Skip to Main Content
GEOG 305 (Castagna)

GEOG 305 (Castagna)

Example Articles

Right Article Checklist

Making Sure You Have the Right Article:

Refer to the following checklist during your librarian meeting and when identifying your climate articles:

  • It IS from a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It IS about climate. It IS primary research (meaning original field research involving collecting and analyzing proxy data).
  • Indicates an analysis of a proxy (see this USGS article on Proxies). Note that even if it refers to a proxy, it may still be a review, model, or simulation.
  • It focuses on the reconstruction of past climates, NOT a summary or review or based on a simulation, NOT analyzing previously published research. Does NOT include the words "model" or "modeling" as the article's focus.
  • Both articles are from the same region and the same time period. Note: The articles do NOT have to use the same type of proxy.

For more information about how to identify an appropriate article, see the example articles on this page. 

Example of Suitable Articles

Thomas, Elizabeth K., Jason Szymanski, and Jason P. Briner. “Holocene Alpine Glaciation Inferred from Lacustrine Sediments on Northeastern Baffin Island, Arctic Canada.” Journal of Quaternary Science 25, no. 2 (2010): 146–161.


With the accelerated melting of alpine glaciers, understanding the future state of the cryosphere is critical. Because the observational record of glacier response to climate change is short, palaeo‐records of glacier change are needed. Using proglacial lake sediments, which contain continuous and datable records of past glacier activity, we investigate Holocene glacier fluctuations on northeastern Baffin Island. Basal radiocarbon ages from three lakes constrain Laurentide Ice Sheet retreat by ca. 10.5 ka. High sedimentation rates (0.03 cm a−1) and continuous minerogenic sedimentation throughout the Holocene in proglacial lakes, in contrast to organic‐rich sediments and low sedimentation rates (0.005 cm a−1) in neighbouring non‐glacial lakes, suggest that glaciers may have persisted in proglacial lake catchments since regional deglaciation. The presence of varves and relatively high magnetic susceptibility from 10 to 6 ka and since 2 ka in one proglacial lake suggest minimum Holocene glacier extent ca. 6–2 ka. Moraine evidence and proglacial and threshold lake sediments indicate that the maximum Holocene glacier extent occurred during the Little Ice Age. The finding that glaciers likely persisted through the Holocene is surprising, given that regional proxy records reveal summer temperatures several degrees warmer than today, and may be due to shorter ablation seasons and greater accumulation‐season precipitation

Analysis: This article qualifies for the project. The first highlighted section shows that this article deals with radiocarbon-dated lake sediments. Lake sediments are a proxy. Furthermore, the article focuses on the time period of the early Holocene, one of the time periods you can use for the assignment. 

Example of Articles that Won't Work

Goodwin, Ian D, Stuart Browning, Andrew M Lorrey, Paul A Mayewski, Steven J Phipps, Nancy A. N Bertler, Ross P Edwards, et al. “Reconstruction of Extratropical Indo-Pacific Sea-Level Pressure Patterns During the Medieval Climate Anomaly.” Climate dynamics 43, no. 5-6 (2014): 1197–1219.


Subtropical and extratropical proxy records of wind field, sea level pressure(SLP), temperature and hydrological anomalies from South Africa, Australia/New Zealand, Patagonian South America and Antarctica were used to reconstruct the Indo-Pacific extratropical southern hemisphere sea-level pressure anomaly (SLPa) fields for the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA~700–1350 CE) and transition to the Little Ice Age (LIA 1350–1450 CE). The multivariate array of proxy data were simultaneously evaluated against global climate model output in order to identify climate state analogues that are most consistent with the majority of proxy data. The mean SLP and SLP anomaly patterns derived from these analogues illustrate the evolution of low frequency changes in the extra tropics. The Indo-Pacific extratropical mean climate state was dominated by a strong tropical interaction with Antarctica emanating from: (1) the eastern Indian and south-west Pacific regions prior to1100 CE, then, (2) the eastern Pacific evolving to the central Pacific La Niña-like pattern interacting with a +ve SAM to 1300 CE. A GEOG 305: Paleoclimate Research Project Librarian Meeting & Reflection relatively abrupt shift to –ve SAM and the central Pacific El Niño-like pattern occurred at~1300. A poleward (equatorward) shift in the subtropical ridge occurred during the MCA (MCA–LIA transition). The Hadley Cell expansion in the Australian and Southwest Pacific, region together with the poleward shift of the zonal westerlies is contemporaneous with previously reported Hadley Cell expansion in the North Pacific and Atlantic regions, and suggests that bipolar climate symmetry was a feature of the MCA.

Analysis: This article starts out by mentioning proxies, which sounds great. But this article DOES NOT qualify. First, see the highlighted section where the proxies are from several different regions. This means that this article is not based on research at one site at the analysis of the data collected at that site. Instead, data from several sites are combined to create a broader model.

The second highlighted section shows that the data from these many proxies were used to compare against a model. Basically, this research works at a level where lots of data is used to create large-scale models and analyze their value. The project aims to focus on data collection and immediate analysis. Not the comparison of data at this level.