[Seminar on Oct 19] Predictability of Extreme Climate Events via a Complex Network Approach


Prof. Juergen Kurths

Potsdam Institute for Climate   

Impact Research & Humboldt

University, Germany

10:15am, Oct 19, 2019

No. 319, Building 40, IAP


Complex networks are a powerful tool in many engineering and science fields. Here, we analyse climate dynamics from a complex network approach. This leads to an inverse problem: Is there a backbone-like structure underlying the climate system? For this we propose a method to reconstruct and analyze a complex network from data generated by a spatio-temporal dynamical flow system. This approach enables us to uncover relations to global circulation patterns in oceans and atmosphere.

This concept is then applied to Monsoon data; in particular, we develop a general framework to predict extreme events by combining a non-linear synchronization technique with complex networks. This way we analyze the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) and identify two regions of high importance. By estimating an underlying critical point, this leads to a substantially improved prediction of the onset of the ISM by two weeks compared to available method. Applying this method to the South American monsoon system, we uncover a new mechanism of extreme floods in the eastern Central Andes, which could be used for operational forecasts.

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