You mentioned to reconstruct the climate of the past from information you get from glaciers How exactly can you do that What is the typical margin of error

We study how a change in climate affects the geometry of a glacier. It is know that—on the global scale—it are mainly temperature changes that drive changes of the glaciers. Of course, the further you go back in time the more qualitative it gets. But if you restrict yourself to a couple of centuries then you can really quantify changes. We have studied how the geometry of glaciers affects its sensitivity to climate changes and the response time. Here is a complication: you remove noise when you study glaciers but they have a response time, which depends on the geometry of the glacier (size, slope but also the climate setting: is it in a wet or dry climate?). But these are things we know by now. Given a glacier, we can estimate fairly well what the response time is and the sensitivity to temperature changes.

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