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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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A random interacting network model for complex networks

2015, Goswami, B., Shekatkar, S.M., Rheinwalt, A., Ambika, G., Kurths, J.

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Basin stability in delayed dynamics

2016, Leng, S., Lin, W., Kurths, J.

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A deforestation-induced tipping point for the South American monsoon system

2017, Boers, N., Marwan, N., Barbosa, H.M.J., Kurths, J.

The Amazon rainforest has been proposed as a tipping element of the earth system, with the possibility of a dieback of the entire ecosystem due to deforestation only of parts of the rainforest. Possible physical mechanisms behind such a transition are still subject to ongoing debates. Here, we use a specifically designed model to analyse the nonlinear couplings between the Amazon rainforest and the atmospheric moisture transport from the Atlantic to the South American continent. These couplings are associated with a westward cascade of precipitation and evapotranspiration across the Amazon. We investigate impacts of deforestation on the South American monsoonal circulation with particular focus on a previously neglected positive feedback related to condensational latent heating over the rainforest, which strongly enhances atmospheric moisture inflow from the Atlantic. Our results indicate the existence of a tipping point. In our model setup, crossing the tipping point causes precipitation reductions of up to 40% in non-deforested parts of the western Amazon and regions further downstream. The responsible mechanism is the breakdown of the aforementioned feedback, which occurs when deforestation reduces transpiration to a point where the available atmospheric moisture does not suffice anymore to release the latent heat needed to maintain the feedback.

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

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