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Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
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    When optimization for governing human-environment tipping elements is neither sustainable nor safe
    (London : Nature Publishing Group, 2018) Barfuss, W.; Donges, J.F.; Lade, S.J.; Kurths, J.
    Optimizing economic welfare in environmental governance has been criticized for delivering short-term gains at the expense of long-term environmental degradation. Different from economic optimization, the concepts of sustainability and the more recent safe operating space have been used to derive policies in environmental governance. However, a formal comparison between these three policy paradigms is still missing, leaving policy makers uncertain which paradigm to apply. Here, we develop a better understanding of their interrelationships, using a stylized model of human-environment tipping elements. We find that no paradigm guarantees fulfilling requirements imposed by another paradigm and derive simple heuristics for the conditions under which these trade-offs occur. We show that the absence of such a master paradigm is of special relevance for governing real-world tipping systems such as climate, fisheries, and farming, which may reside in a parameter regime where economic optimization is neither sustainable nor safe.
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    A regime shift in the Sun-Climate connection with the end of the Medieval Climate Anomaly
    (London : Nature Publishing Group, 2017) Smirnov, D.A.; Breitenbach, S.F.M.; Feulner, G.; Lechleitner, F.A.; Prufer, K.M.; Baldini, J.U.L.; Marwan, N.; Kurths, J.
    Understanding the influence of changes in solar activity on Earth's climate and distinguishing it from other forcings, such as volcanic activity, remains a major challenge for palaeoclimatology. This problem is best approached by investigating how these variables influenced past climate conditions as recorded in high precision paleoclimate archives. In particular, determining if the climate system response to these forcings changes through time is critical. Here we use the Wiener-Granger causality approach along with well-established cross-correlation analysis to investigate the causal relationship between solar activity, volcanic forcing, and climate as reflected in well-established Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) rainfall proxy records from Yok Balum Cave, southern Belize. Our analysis reveals a consistent influence of volcanic activity on regional Central American climate over the last two millennia. However, the coupling between solar variability and local climate varied with time, with a regime shift around 1000-1300 CE after which the solar-climate coupling weakened considerably.
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    An integrative quantifier of multistability in complex systems based on ecological resilience
    (London : Nature Publishing Group, 2015) Mitra, C.; Kurths, J.; Donner, R.V.
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    Correlation networks from flows. The case of forced and time-dependent advection-diffusion dynamics
    (San Francisco, CA : Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2016) Tupikina, L.; Molkenthin, N.; López, C.; Hernández-García, E.; Marwan, N.; Kurths, J.
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    Abrupt transitions in time series with uncertainties
    (London : Nature Publishing Group, 2018) Goswami, B.; Boers, N.; Rheinwalt, A.; Marwan, N.; Heitzig, J.; Breitenbach, S.F.M.; Kurths, J.
    Identifying abrupt transitions is a key question in various disciplines. Existing transition detection methods, however, do not rigorously account for time series uncertainties, often neglecting them altogether or assuming them to be independent and qualitatively similar. Here, we introduce a novel approach suited to handle uncertainties by representing the time series as a time-ordered sequence of probability density functions. We show how to detect abrupt transitions in such a sequence using the community structure of networks representing probabilities of recurrence. Using our approach, we detect transitions in global stock indices related to well-known periods of politico-economic volatility. We further uncover transitions in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation which coincide with periods of phase locking with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Finally, we provide for the first time an 'uncertainty-aware' framework which validates the hypothesis that ice-rafting events in the North Atlantic during the Holocene were synchronous with a weakened Asian summer monsoon.
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    Local difference measures between complex networks for dynamical system model evaluation
    (San Francisco, CA : Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2015) Lange, S.; Donges, J.F.; Volkholz, J.; Kurths, J.
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    Networks from Flows - From Dynamics to Topology
    (London : Nature Publishing Group, 2014) Molkenthin, N.; Rehfeld, K.; Marwan, N.; Kurths, J.
    Complex network approaches have recently been applied to continuous spatial dynamical systems, like climate, successfully uncovering the system's interaction structure. However the relationship between the underlying atmospheric or oceanic flow's dynamics and the estimated network measures have remained largely unclear. We bridge this crucial gap in a bottom-up approach and define a continuous analytical analogue of Pearson correlation networks for advection-diffusion dynamics on a background flow. Analysing complex networks of prototypical flows and from time series data of the equatorial Pacific, we find that our analytical model reproduces the most salient features of these networks and thus provides a general foundation of climate networks. The relationships we obtain between velocity field and network measures show that line-like structures of high betweenness mark transition zones in the flow rather than, as previously thought, the propagation of dynamical information.