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Multi-scale event synchronization analysis for unravelling climate processes: A wavelet-based approach

2017, Agarwal, A., Marwan, N., Rathinasamy, M., Merz, B., Kurths, J.

The temporal dynamics of climate processes are spread across different timescales and, as such, the study of these processes at only one selected timescale might not reveal the complete mechanisms and interactions within and between the (sub-)processes. To capture the non-linear interactions between climatic events, the method of event synchronization has found increasing attention recently. The main drawback with the present estimation of event synchronization is its restriction to analysing the time series at one reference timescale only. The study of event synchronization at multiple scales would be of great interest to comprehend the dynamics of the investigated climate processes. In this paper, the wavelet-based multi-scale event synchronization (MSES) method is proposed by combining the wavelet transform and event synchronization. Wavelets are used extensively to comprehend multi-scale processes and the dynamics of processes across various timescales. The proposed method allows the study of spatio-temporal patterns across different timescales. The method is tested on synthetic and real-world time series in order to check its replicability and applicability. The results indicate that MSES is able to capture relationships that exist between processes at different timescales.

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Supermodeling by combining imperfect models

2011, Selten, F.M., Duane, G.S., Wiegerinck, W., Keenlyside, N., Kurths, J., Kocarev, L.

SUMO (Supermodeling by combining imperfect models) is a three-year project funded under FET Open program with a starting date October, 1, 2010. We review some basic facts and findings of the SUMO project.

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When optimization for governing human-environment tipping elements is neither sustainable nor safe

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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Restoration of rhythmicity in diffusively coupled dynamical networks

2015, Zou, W., Senthilkumar, D.V., Nagao, R., Kiss, I.Z., Tang, Y., Koseska, A., Duan, J., Kurths, J.

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Long-term changes in the north-south asymmetry of solar activity: A nonlinear dynamics characterization using visibility graphs

2014, Zou, Y., Donner, R.V., Marwan, N., Small, M., Kurths, J.

Solar activity is characterized by complex dynamics superimposed onto an almost periodic, approximately 11-year cycle. One of its main features is the presence of a marked, time-varying hemispheric asymmetry, the deeper reasons for which have not yet been completely uncovered. Traditionally, this asymmetry has been studied by considering amplitude and phase differences. Here, we use visibility graphs, a novel tool of nonlinear time series analysis, to obtain complementary information on hemispheric asymmetries in dynamical properties. Our analysis provides deep insights into the potential and limitations of this method, revealing a complex interplay between factors relating to statistical and dynamical properties, i.e., effects due to the probability distribution and the regularity of observed fluctuations. We demonstrate that temporal changes in the hemispheric predominance of the graph properties lag those directly associated with the total hemispheric sunspot areas. Our findings open a new dynamical perspective on studying the north-south sunspot asymmetry, which is to be further explored in future work.

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Spatial structures and directionalities in Monsoonal precipitation over South Asia

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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A regime shift in the Sun-Climate connection with the end of the Medieval Climate Anomaly

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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Sample-based approach can outperform the classical dynamical analysis - Experimental confirmation of the basin stability method

2017, Brzeski, P., Wojewoda, J., Kapitaniak, T., Kurths, J., Perlikowski, P.

In this paper we show the first broad experimental confirmation of the basin stability approach. The basin stability is one of the sample-based approach methods for analysis of the complex, multidimensional dynamical systems. We show that investigated method is a reliable tool for the analysis of dynamical systems and we prove that it has a significant advantages which make it appropriate for many applications in which classical analysis methods are difficult to apply. We study theoretically and experimentally the dynamics of a forced double pendulum. We examine the ranges of stability for nine different solutions of the system in a two parameter space, namely the amplitude and the frequency of excitation. We apply the path-following and the extended basin stability methods (Brzeski et al., Meccanica 51(11), 2016) and we verify obtained theoretical results in experimental investigations. Comparison of the presented results show that the sample-based approach offers comparable precision to the classical method of analysis. However, it is much simpler to apply and can be used despite the type of dynamical system and its dimensions. Moreover, the sample-based approach has some unique advantages and can be applied without the precise knowledge of parameter values.

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Constructing proxy records from age models (COPRA)

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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Metastability for discontinuous dynamical systems under Lévy noise: Case study on Amazonian Vegetation

2017, Serdukova, L., Zheng, Y., Duan, J., Kurths, J.

For the tipping elements in the Earth's climate system, the most important issue to address is how stable is the desirable state against random perturbations. Extreme biotic and climatic events pose severe hazards to tropical rainforests. Their local effects are extremely stochastic and difficult to measure. Moreover, the direction and intensity of the response of forest trees to such perturbations are unknown, especially given the lack of efficient dynamical vegetation models to evaluate forest tree cover changes over time. In this study, we consider randomness in the mathematical modelling of forest trees by incorporating uncertainty through a stochastic differential equation. According to field-based evidence, the interactions between fires and droughts are a more direct mechanism that may describe sudden forest degradation in the south-eastern Amazon. In modeling the Amazonian vegetation system, we include symmetric α-stable Lévy perturbations. We report results of stability analysis of the metastable fertile forest state. We conclude that even a very slight threat to the forest state stability represents Ĺevy noise with large jumps of low intensity, that can be interpreted as a fire occurring in a non-drought year. During years of severe drought, high-intensity fires significantly accelerate the transition between a forest and savanna state.