old (100 years or more) sea temperature records are inaccurate due to the shallow depth of measurement.
     
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