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Data and methods of climatological evaluation in historical climatology

Daten und Methoden der klimatologischen Evaluation in der historischen Klimatologie
[journal article]

Glaser, Rüdiger

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Abstract Auf dem Hintergrund der Bedeutung der historischen Klimatologie für das Verständnis klimatischer Prozesse und der Interaktion zwischen Mensch und Umwelt, gibt der Beitrag einen Überblick über Daten und angewandte Methoden in der historischen Klimakunde. Es werden drei wesentliche Gruppen unterschieden, deskriptive Wetterdaten, Daten aus dem Ablesen von Instrumenten und proxy-Daten, sowie die verschiedenen Methoden, Informationen aus diesen Daten zu gewinnen, vorgestellt. Dabei rangiert die angewandte Methodik der Klimakunde von der Anwendung historischer kritischer Quellenanalysen über hermeneutische Verfahren bis hin zu numerischen naturwissenschaftlichen und statistischen Vorgehensweisen. (ICH)

'The article summarizes which types of data and procedures are employed in historical climatology in order to arrive at climatic information. With respect to data handling descriptive data of a sporadic nature have to be distinguished from systematically recorded data. Instrument readings are also in a class of their own, as are the many types of proxy data. A climatic interpretation can only be done by means of a whole range of at times complex procedures. Historical climatology is situated between traditional historical science and the natural sciences. Critical source analysis and hermeneutics are part of their tools just as simple tests, multiple statistical methods or the reference to fundamental physical processes. Critical evaluation of sources, semantic profiles, derivation of indices, calibrations by means of regression analysis, comparisons with present-day standard data sets, regionalization, synoptic reconstruction and comparisons based on descriptive statistical evaluations are some of the terms that give an idea of the complexity, of the approaches and of the results that may be obtained. Two fundamental problems are related to the empirical determination of the reliability of the data and to data management. Both of them could be coped with successfully by establishing a special data bank. Since it is possible to derive quantitative time series and especially synoptic weather maps out of the historic data sets a link to modern computer simulated modelling is in progress.' (author's abstract)
Keywords data; research; hermeneutics; historical development; climate; measurement; meteorology; methodology; natural sciences; statistics
Classification Ecology, Environment; Natural Science and Engineering, Applied Sciences
Method basic research
Document language English
Publication Year 1996
Page/Pages p. 56-88
Journal Historical Social Research, 21 (1996) 4
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works