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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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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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Impact of climate change on larch budmoth cyclic outbreaks

2016, Iyengar, S.V., Balakrishnan, J., Kurths, J.

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An integrative quantifier of multistability in complex systems based on ecological resilience

2015, Mitra, C., Kurths, J., Donner, R.V.

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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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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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Characterizing the evolution of climate networks

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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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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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.

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Non-linear regime shifts in Holocene Asian monsoon variability: Potential impacts on cultural change and migratory patterns

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.