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    Characterizing the evolution of climate networks
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2014) Tupikina, L.; Rehfeld, K.; Molkenthin, N.; Stolbova, V.; Marwan, N.; Kurths, J.
    Complex network theory has been successfully applied to understand the structural and functional topology of many dynamical systems from nature, society and technology. Many properties of these systems change over time, and, consequently, networks reconstructed from them will, too. However, although static and temporally changing networks have been studied extensively, methods to quantify their robustness as they evolve in time are lacking. In this paper we develop a theory to investigate how networks are changing within time based on the quantitative analysis of dissimilarities in the network structure. Our main result is the common component evolution function (CCEF) which characterizes network development over time. To test our approach we apply it to several model systems, ErdA's-Rényi networks, analytically derived flow-based networks, and transient simulations from the START model for which we control the change of single parameters over time. Then we construct annual climate networks from NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data for the Asian monsoon domain for the time period of 1970-2011 CE and use the CCEF to characterize the temporal evolution in this region. While this real-world CCEF displays a high degree of network persistence over large time lags, there are distinct time periods when common links break down. This phasing of these events coincides with years of strong El Niño/Southern Oscillation phenomena, confirming previous studies. The proposed method can be applied for any type of evolving network where the link but not the node set is changing, and may be particularly useful to characterize nonstationary evolving systems using complex networks.
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    Testing the detectability of spatio-temporal climate transitions from paleoclimate networks with the start model
    (Göttingen : Copernicus, 2014) Rehfeld, K.; Molkenthin, N.; Kurths, J.
    A critical challenge in paleoclimate data analysis is the fact that the proxy data are heterogeneously distributed in space, which affects statistical methods that rely on spatial embedding of data. In the paleoclimate network approach nodes represent paleoclimate proxy time series, and links in the network are given by statistically significant similarities between them. Their location in space, proxy and archive type is coded in the node attributes. We develop a semi-empirical model for Spatio- Temporally AutocoRrelated Time series, inspired by the interplay of different Asian Summer Monsoon (ASM) systems. We use an ensemble of transition runs of this START model to test whether and how spatio-temporal climate transitions could be detectable from (paleo)climate networks. We sample model time series both on a grid and at locations at which paleoclimate data are available to investigate the effect of the spatially heterogeneous availability of data. Node betweenness centrality, averaged over the transition region, does not respond to the transition displayed by the START model, neither in the grid-based nor in the scattered sampling arrangement. The regionally defined measures of regional node degree and cross link ratio, however, are indicative of the changes in both scenarios, although the magnitude of the changes differs according to the sampling. We find that the START model is particularly suitable for pseudo-proxy experiments to test the technical reconstruction limits of paleoclimate data based on their location, and we conclude that (paleo)climate networks are suitable for investigating spatio-temporal transitions in the dependence structure of underlying climatic fields.
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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.