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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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Spatial patterns of linear and nonparametric long-term trends in Baltic sea-level variability

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.

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Finding recurrence networks' threshold adaptively for a specific time series

2014, Eroglu, D., Marwan, N., Prasad, S., Kurths, J.

Recurrence-plot-based recurrence networks are an approach used to analyze time series using a complex networks theory. In both approaches-recurrence plots and recurrence networks-, a threshold to identify recurrent states is required. The selection of the threshold is important in order to avoid bias of the recurrence network results. In this paper, we propose a novel method to choose a recurrence threshold adaptively. We show a comparison between the constant threshold and adaptive threshold cases to study period-chaos and even period-period transitions in the dynamics of a prototypical model system. This novel method is then used to identify climate transitions from a lake sediment record.

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Principal nonlinear dynamical modes of climate variability

2015, Mukhin, D., Gavrilov, A., Feigin, A., Loskutov, E., Kurths, J.

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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.