Seminar - Bo Li

Event Date: 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 3:30pm to 4:15pm

Event Location: 

  • Zoom Meeting

Title: Testing the Exchangeability of Two Spatiotemporal Processes with Application to Paleoclimate Reconstruction


Climate field reconstructions (CFR) attempt to estimate spatiotemporal fields of climate variables in the past using climate proxies such as tree rings, ice cores, and corals. Data Assimilation (DA) methods are recent and promising new means of deriving CFRs that optimally fuse climate proxies with climate model output. Despite the growing application of DA-based CFRs, little is understood about how much the assimilated proxies change the statistical properties of the climate model data. To ad- dress this question, we propose a robust and computationally efficient method, based on functional data depth, to evaluate differences in the distributions of two spatiotemporal processes. We apply our test to study global and regional proxy influence in DA-based CFRs by comparing the background and analysis states, which are treated as two samples of spatiotemporal fields. We find that the analysis states are significantly altered from the climate-model-based background states due to the assimilation of proxies. Moreover, the difference between the analysis and background states in- creases with the number of proxies, even in regions far beyond proxy collection sites. Our approach allows us to characterize the added value of proxies, indicating where and when the analysis states are distinct from the background states.
Bo Li is a professor and chair of the Department of Statistics at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association. Her research focuses on spatial and spatio-temporal statistics and environmental statistics concerning problems in climatology, atmospheric sciences, public health, forestry and agriculture.
Bo Li