It sometimes happens that we have only limited access to direct measurements of some variable of interest, but we have abundant data on some other, related variable. In such cases we can use the “other” variable as a proxy for our target variable. We attempt to determine the relationship between them, then use the measurement of one as input to that relationship in order to estimate the other. Voila! Of course such indirect estimates will be imperfect, but at least they’re an approximation, we hope a useful one. Why, such practice has even been applied to climate science.
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