A pseudoproxy emulation of the PAGES 2k database using a hierarchy of proxy system models

Feng Zhu, Julien Emile-Geay, Kevin J. Anchukaitis, Nicholas P. McKay, Samantha Stevenson, Zilu Meng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Paleoclimate reconstructions are now integral to climate assessments, yet the consequences of using different methodologies and proxy data require rigorous benchmarking. Pseudoproxy experiments (PPEs) provide a tractable and transparent test bed for evaluating climate reconstruction methods and their sensitivity to aspects of real-world proxy networks. Here we develop a dataset that leverages proxy system models (PSMs) for this purpose, which emulates the essential physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes that translate climate signals into proxy records, making these synthetic proxies more relevant to the real world. We apply a suite of PSMs to emulate the widely-used PAGES 2k dataset, including realistic spatiotemporal sampling and error structure. A hierarchical approach allows us to produce many variants of this base dataset, isolating the impact of sampling bias in time and space, representation error, sampling error, and other assumptions. Combining these various experiments produces a rich dataset (“pseudoPAGES2k”) for many applications. As an illustration, we show how to conduct a PPE with this dataset based on emerging climate field reconstruction techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number624
JournalScientific Data
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Information Systems
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Library and Information Sciences


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