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Now showing 1 - 10 of 18
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    Limitations of red noise in analysing Dansgaard-Oeschger events
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2010) Braun, H.; Ditlevsen, P.; Kurths, J.; Mudelsee, M.
    During the last glacial period, climate records from the North Atlantic region exhibit a pronounced spectral component corresponding to a period of about 1470 years, which has attracted much attention. This spectral peak is closely related to the recurrence pattern of Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) events. In previous studies a red noise random process, more precisely a first-order autoregressive (AR1) process, was used to evaluate the statistical significance of this peak, with a reported significance of more than 99%. Here we use a simple mechanistic two-state model of DO events, which itself was derived from a much more sophisticated ocean-atmosphere model of intermediate complexity, to numerically evaluate the spectral properties of random (i.e., solely noise-driven) events. This way we find that the power spectral density of random DO events differs fundamentally from a simple red noise random process. These results question the applicability of linear spectral analysis for estimating the statistical significance of highly non-linear processes such as DO events. More precisely, to enhance our scientific understanding about the trigger of DO events, we must not consider simple "straw men" as, for example, the AR1 random process, but rather test against realistic alternative descriptions.
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    Similarity estimators for irregular and age-uncertain time series
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Rehfeld, K.; Kurths, J.
    Paleoclimate time series are often irregularly sampled and age uncertain, which is an important technical challenge to overcome for successful reconstruction of past climate variability and dynamics. Visual comparison and interpolation-based linear correlation approaches have been used to infer dependencies from such proxy time series. While the first is subjective, not measurable and not suitable for the comparison of many data sets at a time, the latter introduces interpolation bias, and both face difficulties if the underlying dependencies are nonlinear. In this paper we investigate similarity estimators that could be suitable for the quantitative investigation of dependencies in irregular and age-uncertain time series. We compare the Gaussian-kernel-based cross-correlation (gXCF, Rehfeld et al., 2011) and mutual information (gMI, Rehfeld et al., 2013) against their interpolation-based counterparts and the new event synchronization function (ESF). We test the efficiency of the methods in estimating coupling strength and coupling lag numerically, using ensembles of synthetic stalagmites with short, autocorrelated, linear and nonlinearly coupled proxy time series, and in the application to real stalagmite time series. In the linear test case, coupling strength increases are identified consistently for all estimators, while in the nonlinear test case the correlation-based approaches fail. The lag at which the time series are coupled is identified correctly as the maximum of the similarity functions in around 60–55% (in the linear case) to 53–42% (for the nonlinear processes) of the cases when the dating of the synthetic stalagmite is perfectly precise. If the age uncertainty increases beyond 5% of the time series length, however, the true coupling lag is not identified more often than the others for which the similarity function was estimated. Age uncertainty contributes up to half of the uncertainty in the similarity estimation process. Time series irregularity contributes less, particularly for the adapted Gaussian-kernel-based estimators and the event synchronization function. The introduced link strength concept summarizes the hypothesis test results and balances the individual strengths of the estimators: while gXCF is particularly suitable for short and irregular time series, gMI and the ESF can identify nonlinear dependencies. ESF could, in particular, be suitable to study extreme event dynamics in paleoclimate records. Programs to analyze paleoclimatic time series for significant dependencies are included in a freely available software toolbox.
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    Identifying causal gateways and mediators in complex spatio-temporal systems
    (London : Nature Publishing Group, 2015) Runge, J.; Petoukhov, V.; Donges, J.F.; Hlinka, J.; Jajcay, N.; Vejmelka, M.; Hartman, D.; Marwan, N.; Paluš, M.; Kurths, J.
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    Constructing proxy records from age models (COPRA)
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2012) Breitenbach, S.F.M.; Rehfeld, K.; Goswami, B.; Baldin, J.U.L.; Ridley, H.E.; Kennett, D.J.; Prufer, K.M.; Aquino, V.V.; Asmerom, Y.; Polyak, V.J.; Cheng, H.; Kurths, J.; Marwan, N.
    Reliable age models are fundamental for any palaeoclimate reconstruction. Available interpolation procedures between age control points are often inadequately reported, and very few translate age uncertainties to proxy uncertainties. Most available modeling algorithms do not allow incorporation of layer counted intervals to improve the confidence limits of the age model in question. We present a framework that allows detection and interactive handling of age reversals and hiatuses, depth-age modeling, and proxy-record reconstruction. Monte Carlo simulation and a translation procedure are used to assign a precise time scale to climate proxies and to translate dating uncertainties to uncertainties in the proxy values. The presented framework allows integration of incremental relative dating information to improve the final age model. The free software package COPRA1.0 facilitates easy interactive usage.
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    Non-linear regime shifts in Holocene Asian monsoon variability: Potential impacts on cultural change and migratory patterns
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Donges, J.F.; Donner, R.V.; Marwan, N.; Breitenbach, S.F.M.; Rehfeld, K.; Kurths, J.
    The Asian monsoon system is an important tipping element in Earth's climate with a large impact on human societies in the past and present. In light of the potentially severe impacts of present and future anthropogenic climate change on Asian hydrology, it is vital to understand the forcing mechanisms of past climatic regime shifts in the Asian monsoon domain. Here we use novel recurrence network analysis techniques for detecting episodes with pronounced non-linear changes in Holocene Asian monsoon dynamics recorded in speleothems from caves distributed throughout the major branches of the Asian monsoon system. A newly developed multi-proxy methodology explicitly considers dating uncertainties with the COPRA (COnstructing Proxy Records from Age models) approach and allows for detection of continental-scale regime shifts in the complexity of monsoon dynamics. Several epochs are characterised by non-linear regime shifts in Asian monsoon variability, including the periods around 8.5–7.9, 5.7–5.0, 4.1–3.7, and 3.0–2.4 ka BP. The timing of these regime shifts is consistent with known episodes of Holocene rapid climate change (RCC) and high-latitude Bond events. Additionally, we observe a previously rarely reported non-linear regime shift around 7.3 ka BP, a timing that matches the typical 1.0–1.5 ky return intervals of Bond events. A detailed review of previously suggested links between Holocene climatic changes in the Asian monsoon domain and the archaeological record indicates that, in addition to previously considered longer-term changes in mean monsoon intensity and other climatic parameters, regime shifts in monsoon complexity might have played an important role as drivers of migration, pronounced cultural changes, and the collapse of ancient human societies.
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    Identification of dynamical transitions in marine palaeoclimate records by recurrence network analysis
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2011) Donges, J.F.; Donner, R.V.; Rehfeld, K.; Marwan, N.; Trauth, M.H.; Kurths, J.
    The analysis of palaeoclimate time series is usually affected by severe methodological problems, resulting primarily from non-equidistant sampling and uncertain age models. As an alternative to existing methods of time series analysis, in this paper we argue that the statistical properties of recurrence networks - a recently developed approach - are promising candidates for characterising the system's nonlinear dynamics and quantifying structural changes in its reconstructed phase space as time evolves. In a first order approximation, the results of recurrence network analysis are invariant to changes in the age model and are not directly affected by non-equidistant sampling of the data. Specifically, we investigate the behaviour of recurrence network measures for both paradigmatic model systems with non-stationary parameters and four marine records of long-term palaeoclimate variations. We show that the obtained results are qualitatively robust under changes of the relevant parameters of our method, including detrending, size of the running window used for analysis, and embedding delay. We demonstrate that recurrence network analysis is able to detect relevant regime shifts in synthetic data as well as in problematic geoscientific time series. This suggests its application as a general exploratory tool of time series analysis complementing existing methods.
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    Complete synchronization of chaotic atmospheric models by connecting only a subset of state space
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2012) Hiemstra, P.H.; Fujiwara, N.; Selten, F.M.; Kurths, J.
    Connected chaotic systems can, under some circumstances, synchronize their states with an exchange of matter and energy between the systems. This is the case for toy models like the Lorenz 63, and more complex models. In this study we perform synchronization experiments with two connected quasi-geostrophic (QG) models of the atmosphere with 1449 degrees of freedom. The purpose is to determine whether connecting only a subset of the model state space can still lead to complete synchronization (CS). In addition, we evaluated whether empirical orthogonal functions (EOF) form efficient basis functions for synchronization in order to limit the number of connections. In this paper, we show that only the intermediate spectral wavenumbers (5-12) need to be connected in order to achieve CS. In addition, the minimum connection timescale needed for CS is 7.3 days. Both the connection subset and the connection timescale, or strength, are consistent with the time and spatial scales of the baroclinic instabilities in the model. This is in line with the fact that the baroclinic instabilities are the largest source of divergence between the two connected models. Using the Lorenz 63 model, we show that EOFs are nearly optimal basis functions for synchronization. The QG model results show that the minimum number of EOFs that need to be connected for CS is a factor of three smaller than when connecting the original state variables.
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    Spatial structures and directionalities in Monsoonal precipitation over South Asia
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2010) Malik, N.; Marwan, N.; Kurths, J.
    Precipitation during the monsoon season over the Indian subcontinent occurs in form of enormously complex spatiotemporal patterns due to the underlying dynamics of atmospheric circulation and varying topography. Employing methods from nonlinear time series analysis, we study spatial structures of the rainfall field during the summer monsoon and identify principle regions where the dynamics of monsoonal rainfall is more coherent or homogenous. Moreover, we estimate the time delay patterns of rain events. Here we present an analysis of two separate high resolution gridded data sets of daily rainfall covering the Indian subcontinent. Using the method of event synchronization (ES), we estimate regions where heavy rain events during monsoon happen in some lag synchronised form. Further using the delay behaviour of rainfall events, we estimate the directionalities related to the progress of such type of rainfall events. The Active (break) phase of a monsoon is characterised by an increase(decrease) of rainfall over certain regions of the Indian subcontinent. We show that our method is able to identify regions of such coherent rainfall activity.
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    On the influence of spatial sampling on climate networks
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2014) Molkenthin, N.; Rehfeld, K.; Stolbova, V.; Tupikina, L.; Kurths, J.
    Climate networks are constructed from climate time series data using correlation measures. It is widely accepted that the geographical proximity, as well as other geographical features such as ocean and atmospheric currents, have a large impact on the observable time-series similarity. Therefore it is to be expected that the spatial sampling will influence the reconstructed network. Here we investigate this by comparing analytical flow networks, networks generated with the START model and networks from temperature data from the Asian monsoon domain. We evaluate them on a regular grid, a grid with added random jittering and two variations of clustered sampling. We find that the impact of the spatial sampling on most network measures only distorts the plots if the node distribution is significantly inhomogeneous. As a simple diagnostic measure for the detection of inhomogeneous sampling we suggest the Voronoi cell size distribution.
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    Spatial patterns of linear and nonparametric long-term trends in Baltic sea-level variability
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2012) Donner, R.V.; Ehrcke, R.; Barbosa, S.M.; Wagner, J.; Donges, J.F.; Kurths, J.
    The study of long-term trends in tide gauge data is important for understanding the present and future risk of changes in sea-level variability for coastal zones, particularly with respect to the ongoing debate on climate change impacts. Traditionally, most corresponding analyses have exclusively focused on trends in mean sea-level. However, such studies are not able to provide sufficient information about changes in the full probability distribution (especially in the more extreme quantiles). As an alternative, in this paper we apply quantile regression (QR) for studying changes in arbitrary quantiles of sea-level variability. For this purpose, we chose two different QR approaches and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different settings. In particular, traditional linear QR poses very restrictive assumptions that are often not met in reality. For monthly data from 47 tide gauges from along the Baltic Sea coast, the spatial patterns of quantile trends obtained in linear and nonparametric (spline-based) frameworks display marked differences, which need to be understood in order to fully assess the impact of future changes in sea-level variability on coastal areas. In general, QR demonstrates that the general variability of Baltic sea-level has increased over the last decades. Linear quantile trends estimated for sliding windows in time reveal a wide-spread acceleration of trends in the median, but only localised changes in the rates of changes in the lower and upper quantiles.