NP – Nonlinear Processes in Geosciences

NP0.1 – Turbulent cascades in geosciences 100 years after Richardson 1922

EGU22-3918 | Presentations | NP0.1

Turbulent intermittency as a consequence of stationarity of the energy balance

Sébastien Aumaitre and Stéphan Fauve

In his seminal work on turbulence, Kolmogorov made use of the stationary hypothesis to determine the Power Density Spectra of velocity field in turbulent flows. However to our knowledge, the constraints that stationary processes impose on the fluctuations of power have never been used in the context of turbulence. Here we recall that the Power Density Spectra of the fluctuations of the injected power, the dissipated power and the energy flux have to converge to a common value at vanishing frequency. Hence, we show that the intermittent GOY-shell model fulfills these constraints on the power as well as on the energy fluxes. We argue that they can be related to intermittency. Indeed, we find that the constraints on the power fluctuations imply a relation between scaling exponents, which is consistent with the GOY-shell model and in agreement with the She-Leveque formula. It also fixes the intermittent parameter of the log-normal model at a realistic value. The relevance of these results for real turbulence is drawn in the concluding remarks.

How to cite: Aumaitre, S. and Fauve, S.: Turbulent intermittency as a consequence of stationarity of the energy balance, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3918,, 2022.

According to the classic energy cascade notion, large eddies as energy carrier are unstable to break up, through which energy is transferred from large scales till the smallest ones to dissipate the kinetic energy. A fundamental issue hereof is how to quantify the eddies of different sizes, else the energy cascade scenario remains illustrative. A possible remedy is the idea of dissipation element (DE) analysis, which is a topological approach based on extremal points. In this method, starting from each spatial point in a turbulent scalar field ϕ, a local minimum point and a local maximum point will inevitably be reached along the descending and ascending directions of the scalar gradient trajectory, respectively. The ensemble of spatial points whose gradient trajectories share the same pair of minimum and maximum points define a spatial region, called a DE. The entire filed can thus be partitioned into space-filling DEs. Typically, DE can be parameterized with l, the linear distance between the two extremal points, and ∆ϕ = ϕ_max – ϕ_min, the absolute value of the scalar quantity difference between the two extremal points. It needs to mention that dependence of the DE structure on the ϕ field is conformal with the physics that different variable fields are different structured, although related. In the past years, DE analysis has been implemented to understand the turbulence dynamics under different conditions. Since inside each DE, the monotonous change of the field variable (from ϕ_min  to ϕ_max  along the trajectory) depicts a laminar like structure in a local region, the space-filling DEs can be recognized as the smallest eddies.

In a more general sense, a newly defined multi-level DE structure has been developed. Introducing the size of the observation window S, extremal points are multi-level, based on which the DE structure can be extended to multi-level. At each S-level, the turbulent field can be decomposed into space-filling DEs, which makes it possible to understand to entire field from the properties of such individual units. In this sense, it is tentatively possible to define turbulent eddies of different scales as DEs at different S-levels. Conventional analyses based on “turbulent eddies” can be implemented using such idea. For instance, during energy cascade, eddy breakup corresponds to the splitting of DEs at higher levels (with larger S) to smaller ones at lower levels (with smaller S). Because of DE can be exactly defined, eddies can be quantified as well, but not just demonstrative. Such kind of multi-level DE structure is uniquely different from other existing approaches (e.g. vortex tube, PoD, Fourier analysis etc.) in the following senses. First, DEs at any S-level are quantitatively defined, rather than qualitatively visualized. Second, DEs at any S-level are space-filling.  The multi-level DE approach is generally applicable in turbulence analysis.

How to cite: Wang, L.: Quantification of “turbulent eddies” in energy cascade based on the multi-level dissipation element structure, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3335,, 2022.

Big whirls have little whirls that feed on their velocity,

and little whirls have lesser whirls and so on to viscosity.

These famous words written in 1922 by Lewis Fry Richardson have become inspiration for intensively developing scientific field studying scales of climate variability and their interactions. In spite of ever growing interest in this research area, the description of this session states: ”We still lack an efficient methodology to diagnose the scale-to-scale energy or other physical quantities fluxes to characterize the cascade quantitatively, e.g., strength, direction, etc. ”  In this contribution we would like to remind the methodology able to identify causal relations and information transfer between dynamical processes on different time scales and even to quantify the effect of such causal influences. Moreover, in macroscopic systems the information transfer is tied to the transfer of mass and energy [1].

The detection of cross-scale causal interactions [2] starts with a wavelet (or other scale-wise) decomposition of a multi-scale signal into quasi-oscillatory modes of a limited bandwidth, described using their instantaneous phases and amplitudes. Then their statistical associations are tested in order to search interactions across time scales. An information-theoretic formulation of the generalized, nonlinear Granger causality [3] uncovers causal influence and information transfer from large-scale modes of climate variability, characterized by time scales from years to almost a decade, to regional temperature variability on short time scales.  In particular, a climate oscillation with the period around 7-8 years has been identified as a factor influencing variability of surface air temperature (SAT) on shorter time scales.  Its influence on the amplitude of the SAT annual cycle was estimated in the range 0.7-1.4 °C, while its strongest effect was observed in the interannual variability of the winter SAT anomaly means where it reaches 4-5 °C in central European stations and reanalysis data [4].  In the dynamics of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), three principal time scales - the annual cycle (AC), the quasibiennial (QB) mode(s) and the low-frequency (LF) variability – and their causal network have been identified [5]. Recent results show how the phases of ENSO QB and LF oscillations influence amplitudes of precipitation variability in east Asia in the annual and QB scales.

Support from the Czech Science Foundation (GA19-16066S) and the Czech Academy of Sciences (Praemium Academiae) is gratefully acknowledged.

[1] J. Hlinka et al., Chaos 27(3), 035811 (2017)

[2] M. Palus, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 078702 (2014)

[3] M. Palus, M. Vejmelka, Phys. Rev. E 75, 056211  (2007)

[4] N. Jajcay, J. Hlinka, S. Kravtsov, A. A. Tsonis, M. Palus, Geophys. Res. Lett. 43(2), 902–909 (2016)

[5] N. Jajcay, S. Kravtsov, G. Sugihara, A. A. Tsonis, and M. Palus, npj Climate and Atmospheric Science 1, 33 (2018).  doi:10.1038/s41612-018-0043-7,

How to cite: Palus, M.: Big whirls talking to smaller whirls: detecting cross-scale information flow, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9028,, 2022.

EGU22-5934 | Presentations | NP0.1

Scalewise Universal Relaxation to Isotropy of Inhomogeneous Atmospheric Boundary Layer Turbulence

Ivana Stiperski, Gabriel G. Katul, and Marc Calaf

The turbulent energy cascade is one of the most recognizable characteristics of turbulent flow. Still, representing this tendency of large-scale anisotropic eddies to redistribute their energy content with decreasing scale, a phenomenon referred to as return to isotropy, remains a recalcitrant problem in the physics of turbulence. Atmospheric turbulence is characterised by large scale separation between production and viscous destruction of turbulent kinetic energy making it suitable for exploring such scale-wise redistribution of energy among velocity components.  Moreover, real-world atmospheric turbulence offers an unprecedentedly diverse source of inhomogeneity and large-scale anisotropy (caused by shear, buoyancy, terrain-induced pressure perturbations, closeness to the wall) while maintaining a high Reynolds number state. It may thus be assumed that relaxation through the energy cascade may be dependent on the anisotropy source, thus adding to the ways that atmospheric turbulence differs from canonical turbulent boundary-layers.

Here, we examine the scalewise return to isotropy for an unprecedented dataset of atmospheric turbulence measurements covering flat to mountainous terrain, stratification spanning convective to very stable conditions, surface roughness ranging over several orders of magnitude, various distances from the surface, and Reynolds numbers that far exceed the limits of direct numerical simulations and laboratory experiments.  The results indicate that irrespective of the complexity of the dataset examined, the return-to-isotropy trajectories that start from specific initial anisotropy at large scales show surprising scalewise universality in their trajectories towards isotropy. This novel finding suggests that the effects of boundary conditions, once accounted for in the starting anisotropy of the trajectory in the cascade, cease to be important at much smaller scales. It can therefore be surmised that large-scale anisotropy encodes the relevant information provided by the boundary conditions, adding to the body of evidence that the information on anisotropy is a missing variable in understanding and modelling atmospheric turbulence [1-3].


[1]  Stiperski I, and M Calaf. Dependence of near-surface similarity scaling on the anisotropy of atmospheric turbulence. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological, 144, 641-657, 2017.

[2]  Stiperski I, M Calaf and MW Rotach. Scaling, anisotropy, and complexity in near-surface atmospheric turbulence. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 124, 1428-1448, 2019.

[3] Stiperski I, GG Katul, M Calaf. Universal return to isotropy of inhomogeneous atmospheric boundary layer turbulence. Physical Review Letters, 126 (19), 194501, 2021

How to cite: Stiperski, I., Katul, G. G., and Calaf, M.: Scalewise Universal Relaxation to Isotropy of Inhomogeneous Atmospheric Boundary Layer Turbulence, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5934,, 2022.

In recent years a consensus has been reached regarding the direction of the energy cascade in the mesoscales in the Upper Tropospheric-Lower Stratospheric (UTLS) altitudes. Numerous measurements and model results confirm the existence of a predominantly forward spectral energy flux from low to high horizontal wavenumbers. However, the details to explain the observed -5/3 power law for Kinetic and Available Potential Energy (KE and APE) are still being debated.

In this study we performed simulations using the dry version of the Kühlungsborn Mechanistic general Circulation Model (KMCM) with high horizontal and vertical resolution for permanent January conditions. Horizontal diffusion schemes for horizontal momentum and sensible heat satisfy the Scale Invariance Criterion (SIC) using the Dynamic Smagorinsky Model (DSM). We investigated the simulated KE and APE spectra with regard to the scaling laws of Stratified Macro-Turbulence (SMT). Zonally and temporally averaged dissipation rates for KE & APE and SMT statistics correlate highly in subtropical mid-latitudes and the UTLS levels. Particularly the characteristic dimensionless numbers of Buoyancy Reynolds Number and turbulent-Rossby Number are pronounced in the regions, where the maximum of the forward spectral fluxes of nonlinear interactions are also found. During this process the spectral contribution of the negative buoyancy production term plays an important role by converting KE to APE. These findings are entirely in line with the spectral and statistical predictions of idealized Stratified Turbulence (ST) and confirms that the energy cascades that give rise to the simulated mesoscale shallowing are strongly nonlinear.

Furthermore level by level analyses of the horizontally averaged spectral tendencies and fluxes of both KE and APE reservoirs in this specific region revealed that there is a non-negligible spectral contribution by the energy deposition term of upward propagating Gravity Waves (GW). Further investigation indicate the dynamics of these resolved GWs look like a superposition of westward Inertia GWs that are subject to a Lindzen-type saturation condition. Their vertical propagation in UTLS heights is non-conservative above their generation level. These results associate directly for the first time ST and GW dynamics, which were thought to be distinct in character. Finally we present simulations with different diffusion schemes and show that the previously mentioned energy deposition contribution was only identified if both horizontal momentum and sensible heat diffusion schemes fulfill the SIC.

How to cite: Can, S.: Macro-Turbulent Energy Cascades in UpperTropospheric-Lower Stratospheric Mesoscales, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9270,, 2022.

EGU22-8277 | Presentations | NP0.1

Scale-to-Scale Energy and Enstrophy Fluxes of Atmospheric Motions via CFOSAT

Yang Gao, Francois G. Schmitt, Jianyu Hu, and Yongxiang Huang

Turbulence theory essentially describes energy and enstrophy flows crossing scales or a balance between input and output. A famous example is the Richardson-Kolmogorov forward energy cascade picture for three-dimensional homogeneous and isotropic turbulence. However, due to the complexity of turbulent systems, and the lack of an efficient method to describe the cascade quantitatively, the factual cascade features for most fluids are still unknown. In this work, an improved Filter-Space-Technique (FST) is proposed to extract the energy flux ΠE, and enstrophy flux ΠΩ between different scales for the ocean surface wind field which was remotely sensed by the China-France Oceanography Satellite (CFOSAT). With the improved FST method, ΠE and ΠΩ can be calculated for databases which contain gaps or with irregular boundary conditions. Moreover, the local information of the fluxes are preserved. A case study of the typhoon Maysak (2020) shows both inverse and forward cascades for the energy and enstrophy around the center of the typhoon, indicating a rich dynamical pattern. The global views of ΠE and ΠΩ for the wind field are studied for scales from 12.5 to 500 km. The results show that both ΠE and ΠΩ are hemispherically symmetric, with evident spatial and temporal variations for all the scales. More precisely, positive and negative ΠE  are found for the scales less and above 60 km, respectively. As for ΠΩ, the transition scale is around 150 km, forward and backward cascades are corresponding to the scales below and above this scale. In the physical space, stronger fluxes are occurring in midlatitudes than the ones in tropical regions, excepts for a narrow region around 10oN, where strong fluxes are observed. In the temporal space, the fluxes in winter are stronger than the ones in summer. Our study provides an improved approach to derive the local energy and enstrophy fluxes with complex field observed data. The results presented in this work contribute to the fundamental understanding of ocean surface atmospheric motions in their multiscale dynamics, and also provide a benchmark for atmospheric models.



Alexakis, A., & Biferale, L. (2018). Cascades and transitions in turbulent flows. Phys. Rep., 767, 1-101.

Dong, S., Huang, Y.X., Yuan, X., Lozano-Durán, A. (2020). The coherent structure of the kinetic energy transfer in shear turbulence. J. Fluid Mech., 892, A22.

Frisch, U., Kolmogorov, A. N. (1995). Turbulence: the legacy of AN Kolmogorov. Cambridge University Press.

Gao, Y. , Schmitt, F.G., Hu,  J.Y. &  Huang, Y.X. (2021) Scaling analysis of the China France Oceanography Satellite along-track wind and wave data. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 126:e2020JC017119


How to cite: Gao, Y., Schmitt, F. G., Hu, J., and Huang, Y.: Scale-to-Scale Energy and Enstrophy Fluxes of Atmospheric Motions via CFOSAT, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8277,, 2022.

EGU22-1089 | Presentations | NP0.1

Tropical Background and Wave Spectra: Contribution of Wave–Wave Interactions in a Moderately Nonlinear Turbulent Flow

Nathan Paldor, Chaim I. Garfinkel, and Ofer Shamir

Variability in the tropical atmosphere is concentrated at wavenumber–frequency combinations where linear theory indicates wave modes can freely propagate, but with substantial power in between. This study demonstrates that such a power spectrum can arise from small-scale convection triggering large-scale waves via wave–wave interactions in a moderately turbulent fluid. Two key pieces of evidence are provided for this interpretation of tropical dynamics using a nonlinear rotating shallow-water model: a parameter sweep experiment in which the amplitude of an external forcing is gradually ramped up, and also an external forcing in which only symmetric or only antisymmetric modes are forced. These experiments do not support a commonly accepted mechanism involving the forcing projecting directly onto the wave modes with a strong response, yet still simulate a power spectrum resembling that observed, though the linear projection mechanism could still complement the mechanism proposed here in observations. Interpreting the observed tropical power spectrum using turbulence offers a simple explanation as to why power should be concentrated at the theoretical wave modes, and also provides a solid footing for the common assumption that the background spectrum is red, even as it clarifies why there is no expectation for a turbulent cascade with a specific, theoretically derived slope such as −5/3. However, it does explain why the cascade should be toward lower wavenumbers, that is an inverse energy cascade, similar to the midlatitudes even as compressible wave modes are important for tropical dynamics.
It also explains why  in satellite observations and reanalysis data, the symmetric component is stronger than the anti-symmetric component, as any bias in the small-scale forcing from isotropy, whether symmetric or antisymmetric, leads to symmetric bias in the large-scale spectrum regardless of the source of variability responsible for the onset of the asymmetry.

Shamir, O., C. Schwartz, C.I. Garfinkel, and N. Paldor, The power distribution between symmetric and anti-symmetric components of the tropical wavenumber-frequency spectrum, JAS, .
Garfinkel, C.I., O. Shamir, I. Fouxon, and N. Paldor, Tropical background and wave spectra: contribution of wave-wave interactions in a moderately nonlinear turbulent flow, JAS,
Shamir, O., C.I. Garfinkel, O. Adam, and N. Paldor, A note on the power distribution between symmetric and anti-symmetric components of the tropical Brightness Temperature spectrum in the wavenumber-frequency plane , JAS,doi: 10.1175/JAS-D-21-0099.1.

How to cite: Paldor, N., Garfinkel, C. I., and Shamir, O.: Tropical Background and Wave Spectra: Contribution of Wave–Wave Interactions in a Moderately Nonlinear Turbulent Flow, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1089,, 2022.

EGU22-7557 | Presentations | NP0.1

Upscale and forward transfer of kinetic energy: Impact on giant planetary jet and vortex formation

Vincent Böning, Paula Wulff, Wieland Dietrich, Ulrich R. Christensen, and Johannes Wicht

In this study, we analyse the non-linear transfer of kinetic energy in simulations of convection in a 3D rotating shell. Our aim is to understand the role of upscale transfer of kinetic energy and a potential inverse cascade for the formation of zonal jets and large vortices on the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn. We find that the main driving of the jets is associated with upscale transfer directly from the convection scale to the jets. This transfer of energy is mediated by Reynolds stresses, i.e. statistical correlations of velocity components of the small-scale flow.  Intermediate scales are mostly not involved, therefore strictly speaking the jets are not powered by an inverse energy cascade. To a much smaller degree, energy is transferred upscale from the convective scale to large vortices. However, these vortices also receive energy from the jets, likely due to an instability of the jet flow.  Concerning transport in the forward direction, we find as expected that the 3D convective motions transfer energy to the even smaller dissipation scales in a forward cascade.

How to cite: Böning, V., Wulff, P., Dietrich, W., Christensen, U. R., and Wicht, J.: Upscale and forward transfer of kinetic energy: Impact on giant planetary jet and vortex formation, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7557,, 2022.

EGU22-2192 | Presentations | NP0.1

Nonlinear subcritical and supercritical thermal convection in a sphere

Tobias Sternberg and Andrew Jackson
Fluids that are subject to temperature gradients (or internal heating) and a gravity force will begin convecting when the thermal forcing, conventionally measured by the nondimensional Rayleigh number Ra exceeds a critical value. The critical value RL for the transition from a static, purely conductive state to an advective state can be determined by linearising the equations of motion and formulating an associated characteristic value problem. We discuss two aspects of fluid behaviour away from this point:
(i) Highly supercritical behaviour, and the asymptotic behaviour of heat transport in the highly nonlinear regime. (ii) Subcritical behaviour for Ra<RL, which may be possible for finite amplitude fluid motions. We work in both full sphere and shell geometries, with various forms of heating and gravitational profiles. We report on both theoretical developments and direct numerical simulations using highly accurate fully spectral methods for solving the relevant equations of motion and of heat transfer.

How to cite: Sternberg, T. and Jackson, A.: Nonlinear subcritical and supercritical thermal convection in a sphere, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2192,, 2022.

EGU22-7115 | Presentations | NP0.1

Turbulent Cascade of  the Lithosphere Deformation in the Tibetan Plateau

Tinghui Yan, Yinxiang Ma, Jianyu Hu, and Yongxiang Huang

Recently, multiscale statics is found to be relevant in description of the lithosphere deformation of the Tibetan Plateau (Jian et al, Phys. Rev. E, 2019). More precisely, a dual-power-law behavior is observed respectively on the spatial scale range of  50≤ r≤ 500km and 500≤ r ≤2000km, which coincidently agrees well with the one reported for the atmospheric movement (Nastrom et al., Nature, 1984). The corresponding high-order scaling exponents demonstrated a nonlinear shape, showing multifractality nature of the underlying dynamics. To diagnose further whether the lithosphere deformation is turbulent or not, the third-order longitudinal structure-function SLLL(r)=< ΔuL(r)3> is estimated, where r is the modulus of the distance vector  r, and  ΔuL is the velocity component that paralleling with r.  Due to the finite sample size, the experimental SLLL(r) is not reliable when r≤200km. The measured SLLL(r) is scaled as  -r4±0.2 on the spatial scale range of 500≤ r ≤ 2000km, indicating the existence of a turbulent cascade. Because of the complexity of the geodynamics, e.g., Coriolis force, mantle convection, India-Eurasia collision, to list a few, the exact force balance is remained unknown. Therefore, the full interpretation of the current observation is not feasible.



A. Alexakis, &  L. Biferale (2018). Cascades and transitions in turbulent flows, Phys. Rep., 767, 1-101.

U. Frisch, (1995) Turbulence: The Legacy of A.N. Kolmogorov, Cambridge University Press

X. Jian, W. Zhang, Q. Deng & Y.X. Huang (2019) Turbulent lithosphere deformation in the Tibetan Plateau, Phys. Rev. E, 99:062122

G.D. Nastrom, K.S Gage & Jasperson (1984) Kinetic energy spectrum of large- and mesoscale atmospheric processes, Nature, 310:36

How to cite: Yan, T., Ma, Y., Hu, J., and Huang, Y.: Turbulent Cascade of  the Lithosphere Deformation in the Tibetan Plateau, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7115,, 2022.

EGU22-2238 | Presentations | NP0.1

Direct evidence of an oceanic dual kinetic energy cascade and its seasonality from surface drifters

Jin-Han Xie, Dhruv Balwada, Raffaele Marino, and Fabio Feraco

Ocean turbulence causes flows to split into smaller whirls or merge to make larger whirls, cascading energy to small or large scales respectively. Conventional ocean dynamics dictates that the kinetic energy in the ocean will cascade primarily to larger scales, via the inverse energy cascade, and has raised the question of how the kinetic energy in the ocean dissipates, which would necessarily require the transfer towards the molecular scales. However, so far no clear observational quantification of the energy cascade at the scales where these mechanisms are potentially active has been made. By using forcing-scale resolving third-order structure-function theory, which captures bidirectional energy fluxes and is applicable beyond inertial ranges, we analyse data from surface drifters, released in dense arrays in the Gulf of Mexico, to obtain the kinetic energy flux magnitude and directions along with the energy injection scales. We provide the first direct observational verification that the surface kinetic energy cascades to both small and large scales, with the forward cascade dominating at scales smaller than approximately 1-10km. Our results also show that there is a seasonality in these cascades, with winter months having a stronger injection of energy into the surface flows and a more energetic cascade to smaller scales. This work provides exciting new opportunities for further probing the energetics of ocean turbulence using non-gridded sparse observations, such as from drifters, gliders, or satellites.

How to cite: Xie, J.-H., Balwada, D., Marino, R., and Feraco, F.: Direct evidence of an oceanic dual kinetic energy cascade and its seasonality from surface drifters, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2238,, 2022.

EGU22-7004 | Presentations | NP0.1

Turbulent Energy Cascade in the Gulf of Mexico

Yinxiang Ma, Jianyu Hu, and Yongxiang Huang

Due  to the extreme complexity of the oceanic dynamics, e.g., stratification, air-sea interaction,  waves, current, tide, etc., the corresponding turbulent cascade remains unknown. The third-order longitudinal structure-function is often employed to diagnose  the cascade direction and intensity, which is written as  SLLL(r)=< Δ uL3(r)>, where Δ uL is the  velocity increment along the distance vector r, and r is the modulus of r. In the case of  three-dimension homogeneous and isotropic turbulence, SLLL(r) is scaled as -4/5εr in the inertial range, where ε is the energy dissipation rate per unit.  In this work, SLLL(r) is estimated for two experimental velocities that obtained in the Gulf of Mexico, namely Grand LAgrangian Deployment (GLAD) and the LAgrangian Submesoscale ExpeRiment (LASER). The experimental SLLL(r) for both experiments shows a transition from negative values to a positive one roughly at rT=10km, corresponding to a timescale  around τT=12-hour (e.g., τT=rT/urms with urms ≈0.24m/s.  Power-law is evident for the scale on the range 0.01≤ r≤1km as SLLL(r)∼ -r1.45±0.10, and for the scale on the range 30≤ r≤300km as SLLL(r)∼ r1.45±0.10. Note that a weak stratification with depth of 10∼15m has been reported for the GLAD experiment, indicating a quasi-2D flow topography. The scaling ranges are above this stratification depth. Hence, the famous Kraichnan's 2D turbulence theory or the geostrophic turbulence proposed by Charney are expected to be applicable. However, due to the complexity of real oceanic flows, hypotheses behind these theories cannot be verified either directly or indirectly. To simplify the situation, we still consider here the sign of  SLLL(r) as an indicator of the energy cascade. It thus suggests a possible forward energy cascade below the spatial scale rT, and an inverse one above the scale  spatial rT.  While, the scaling exponents 1.45 are deserved more studied in the future if more data is available.



Charney, J. G. (1971). Geostrophic turbulence. J. Atmos. Sci., 28(6), 1087-1095.

Frisch, U., & Kolmogorov, A. N. (1995). Turbulence: the legacy of AN Kolmogorov. Cambridge University Press.

Alexakis, A., & Biferale, L. (2018). Cascades and transitions in turbulent flows. Phys. Rep., 767, 1-101.

Dong, S., Huang, Y., Yuan, X., & Lozano-Durán, A. (2020). The coherent structure of the kinetic energy transfer in shear turbulence. J. Fluid Mech., 892, A22.

Poje, A. C., Özgökmen, T. M., Bogucki, D. J., & Kirwan, A. D. (2017). Evidence of a forward energy cascade and Kolmogorov self-similarity in submesoscale ocean surface drifter observations. Phys. Fluids, 29(2), 020701.

How to cite: Ma, Y., Hu, J., and Huang, Y.: Turbulent Energy Cascade in the Gulf of Mexico, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7004,, 2022.

EGU22-13450 | Presentations | NP0.1

Relative Dispersion with Finite Inertial Ranges

Joe LaCasce and Thomas Meunier

The relative dispersion of pairs of particles was first considered in a seminal article by Richardson (1926). The dispersion subsequently was subsequently linked to turbulence, and pair separation statistics can advantageously be used to deduce energy wavenumber spectra. Thus one can, for example, employ surface drifters to identify turbulent regimes at scales well below those resolved by satellite altimetry. The identification relies on knowing how dispersion evolves with a specific energy spectrum. The analytical predictions commonly used apply to infinite inertial ranges, i.e. assuming the same dispersive behavior over all scales. With finite inertial ranges, the metrics are less conclusive, and often are not even consistent with each other.

We examine this using pair separation probability density functions (PDFs), obtained by integrating a Fokker-Planck equation with different diffusivity profiles. We consider time-based metrics, such as the relative dispersion, and separation-based metrics, such as the finite scale Lyapunov exponent (FSLE). As the latter cannot be calculated from a PDF, we introduce a new measure, the Cumulative Inverse Separation Time (CIST), which can. This behaves like the FSLE, but advantageously has analytical solutions in the inertial ranges. This allows establishing consistency between the time- and space-based metrics, something which has been lacking previously.

We focus on three dispersion regimes: non-local spreading (as in a 2D enstrophy inertial range), Richardson dispersion (as in the 3D and 2D energy inertial ranges) and diffusion (for uncorrelated pair motion). The time-based metrics are more successful with non-local dispersion, as the corresponding PDF applies from the initial time. Richardson dispersion is barely observed, because the self-similar PDF applies only asymptotically in time. In contrast, the separation-based CIST correctly captures the dependencies, even with a short (one decade) inertial range, and is superior to the traditional FSLE at large scales. Furthermore, the analytical solutions permit reconciling the CIST with the other measures, something which is generally not possible with the FSLE.

How to cite: LaCasce, J. and Meunier, T.: Relative Dispersion with Finite Inertial Ranges, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13450,, 2022.

EGU22-8564 | Presentations | NP0.1

Global view of oceanic cascades from the Global Circulation Model

Jingjing Song, Dan Zhang, Yan Peng, Yang Gao, and Yongxiang Huang

In his seminal work "Weather Prediction by Numerical Process" in 1922, Lewis Fry Richardson proposed the famous cascade picture qualitatively for a turbulent flow that energy transferring from large to small scale  structures, until the viscosity one where the kinetic energy is converted  into heat. This picture has been recognized further as the forward energy  cascade.  But, it cannot be applied directly to the real atmospheric  or oceanic motions. Whatever, the global circulation model is indeed established within this framework by considering more complex situations, e.g., earth rotation, stratification, tide, mesoscale eddies, to list a few. In  this work, an improved Filter-Space-Technique (FST) is applied to a reanalysis product provided by the CMEMS global ocean eddy-resolving (1/12o degree horizontal resolution).   The FST provides a global view of the  energy flux ΠE  that associated with the oceanic cascades for all resolved  scales, e.g., from mesoscale eddies to global circulations. For instance, at scale r=160 km (i.e., radius of the Gaussian filter kernel), a rich dynamic pattern is observed for an instantaneous flow filed. Both forward (ΠE>0, energy transferring from large scale to small scale structures) and inverse (ΠE<0, energy transferring from small scale to large scale structures) cascades are evident in the equator, western boundary current regions, Antarctic Circumpolar Current region, to name a few. While, the long-term averaged flux field show mainly a negative ΠE (inverse energy cascade) except for the equatorial region. Moreover, a high intensity negative flux is found for both the Loop Current and Kuroshio Current, indicating that the mesoscale eddies might be absorbed by the main flow.



Charney, J. G. (1971). Geostrophic turbulence. J. Atmos. Sci., 28(6), 1087-1095.

Frisch, U.,  Kolmogorov, A. N. (1995). Turbulence: the legacy of AN Kolmogorov. Cambridge University Press.

Alexakis, A.,  Biferale, L. (2018). Cascades and transitions in turbulent flows. Phys. Rep., 767, 1-101.

Dong, S., Huang, Y.X., Yuan, X., & Lozano-Durán, A. (2020). The coherent structure of the kinetic energy transfer in shear turbulence. J. Fluid Mech., 892, A22.

How to cite: Song, J., Zhang, D., Peng, Y., Gao, Y., and Huang, Y.: Global view of oceanic cascades from the Global Circulation Model, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8564,, 2022.

EGU22-9226 | Presentations | NP0.1

Study of Submesoscale Coherent Vortices (SCVs) in the Atlantic Ocean along different isopycnals

Ashwita Chouksey, Xavier Carton, and Jonathan Gula

The ocean is densely populated with energetic coherent vortices of different sizes. Mesoscale and submesoscale vortices contribute to stirring of the ocean, transporting and redistributing water masses and tracers (active and passive), affecting ventilation pathways and thus impacting the large-scale circulation. Submesoscale Coherent Vortices (SCVs), i.e. vortices with radii between 1-30 km have been detected via satellite and in-situ measurements at surface or at depth (usually not more than ~2000 m depth). They are found to be of different shapes and sizes depending upon latitude and place of origin. Previous studies mostly describe the surface mesoscale and submesoscale eddies rather than the deep SCVs (> 2000 m). This study focuses on SCVs below the mixed layer along four different isopycnal surfaces: 26.60, 27.60, 27.80, and 27.86, which lie in the depth range of 10-500 m, 200-2000 m, 1200-3000 m, and 1800-4500 m, respectively. We aim to quantify their physical characteristics (radius, thickness, bias in polarity: cyclones versus anticyclones) in different parts of the Atlantic ocean, and analyze the dynamics involved in the generation and destruction of the SCVs throughout their life-cycle. We use the Coastal and Regional Ocean COmmunity model (CROCO) ocean model in a high resolution setup (3 km) of the Atlantic Ocean. The detection of SCVs are done every 12 hr using the Okubo-Weiss parameter along the isopycnal surfaces using the eddy-tracking algorithm by Mason et al., 2014. We consider only structures living for more than 21 days. The census of SCVs shows that there are in total more cyclonic than anticyclonic SCV detections. However cyclones are on average smaller and shorter lived, such that there is a dominance of anticyclones while considering long-lived and larger distance travelling SCVs. We concentrate on the strongest and longest lived SCVs among which meddies that we compare to previous in-situ observations. This study is the first step in the understanding of the formation, occurrences and structure of SCVs in the Atlantic Ocean, and their impact on the large-scale ocean circulation.

How to cite: Chouksey, A., Carton, X., and Gula, J.: Study of Submesoscale Coherent Vortices (SCVs) in the Atlantic Ocean along different isopycnals, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9226,, 2022.

EGU22-9329 | Presentations | NP0.1

Mesoscale Eddy Kinetic Energy budgets and transfers between vertical modes in the Agulhas Current

Pauline Tedesco, Jonathan Gula, Pierrick Penven, and Claire Ménesguen

Western boundary currents are hotspots of the mesoscale oceanic variability and of energy transfers, channeled by topography, toward smaller scales and eventually down to dissipation. Here, we assess the main mesoscale eddies energy sinks in the Agulhas Current region, with an emphasize on the different paths of energy toward smaller scales, from a regional numerical simulation. 

We derive an eddy kinetic energy (EKE) budget in the framework of the vertical modes. This comprehensive method accounts for energy transfers between energy reservoirs and vertical modes, including transfers channeled by topography and by a turbulent vertical cascade. 

The variability is dominated by mesoscale eddies (barotropic and 1st baroclinic modes) in the path of intense mean currents. Eddy-topography interactions result in a major mesoscale eddy energy sink (50 % of the total EKE sink). They represent energy transfers both toward higher baroclinic modes (27 % of the total EKE sink) and mean currents (23 % of the total EKE sink). Energy transfers toward higher baroclinic modes take different forms in the Northern Agulhas Current, where it corresponds to non-linear transfers to smaller vertical eddies on the slope (5 % of the total EKE sink), and in the Southern Agulhas Current, where it is dominated by a (linear) generation of internal-gravity waves over topography (22 % of the total EKE sink). The vertical turbulent cascade is significant in offshore regions, away from topography and intense mean currents. In these regions the direction of the turbulent vertical cascade is inverse - energy transferred from higher baroclinic modes toward mesoscale eddies - and it can locally amounts for most of the mesoscale eddies energy gain (up to 68 % of the local EKE source).

However, the Agulhas Current region remains a net source of mesoscale eddy energy due to the strong generation of eddies, modulated by the topography, especially in the Southern Agulhas Current. In the complex Agulhas Current system, which includes an intense mean oceanic current and mesoscale eddies field as well as strong topographic constraint and stratification gradients, the local generation of mesoscale eddies dominates the net EKE budget. It is in contrast with the paradigm of mesoscale eddies decay upon western boundaries, suggested as being due to topographically-channeled interactions triggering a direct energy cascade.

How to cite: Tedesco, P., Gula, J., Penven, P., and Ménesguen, C.: Mesoscale Eddy Kinetic Energy budgets and transfers between vertical modes in the Agulhas Current, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9329,, 2022.

NP2.2 – Extremes in geophysical sciences: drivers, methods and impacts quantification

EGU22-12508 | Presentations | NP2.2

Complex interactions of extreme events in Southern Europe and Brazil: a compound event perspective

Ana Russo, Renata Libonati, João L. Geirinhas, Alexandre M. Ramos, Patrícia S. Silva, Pedro M. Sousa, Carlos C. DaCamara, Diego G. Miralles, and Ricardo M. Trigo

Record-breaking natural hazards occur regularly throughout the world, leading to a variety of impacts [1]. According to the WMO, since 1970 there were more than 11000 reported disasters attributed to these hazards globally, with just over 2 million deaths and US$ 3.64 trillion in losses [2]. From 1970 to 2019, weather, climate and water hazards accounted for 50% of all disasters, 45% of all reported deaths and 74% of all reported economic losses [2]. Droughts and heatwaves are both included in the top 4 disasters in terms of human losses [2], with uneven impacts throughout the world and a high likelihood that anthropogenic climate forcing will increase economic inequality between countries [3].

Nowadays there is strong evidence that droughts and heatwaves are at times synergetic and that their combined occurrence is largely caused by land-atmosphere feedbacks [4]. In fact, increasing trends of Compound Dry and Hot (CDH) events have been observed in both South America [5,6] and Europe [7,8], some of them with aggravated impacts. Specifically, the severe 2020 Pantanal extreme fire season (Brazil) resulted from the interplay between extreme and persistent temperatures (maximum temperatures 6 ºC above-average) and long-term soil dryness conditions [6]. Similarly, in the Iberian Peninsula, CDH events were shown to have an influence on the dramatic 2017 fire season [9] and also on crop losses [8]. Moreover, future climate projections suggest that CDH conditions are expected to become more common in a warming climate [4]. Therefore, it is very important to address weather events in a compound manner, identifying synergies, driving mechanisms and dominant atmospheric modes controlling single and combined hazards.

[1] IPCC, 2021: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of WGI to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte  V. et al., (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. 

[2] WHO, 2021. Weather-related disasters increase over past 50 years, causing more damage but fewer deaths,

[3] Diffenbaugh N.S., Burke M. (2019) Global warming has increased global economic inequality, PNAS, 116, 20, 9808-9813

[4] Zscheischler J. et al. (2018). Future climate risk from compound events. Nat. Clim. Change, 8, 469–477.

[5] Geirinhas J.L. et al. (2021). Recent increasing frequency of compound summer drought and heatwaves in Southeast Brazil. Environ. Res.  Lett., 16(3).

[6] Libonati R. et al (2022) Assessing the role of compound drought and heatwave events on unprecedented 2020 wildfires in the Pantanal, Environ. Res. Lett. 17 015005.

[7] Geirinhas J.L. et al. (2020) Heat-related mortality at the beginning of the twenty-first century in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Int. J. Biometeorol., 64, 1319–1332

[8] Russo A. et al. (2019) The synergy between drought and extremely hot summers in the Mediterranean. Environ. Res. Lett., 14, 014011

[9] Ribeiro A.F.S. et al. (2020) Risk of crop failure due to compound dry and hot extremes estimated with nested copulas. Biogeosciences, 17, 4815–4830

[10] Turco M. et al. (2019) Climate drivers of the 2017 devastating fires in Portugal. Sci. Rep., 9, 1


This work was supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal) under projects PTDC/CTA-CLI/28902/2017, JPIOCEANS/0001/2019 and FCT- UIDB/50019/2020 –IDL.



How to cite: Russo, A., Libonati, R., Geirinhas, J. L., Ramos, A. M., Silva, P. S., Sousa, P. M., DaCamara, C. C., Miralles, D. G., and Trigo, R. M.: Complex interactions of extreme events in Southern Europe and Brazil: a compound event perspective, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12508,, 2022.

The occurrence of cold spells over North America leads, on average, to a zonalisation and intensification of the North Atlantic jet stream and results in an enhanced risk of extreme wind and precipitation events over Europe. Cold spells enhance low-level baroclinicity at the entrance of the North Atlantic storm track and enhance extratropical cyclogenesis next to the East coast of the United States. However, the mechanisms by which this impact propagates from the entrance to the exit of the storm track, where Europe is, remain unclear.

We investigate from a regime perspective the two-way relationship between the occurrence of cold spells over the eastern coast of North America and the North Atlantic storm track. We stratify the occurrence of cold spells over two different regime classifications of the state of the North Atlantic storm track: the first one based on more classical k-means clustering of 500hPa geopotential height, the other based on dynamical system theory. The regimes have been further characterized using diagnostics acquired from dynamical meteorology, as the E vector or the wave activity flux, and display very different patterns of Rossby wave propagation. The analysis will highlight whether the occurrence of cold spells is able to cause shifts in storm track regimes. On the other hand, if the state of the storm track remains unchanged, this would suggest that other factors rather than cold spells modulate the connection to European wind and temperature extremes.


How to cite: Riboldi, J.: A storm-track regime perspective on the connection between cold spells over North America and wet/windy extremes over Europe, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6623,, 2022.

EGU22-5420 | Presentations | NP2.2

The relation between European heat waves and North Atlantic SSTs: a two-sided composite study

Julian Krüger, Joakim Kjellsson, Robin Pilch Kedzierski, and Martin Claus
  • The occurrence of extreme weather events has increased during the two last decades.  European heat waves are responsible for social, economic and environmental damage and are projected to increase in magnitude, frequency and duration under global warming, heightening the  interest about the contribution of different drivers. 
  • By using the ERA5 Re-analysis product, we performed a two-sided composite analysis to investigate a potential relation between North Atlantic sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and the near-surface air temperature (T2m) over the European continent. Here, we show that in the presence of cold North Atlantic SSTs during summer, the distribution of European T2m shifts towards positive anomalies a few days later, increasing the likelihood for heat waves. During these events a predominant wave number three pattern in addition to regionally confined Rossby wave activity  contribute to a trough-ridge pattern in the North Atlantic-European sector. Specifically, five of 17 European heat waves within the period of 1979 to 2019 could be related to a cold North Atlantic SST event a few days in advance. In the upstream analysis we identify eleven of 17 European heat waves co-existent with cold North Atlantic SSTs. 
  • In order to confirm the crucial role of North Atlantic SSTs for European heat waves, we analysed output from a coupled climate model, HadGEM3, with three different horizontal resolutions. The high-resolution run revealed the closest resemblance to the ERA5 data, suggesting that mechanisms on the mesoscales (<50 km) play a role in the relationship between North Atlantic SSTs and European T2m. Results also highlight the importance of using a climate model with a high horizontal resolution for the purpose of studying the variability of European heat waves.
  • Based upon our results, conducted with ERA5 Re-analysis and HadGEM3 data, North Atlantic SSTs provide potential predictive skill of European heat waves.

How to cite: Krüger, J., Kjellsson, J., Pilch Kedzierski, R., and Claus, M.: The relation between European heat waves and North Atlantic SSTs: a two-sided composite study, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5420,, 2022.

EGU22-1884 | Presentations | NP2.2

Meridional energy transport extremes and the general circulation of NH mid-latitudes: dominant weather regimes and preferred zonal wavenumbers

Valerio Lembo, Federico Fabiano, Vera Melinda Galfi, Rune Graversen, Valerio Lucarini, and Gabriele Messori

The extratropical meridional energy transport in the atmosphere is fundamentally intermittent in nature, having extremes large enough to affect the net seasonal transport. Here, we investigate how these extreme transports are associated with the dynamics of the atmosphere at multiple scales, from planetary to synoptic. We use ERA5 reanalysis data to perform a wavenumber decomposition of meridional energy transport in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes during winter and summer. We then relate extreme transport events to atmospheric circulation anomalies and dominant weather regimes, identified by clustering 500 hPa geopotential height fields. In general, planetary-scale waves determine the strength and meridional position of the synoptic-scale baroclinic activity with their phase and amplitude, but important differences emerge between seasons. During winter, large wavenumbers (= 2 − 3) are key drivers of the meridional energy transport extremes, and planetary and synoptic-scale transport extremes virtually never co-occur. In summer, extremes are associated with higher wavenumbers (= 4 − 6), identified as synoptic-scale motions. We link these waves and the transport extremes to recent results on exceptionally strong and persistent co-occurring summertime heat waves across the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes. We show that these events are typical, in terms of dominant regime patterns associated with extremely strong meridional energy transports.

Link to pre-print:

How to cite: Lembo, V., Fabiano, F., Galfi, V. M., Graversen, R., Lucarini, V., and Messori, G.: Meridional energy transport extremes and the general circulation of NH mid-latitudes: dominant weather regimes and preferred zonal wavenumbers, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1884,, 2022.

EGU22-1594 | Presentations | NP2.2

Past Evolution of Western Europe Large-scale Circulation and Link to Extreme Precipitation Trend in the Northern French Alps

Antoine Blanc, Juliette Blanchet, and Jean-Dominique Creutin

Detecting trends in regional large-scale circulation (LSC) is an important challenge as LSC is a key driver of local weather conditions. In this work, we investigate the past evolution of Western Europe LSC based on the 500 hPa geopotential height fields from 20CRv2c (1851-2010), ERA20C (1900-2010) and ERA5 (1950-2010) reanalyses. We focus on the evolution of large-scale circulation characteristics using three atmospheric descriptors that are based on analogy, by comparing daily geopotential height fields to each other. They characterize the stationarity of geopotential shape and how well a geopotential shape is reproduced in the climatology. A non-analogy descriptor is also employed to account for the intensity of the centers of action. We then combine the four atmospheric descriptors with an existing weather pattern classification over the period 1950-2019 to study the recent changes in the main atmospheric influences driving precipitation in the Northern French Alps. Even though LSC characteristics and trends are consistent among the three reanalyses after 1950, we find major differences between 20CRv2c and ERA20C from 1900 to 1950 in accordance with previous studies. Notably, ERA20C produces flatter geopotential shapes in the beginning of the 20th century and shows a reinforcement of the meridional pressure gradient that is not observed in 20CRv2c. Over the period 1950-2019, we show that winter Atlantic circulations (zonal flows) tend to be shifted northward and they become more similar to known Atlantic circulations. Mediterranean circulations tend to become more stationary, more similar to known Mediterranean circulations and associated with stronger centers of action in autumn, while an opposite behaviour is observed in winter. Finally, we discuss the responsibility of these LSC changes for extreme precipitation in the Northern French Alps. We show these changes in LSC characteristics are linked to more circulations that are likely to generate extreme precipitation in autumn.

How to cite: Blanc, A., Blanchet, J., and Creutin, J.-D.: Past Evolution of Western Europe Large-scale Circulation and Link to Extreme Precipitation Trend in the Northern French Alps, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1594,, 2022.

EGU22-3133 | Presentations | NP2.2

A framework for attributing explosive cyclones to climate change: the case study of Alex storm 2020

Mireia Ginesta, Pascal Yiou, Gabriele Messori, and Davide Faranda

The Extreme Event Attribution field aims at evaluating the impact of global warming linked to anthropogenic emissions on extreme events. This work performs an attribution to climate change of the storm Alex, an explosive extratropical cyclone [1] that hit especially Southern France and Northern Italy at the beginning of October 2020. We apply the analogues method on sea-level pressure maps [2] to identify 30 cyclones that match the dynamical structure of Alex for two periods, the counterfactual and the factual world, namely 1950-1985 and 1985-2021, using 6-hourly ERA5 data. Results show that in the factual period the anticyclonic circulation over the North Atlantic and the cyclonic circulation over Northern Africa are deeper than in the counterfactual. Precipitation differences depict a significant increase over North Italy and the Alps. 2-meter air temperature differences consist of a positive non-uniform pattern, with a significant increase over the Alps and east of Newfoundland. We also have computed two indices in the frame of dynamical systems theory for each period: the persistence, which characterizes the average time that the sea-level pressure pattern remains stationary, and the local dimension, which gives a measure of the predictability of the storm [3]. We found that in the factual world there is a significant increase in the persistence and a modest decrease in the local dimension with respect to the counterfactual. Hence, storms like Alex are more persistent and more predictable in present-like conditions. Cyclone tracking shows that the backward trajectories of the analogues in the factual world are more meridional than in the counterfactual one, while the response for the forward trajectories is less clear. This suggests that under current conditions patterns like Alex are more wavy than in the past. Finally, using the metrics to identify explosive cyclones in [1] , we found the same number of analogues that are explosive cyclones in both periods, although in the counterfactual world they come from lower latitudes and the deepening rates are significantly larger.


[1]  Reale, M., M. L. Liberato, P. Lionello, J. G. Pinto, S. Salon, and S. Ulbrich, A global climatology of explosive cyclones using a multi-tracking approach, Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 71 (1), 1611,340, 2019.

[2] Yiou, P., AnaWEGE: a weather generator based on analogues of atmospheric circulation, Geosci. Model Dev., 7, 531–543, 2014.

[3] Faranda, D., G. Messori, and P. Yiou, Dynamical proxies of North Atlantic predictability and extremes, Sci Rep, 7, 41,278, 2017.


This work is part of the EU International Training Network (ITN) European weather extremes: drivers, predictability and impacts (EDIPI). This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement N° 956396. 

How to cite: Ginesta, M., Yiou, P., Messori, G., and Faranda, D.: A framework for attributing explosive cyclones to climate change: the case study of Alex storm 2020, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3133,, 2022.

EGU22-1832 | Presentations | NP2.2

Local drivers of marine heatwaves: A global analysis with an Earth system model

Linus Vogt, Friedrich Burger, Stephen Griffies, and Thomas Frölicher

Marine heatwaves (MHWs) are periods of extreme warm ocean temperatures that can have devastating impacts on marine
organisms and socio-economic systems. Despite recent advances in understanding the underlying processes of individual events, a
global view of the local oceanic and atmospheric drivers of MHWs is currently missing. Here, we use daily-mean output of
temperature tendency terms from a comprehensive fully coupled Earth system model to quantify the main local processes leading
to the buildup and decay of MHWs in the surface ocean. Our analysis reveals that net ocean heat uptake associated with more
shortwave heat absorption and less latent heat loss is the primary driver of the buildup of MHWs in the subtropics and mid-to-high
latitudes. Reduced vertical mixing from the nonlocal portion of the KPP boundary layer scheme partially dampens the temperature
increase. In contrast, ocean heat uptake is reduced during the MHW build-up in the tropics, where reduced vertical local mixing
and diffusion cause the warming. In the subsequent decay phase, ocean heat loss to the atmosphere dominates the temperature
decrease globally. The processes leading to the buildup and decay of MHWs are similar for short and long MHWs. Different types of
MHWs with distinct driver combinations are identified within the large variability among events. Our analysis contributes to a
better understanding of MHW drivers and processes and may therefore help to improve the prediction of high-impact marine

How to cite: Vogt, L., Burger, F., Griffies, S., and Frölicher, T.: Local drivers of marine heatwaves: A global analysis with an Earth system model, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1832,, 2022.

EGU22-5511 | Presentations | NP2.2

Present and future synoptic circulation patterns associated with cold and snowy spells over Italy

Flavio Pons, Miriam D’Errico, Pascal Yiou, Soulivanh Tao, Cesare Nardini, Frank Lunkeit, and Davide Faranda

Cold and snowy spells are compound extreme events with the potential of causing high socioeconomic impacts. Gaining insight on their dynamics in climate change scenarios could help anticipating the need for adaptation efforts. We focus on winter cold and snowy spells over Italy, reconstructing 32 major events in the past 60 years from documentary sources. Despite warmer winter temperatures,  very recent cold spells have been associated to abundant, and sometimes exceptional snowfall.
Our goal is to analyse the dynamical weather patterns associated to these events, and understand whether those patterns would be more or less recurrent in different emission scenarios using an intermediate complexity model (PlaSim). Our results, obtained by considering RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 end-of-century CO2 concentrations, suggest that the likelihood of analogous synoptic configurations of these extreme cold spells would grow substantially under increased emissions.

This work was supported by the ANR-TERC grant BOREAS and by the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme XAIDA (grant agreement No 101003469)

How to cite: Pons, F., D’Errico, M., Yiou, P., Tao, S., Nardini, C., Lunkeit, F., and Faranda, D.: Present and future synoptic circulation patterns associated with cold and snowy spells over Italy, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5511,, 2022.

EGU22-9156 | Presentations | NP2.2

Mechanisms and drivers of the 2021 Pacific Northwest heatwave

Dominik L. Schumacher, Mathias Hauser, and Sonia I. Seneviratne

The Pacific Northwest is characterized by a temperate climate with mild to warm summers, yet in late June 2021, the region was ravaged by extreme heat and ensuing wildfires. With local daily maximum temperatures 20 °C above the long term mean, the occurrence of such a brute heatwave makes it imperative to understand the underlying physical processes. Using the Community Earth System Model, we simulate this exceptional event and disentangle its thermodynamic and dynamic drivers. A factorial experimental design based on the ExtremeX framework is employed, in which the mid and upper-tropospheric circulation and soil moisture are either prescribed using reanalysis (ERA5) data, or calculated interactively. With this setup, the lower troposphere can always respond to land and ocean surface fluxes. Our results indicate that, despite widespread drought conditions in the analysis region (including the metropolitan areas of Portland, Seattle and Vancouver) and surroundings, the dynamic contribution far exceeded the effect of anomalous soil moisture. We further disentangle the soil moisture contribution into initial and event-driven, and find that precipitation in the first half of June 2021 prevented even higher near-surface temperatures by weakening the initial effect. Overall, the analysis highlights the role of the anticyclone that governed the large-scale circulation, and whose intensity during summertime and within 45°N–60 °N surpasses any other event in recent decades. As such, this heatwave presents an opportunity to investigate whether our Earth System Model of choice is capable of generating similarly extreme heat at large spatial scales on its own, i.e. with fully interactive winds. While the mean intensity of hot anticyclonic summer events over land (45°N–60 °N) is underestimated with respect to our reference simulation with prescribed circulation, the model portrays stronger variability with an interactive atmosphere and hence generates heatwaves that rival and even surpass the large-scale temperature anomalies of the Pacific Northwest 2021 event. Our investigation also points to strong temperature anomalies aloft, which we track back in time with a Lagrangian trajectory model driven by ERA5 data. By doing so, we find evidence for intense latent heating of the air that would later be part of the anticyclone, and mixed into the unusually deep atmospheric boundary layer. We further demonstrate that in the absence of anthropogenic climate change, an otherwise identical heatwave would not have reached such extreme temperatures. Altogether, this study shows that for the right atmospheric configuration and fuelled by our changing climate, unprecedented heat may be unleashed even in regions traditionally considered devoid of excessive heatwaves.

How to cite: Schumacher, D. L., Hauser, M., and Seneviratne, S. I.: Mechanisms and drivers of the 2021 Pacific Northwest heatwave, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9156,, 2022.

EGU22-7381 | Presentations | NP2.2

Is the weather getting "weirder"?

Aglae Jezequel and Davide Fararanda

Climate change has an influence on daily weather. It translates into a heightened public perception of any type of « weird » weather. For example, it has been shown that extreme weather events are seen as pointing towards the reality of climate change. These perceived attributions are not only related to heatwaves, but also to cold spells (Capstick and Pigeon (2014)), and floods (Taylor et al (2014)).

Extreme events however represent only a subset of the weather distribution experienced by the public. Another manifestation of « weird » weather is the succession of very different types of weather in a short period of time, e.g. two following days with a 10°C difference. While this is widely regarded as another manifestation of climate change by the general public, there are only a few studies exploring short timescale weather variability. For example, Cattiaux et al (2015) have found a projected increase in diurnal and interdiurnal variations of European summer temperatures in CMIP5 simulations.

Here, we use the ERA5 reanalyses (1950-2020) over Europe to study observed diurnal and interdiurnal (2, 3, 5 and 7 days) variations of temperature. We focus on extremes (below the 5th percentile and above the 95th percentile of the distribution of temperature differences) for all seasons and independently for each season and calculate trends. While the general result is that, contrarily to popular beliefs, the diurnal and interdiurnal variations have not increased in the observational periods, we show regional differences over Europe and discuss potential explanations for these differences. 

Capstick, S.B., Pidgeon, N.F. Public perception of cold weather events as evidence for and against climate change. Climatic Change 122, 695–708 (2014).
Cattiaux, J., Douville, H., Schoetter, R., Parey, S. and Yiou, P. (2015), Projected increase in diurnal and interdiurnal variations of European summer temperatures. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42: 899– 907. doi: 10.1002/2014GL062531.
Taylor, A., de Bruin, W.B. and Dessai, S. (2014), Climate Change Beliefs and Perceptions of Weather-Related Changes in the United Kingdom. Risk Analysis, 34: 1995-2004.


How to cite: Jezequel, A. and Fararanda, D.: Is the weather getting "weirder"?, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7381,, 2022.

EGU22-6300 | Presentations | NP2.2

Preferred rossby waves and risks of synchronized heatwaves and harvest failures in observations and model projections

Kai Kornhuber, Corey Lesk, Carl Schleussner, Jonas Jägermeyer, Peter Pfleiderer, and Radley Horton

Concurrent weather extremes due to a meandering Jetstream can reduce crop productivity across multiple agricultural regions. However, future changes in associated synoptic climate patterns and their agricultural impacts remain unquantified. Here we investigate the ability of coupled climate crop model simulations to reproduce observed regional production impacts and production co-variabilities across major breadbasket regions of the world. We find that although climate models accurately reproduce atmospheric patterns, they underestimate associated surface anomalies in climate models and yield covariability in crop model simulations. Model estimates of future multiple breadbasket failures are therefore likely conservative, despite a projected future intensification of wave pattern-related extremes identified regionally. Our results suggest that climate risk assessments need to account for these high-impact but deeply-uncertain hazards.

How to cite: Kornhuber, K., Lesk, C., Schleussner, C., Jägermeyer, J., Pfleiderer, P., and Horton, R.: Preferred rossby waves and risks of synchronized heatwaves and harvest failures in observations and model projections, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6300,, 2022.

EGU22-12484 | Presentations | NP2.2

Extreme Value Analysis of Madden-Julian Oscillation Events

Mónica Minjares, Pascal Yiou, Isabel Serra, Marcelo Barreiro, and Álvaro Corral
The Madden-Julian Oscilation (MJO) is an eastward equatorially propagating mode with a strong influence on the precipitation in the tropics on sub-seasonal timescales. Although, several studies have widely analysed the MJO, its activation and evolution are not fully understood [1].
The purpose of this study is to analyse the statistical features of the most intense MJO events.
We perform the study using two different indices describing the MJO: The popular Wheeler and Hendon index (1979-2021), based on the first two principal components of a multivariate empirical orthogonal function analysis of a combination of outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and 200 mb and 850 mb zonal winds, as well as the Oliver and Thompson index (1905-2015) based on surface pressures [2].
In this study an event takes place when the index amplitude exceeds a threshold for a certain number of days. With this, we define the observables of an event; these are, the maximum amplitude, duration and size, which is the sum of the amplitudes along the duration of an event.
We use extreme-value theory to fit the generalized Pareto distribution (GPD) to the different distributions of observables and we compare the results with the fitting of a simple power-law tail and other heavy-tailed distributions. We also compare the performance of several advanced extreme-value-statistics tools to find the threshold over which the GPD holds.
1.Kiladis, G. N., Dias, J., Straub, K. H., Wheeler, M. C., Tulich, S. N., Kikuchi, K., ... & Ventrice, M. J. (2014). A comparison of OLR and circulation-based indices for tracking the MJO. Monthly Weather Review, 142(5), 1697-1715.
2.Klotzbach, P. J., and E. C. J. Oliver (2015), Variations in global tropical cyclone activity and the Madden-Julian Oscillation since the midtwentieth century, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 4199–4207.

How to cite: Minjares, M., Yiou, P., Serra, I., Barreiro, M., and Corral, Á.: Extreme Value Analysis of Madden-Julian Oscillation Events, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12484,, 2022.

EGU22-258 | Presentations | NP2.2

The Regional Impact of Wet and Windy Extremes Over Europe, Following North American Cold Spells

Richard Leeding, Gabriele Messori, and Jacopo Riboldi

Due to the compounding nature of co-occurring weather extremes, these events can be highly detrimental to economies, damaging to infrastructure and result in loss of life. Previous work has established a connection between cold spells over North America and extreme wet and windy weather over Europe. This work attempts to identify a statistical link between the regional impact of wet and windy extremes over Europe based on the regional impact of cold spells over North America. We identify cold spells for 41 overlapping regions over North America for full winter (DJF) seasons between 1979 and 2020 using ERA5 data, employing 4 methodologies for the computation of onset dates. The impact of extreme precipitation and wind events over 6 regions of western and central Europe is analysed. Consistent across all methodologies, cold spells over eastern and mid USA are followed by significant wind extremes over Iberia, whilst cold spells over eastern Canada are followed by significant wind extremes over northern Europe and the British Isles. The regional impact of precipitation extremes shows much greater variance, though we find significant Iberian and southern European precipitation for cold spells over eastern USA, consistent with that found for wind extremes. The majority of extreme precipitation and some significant wind extremes also precede the peak of the cold spell. We show also that the frequency of extreme precipitation and wind events over Iberia increases by 1.5 to more than 2 times the climatological frequency, following cold spells in most North American regions.

How to cite: Leeding, R., Messori, G., and Riboldi, J.: The Regional Impact of Wet and Windy Extremes Over Europe, Following North American Cold Spells, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-258,, 2022.

EGU22-10586 | Presentations | NP2.2

Recent changes in persistence over Europe and the World in reanalysis dataset

Mehmet Sedat Gözlet, Joakim Kjellsson, Abhishek Savita, and Mojib Latif

The intensity and frequency of persistent heat waves and droughts have increased over the last few decades. While some of the changes may be attributed to natural variability, it is a known reality that climate change contributes to these tendencies. According to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC, these anomalies are projected to be accelerated and impact humans, ecology, agricultural events, and natural systems.

Understanding the spatiotemporal structure of heat waves is crucial to deciding what environmental change will affect the above-mentioned impacts. In this study, the temporal autocorrelation of near-surface temperature and 850 hPa geopotential height from daily ERA-5 reanalysis data is examined. The focus is on the period from 1979 to 2019. To explore this 41-year long dataset, spatio-temporal trend analysis is also conducted along with autocorrelation. The trends are inspected under 3, 5, and 7-day lag autocorrelations.

In this context, the summer of 2003 shows a very high autocorrelation of geopotential height over central Europe in this analysis, which is consistent with a persistent heat wave that resulted in a death toll. Along with the yearly analyzed data, the trends are calculated both as a whole and divided into intervals. The trend analysis yields high results that cluster around Northern Africa, the Middle East, Middle China, and Middle Russia in the summer season. Furthermore, in the winter season, Siberia, Middle Africa, and the northern part of South America reflect high trends.

How to cite: Gözlet, M. S., Kjellsson, J., Savita, A., and Latif, M.: Recent changes in persistence over Europe and the World in reanalysis dataset, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10586,, 2022.

EGU22-54 | Presentations | NP2.2

Quantification of model uncertainty in the projection of sub-daily maximum wet spell length under RCP 8.5 climate change scenario 

Archana Majhi, Chandrika Thulaseedharan Dhanya, and Sumedha Chakma

Global precipitation characteristics have been significantly altered due to the global warming. While, this is well-known, the sub-daily extreme precipitation events are more sensitive, as compared to the daily-scale. The future intensification of these sub-daily extremes worsen the risk of floods and droughts, thereby posing threat to the natural ecosystem and human society. The ability of general circulation models (GCMs) in simulating the sub-daily precipitation may be inferior, due to their coarser resolutions and complex parametrization schemes. In addition, the characteristics such as the intensity, frequency and duration of sub-daily precipitation may not be correctly simulated by the GCMs. Despite this fact, there are limited studies to investigate the credibility of sub-daily precipitation projections by GCMs, and the related uncertainty. Therefore, in order to investigate the reliability of GCMs in the projections of such extremes, we have used 20 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) models under RCP8.5 (Representative Concentration Pathway). The uncertainty is estimated in the projections of maximum wet spell length (WSL) i.e. maximum number of consecutive wet hours in four different meteorological seasons (DJF, MAM, JJA, and SON), for both near (2026-45) and far future (2081-99) time periods. The equatorial regions of Africa and South East Asia, showed higher model disagreement during every season. In contrast the equatorial regions of South America and South Asia showed significantly more disagreement during DJF and JJA season. Model uncertainty in each hemisphere is observed to be higher during their respective wet seasons. Though the model uncertainty in far future is varying when compared with that in near future, the uncertainty is not increasing globally. Also, the uncertainty is observed to have significantly decreased during MAM season in far future. The spatial contribution towards higher model uncertainty range, is less as compared to lower uncertainty range over the globe. While the magnitude of model uncertainty is varying with time, the latitudinal heterogeneity remains same in both the time period. 

Keywords: precipitation extremes, sub-daily, wet spell, GCM, projections, uncertainty, RCP 8.5


How to cite: Majhi, A., Dhanya, C. T., and Chakma, S.: Quantification of model uncertainty in the projection of sub-daily maximum wet spell length under RCP 8.5 climate change scenario , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-54,, 2022.

EGU22-30 | Presentations | NP2.2

Downward counterfactual insights into weather extremes

Gordon Woo

There are many regions where the duration of reliable scientific observations of key weather hazard variables, such as rainfall and wind speed, is of the order of just a few decades.  This length of dataset is often inadequate for the application of extreme value theory to rare events. Theoretical analysis of chaotic dynamical systems shows that extremes should be distributed according to the classical Pareto distribution, with explicit expressions for the scaling and shape parameter[1]. Discrepant results may be interpreted as indicating the need for a longer data time series.

Physicists acknowledge that history is just one realisation of what could have happened. One way of supplementing a brief duration observational dataset is to generate an ensemble of alternative realisations of history. Of special practical interest within this counterfactual ensemble are downward counterfactuals - where the outcome turned for the worse.  Extreme hazard events often cause surprise, which reflects an underlying degree of outcome cognitive bias. Downward counterfactual is a term originating in the cognitive psychological literature, which has been applied by Woo[2] to the search for extreme hazard events.  Most human counterfactual thoughts are upward, focusing on risk mitigation or prevention, rather than downward, focusing on potential rare Black Swan events. 

The insight gained from downward counterfactual analysis is illustrated with the example of rainfall and flooding in Cumbria, Northwest England.  Daily rainfall records at Honister Pass, Cumbria, from 1970 to 2004, were statistically analysed to estimate the return period for the rainfall of 301.4mm oberved on 20 November 2009.  This return period was estimated to be 396 years[3].  But six years later, on 5 December 2015, this was substantially exceeded by 341.4mm rainfall.

In 2009, there was only a moderate El Niňo.  Counterfactually, there might have been a strong El Niňo.  Indeed, in 2015 there was a very strong El Niňo. A downward counterfactual analysis of the heavy rainfall on 20 November 2009 would have included the possibility of a very strong El Niňo.  This is one of a number of exacerbating dynamical meteorological factors that might have elevated the rainfall.

Where the data duration is much shorter than the return period of extreme events, a downward counterfactual stochastic simulation of factors raising the hazard will provide important additional insight for geophysical hazard assessment.


[1] Lucarini V., Faranda D., Wouters J., Kuna T. (2014) Towards a general theory of extremes for observables of chaotic dynamical systems. J.Stat.Phys., 154, 723-750.

[2] Woo G. (2019) Downward counterfactual search for extreme events.  Front. Earth. Sci. doi:10.3389/feart.2019.00340.

[3] Stewart L., Morris D., Jones D., Spencer P. (2010) Extreme rainfall in Cumbria, November 2009 – an assessment of storm rarity. BHS Third Int. Symp., Newcastle.

How to cite: Woo, G.: Downward counterfactual insights into weather extremes, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-30,, 2022.

EGU22-9257 | Presentations | NP2.2

The response of intense Mediterranean cyclones to climate change 

M. Carmen Alvarez-Castro, Silvio Gualdi, Davide Faranda, Pedro Ribera, David Gallego, and Cristina Peña-Ortiz

Intense Mediterranean cyclones (IMC) are weather systems that have a high potential for destruction in the densely populated coastal areas around the Mediterranean sea and they cause high risk situations, such as flash floods and large-scale floods with significant impacts on human life and built environment. The aim of the study is to analyse and attribute future changes in IMC under different future forcings and to assess the effect of horizontal model resolution by comparing hydrostatic- versus convection-permitting models. Following a non-linear approach, we explore IMC events that are connected to anomalous atmospheric patterns. First, the analogs search is performed on ERA5 and historical simulations, so as to use the latter as a control run for future projections.  We then examine clusters and trends in the dates of analogs and study their predictability properties in the attractor space (e.g., local dimension and persistence). Then we explore how the trajectories of the precursors of the observed extreme event, emerging from the analog approach, may eventually lead to an IMC event in each available simulation. In this way, we can evaluate the probability of obtaining an observed event, given an initial condition. Finally, we evaluate the physical factors possibly connected to the change of probability of the event.

How to cite: Alvarez-Castro, M. C., Gualdi, S., Faranda, D., Ribera, P., Gallego, D., and Peña-Ortiz, C.: The response of intense Mediterranean cyclones to climate change , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9257,, 2022.

EGU22-6141 | Presentations | NP2.2

Hot and Cold Marine Extreme Events in the Mediterranean over the last four decades

Amelie Simon, Sandra Plecha, Ana Russo, Ana Teles-Machado, Markus Donat, and Ricardo Trigo

Marine heat waves (MHWs) and cold spells (MCSs) are anomalous ocean temperature events that occur in all oceans and seas with great ecological and economic impacts. The quantification of the relative importance of marine temperature extreme events is often done through the calculation of local metrics, the majority of them not considering explicitly the spatial extent of the events. Here, we propose a ranking methodology to evaluate the relative importance of marine temperature extreme events between 1982 and 2021 within the Mediterranean basin. We introduce a metric, generically termed activity, combining the number of events, duration, intensity and spatial extent of: i) summer MHWs and ii) winter MCSs. Results at the entire Mediterranean scale show that the former dominate in the last two decades while the latter are prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s. Summers with the highest MHW activity were 2018, 2003 and 2015 and winters with the strongest MCS activity took place in 1992, 1984 and 1983. The highest MHW activity occurred in the Gulf of Lion while the highest MCS activity took place preferably in the Aegean basin. According to our proposed definition, the three strongest MHWs almost double the duration, mean intensity, and activity of the three strongest MCSs. The long-term tendency of activity shows a rapid increase for summer MHWs and a linear decrease for winter MCSs in the Mediterranean over the last four decades.


We acknowledge the financing support from FCT – JPIOCEANS/0001/2019

How to cite: Simon, A., Plecha, S., Russo, A., Teles-Machado, A., Donat, M., and Trigo, R.: Hot and Cold Marine Extreme Events in the Mediterranean over the last four decades, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6141,, 2022.

EGU22-12152 | Presentations | NP2.2 | Highlight

Attribution of the fall 2021 extreme precipitation event over Italian region of Liguria 

Fabio Di Sante, Emanuela Pichelli, Erika Coppola, Robert Vautard, Paolo Scussolini, Jean-Michel Soubeyroux, and Brigitte Dubuisson

Climate change exhibits one of its strongest and shocking effects through extreme precipitation events. Extreme convective precipitation events are getting more intense and more frequent and their attribution to global warming is confirmed by recent studies in many regions of the world. During October the 4th and 5th a Nord-Atlantic trough entering the western Mediterranean favored the formation of deep convective systems feeded by the wet and warm prefrontal flow. One of them built up over the Ligurian Gulf on the 4th. Sustained by long-lasting interaction of large scale conditions and local forcings, the V-shape storm persisted over 24 hours locally accumulating more than 900 mm of rain. The event exceeded local and European precipitation records and caused landslides and flash-floods. In this study we try to objectively link the event to climate change through an extreme value theory analysis. This has been carried out through rain-gauge observations over Liguria, available continuously from 1960 for the fall season. The climate conditions of the event are compared to a pre-industrial period 1.2°C cooler than the present days. The Euro-CORDEX 12km resolution ensemble has been also used to confirm the event attribution to global warming. 

How to cite: Di Sante, F., Pichelli, E., Coppola, E., Vautard, R., Scussolini, P., Soubeyroux, J.-M., and Dubuisson, B.: Attribution of the fall 2021 extreme precipitation event over Italian region of Liguria , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12152,, 2022.

EGU22-9634 | Presentations | NP2.2 | Highlight

Climate Change on Extreme Winds Already Affects Wind Energy Availability in Europe

Lia Rapella, Davide Faranda, and Marco Gaetani

Climate change is one of the most urgent challenges that humankind confronts nowadays. In order to mitigate its effects, the European Union aims to be climate-neutral, i.e. set the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to zero, by 2050. In this context, renewable energies (REs) play a key role: on the one hand their development and extensive usage can help to reduce the GHG emissions, on the other hand substantial local changes in atmospheric conditions could modify, for better or for worse, their efficiency. Extreme atmospheric events, in particular, can badly affect the efficiency of the RE infrastructures, preventing them from working or even damaging them. In this work, we focus on wind energy off shore, on the European panorama, with the purpose of estimate the behavior of extreme high winds, over the period 1950-2020, and their impact on wind energy availability. Indeed, the potential wind power production, according to the working regimes of a wind turbine, depends only on the wind speed and, over a certain wind speed threshold, called cut-off speed (25 m s-1), the turbine stops working. By using 6-hourly ERA5 reanalysis data-set and convection permitting simulations, covering the European domain and a period from 1950 to 2020 and from 2000 to 2009 respectively, we analysed the 100 m wind speed over the cut-off threshold and its relation with the geopotential height at 500 hPa, in order to investigate the large-scale weather regimes related to these extreme events. We focused especially on five regions, where high winds flow more frequently: United Kingdom, Denmark, Greece, and the areas off the south of France and north of Spain. By using the Mann-Kendall test, we analysed the trends in the occurrence of extreme events, and we detected significant increasing trends in large areas of the regions selected, particularly during the winter period (DJF). Finally, considering only the events over the 99th percentile, we found that they are often concurrently with storms, and, by means of the K-means clustering algorithm, we identified the different weather regimes at which they occur.

How to cite: Rapella, L., Faranda, D., and Gaetani, M.: Climate Change on Extreme Winds Already Affects Wind Energy Availability in Europe, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9634,, 2022.

EGU22-2001 | Presentations | NP2.2

Text-mining of natural hazard impacts (TM-Impacts): an application to the 2021 flood in Germany

Mariana Madruga de Brito, Jan Sodoge, Heidi Kreibich, and Christian Kuhlicke

Natural hazards cause a plethora of impacts on society, ranging from direct impacts such as loss of lives to cascading ones such as power outages and supply shortages. Despite the severe social and economic losses of extreme events, a comprehensive assessment of their impacts remains largely missing. Existing studies tend to focus on impacts that are relatively easy to measure (e.g. financial loss, number of deaths) and commonly break down impact assessments into specific sectors (e.g. forestry, agriculture). Thus, in the absence of multi-sector impact datasets, decision-makers have no baseline information for evaluating whether adaptation measures effectively reduce impacts. This can result in blind spots in adaptation.

In recent years, text data (e.g. newspapers, social media, and Wikipedia entries) have been used to elaborate impact datasets. However, the manual extraction of impact information by human experts is a time-consuming task. To develop comprehensive impact datasets, we propose using text-mining on text documents. We developed a tool termed TM-Impacts (text-mining of natural hazard impacts), which allows us to automatically extract information on impacts by applying natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) tools to text-corpora. TM-Impacts is built upon a previous prototype application (de Brito et al., 2020).

TM-Impacts consists of three complementary modules. The first focuses on using unsupervised topic modelling to identify the main topics covered in the text. These can include not only the disaster impacts but also information on response and recovery. The second module is based on the use of hand-crafted rules and pattern matching to extract information on specific impact types (e.g. traffic disruption, power outages). The final module builds upon the second one, and it uses the resulting labelled data to train supervised ML algorithms aiming to classify unlabeled text data into impact types.

We illustrate the application of TM-Impacts using the example of the 2021 flood in Germany. This event led to more than 180 fatalities and the disruption of critical infrastructure that continued for months after the event. We built a text corpus with more than 26,000 newspaper articles published in 200 different news outlets between July and November 2021. By using TM-Impacts, we were able to detect 20 different impact types, which were mapped at the NUTS 3 scale. We also identified temporal patterns. As expected, during the onset of the event, reporting on impacts tended to focus on deaths and missing people, whereas texts published in November focused on long term impacts such as the disruption of water supply.

In conclusion, we demonstrate that TM-Impacts allows scanning large amounts of text data to build multi-sector impact datasets with a great spatial and temporal stratification. We expect the use of text-mining to become widespread in assessing the impacts of natural hazards.


de Brito, M.M., Kuhlicke, C., Marx, A. (2020) Near-real-time drought impact assessment: A text mining approach on the 2018/19 drought in Germany. Environmental Research Letters. doi:org/10.1088/1748-9326/aba4ca

How to cite: Madruga de Brito, M., Sodoge, J., Kreibich, H., and Kuhlicke, C.: Text-mining of natural hazard impacts (TM-Impacts): an application to the 2021 flood in Germany, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2001,, 2022.

EGU22-470 | Presentations | NP2.2

Relating atmospheric persistence to heatwaves in Europe

Emma Allwright and Gabriele Messori

Heatwaves cause widespread disruption to society and increased mortality across Europe. These events are often associated with persistent circulations, however, the maintenance mechanisms and characteristics of atmospheric persistence are comparatively poorly understood. We aim to help bridge the gap between qualitative meteorological arguments and mathematical theory relating to heatwaves by quantitatively identifying persistent atmospheric configurations. This will be achieved by calculating indicators associated with dynamical systems theory using ERA5 reanalysis data. We will then spatially compare these indicators with temperature anomalies to determine which regions of Europe are potentially sensitive to these quantities with regards to the occurrence of heatwaves, and if there are specific atmospheric configurations associated to these cases.

How to cite: Allwright, E. and Messori, G.: Relating atmospheric persistence to heatwaves in Europe, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-470,, 2022.

Unusual, long-lasting configurations of the North Atlantic jet stream affect the weather over Europe leading to persistent surface extremes. We study these persistent jet configurations in winter on intraseasonal and seasonal time scales using CMIP6 simulations, based on temporal averages of three jet indices: the jet latitude index, the jet speed index and the zonal jet index. We define these unusual configurations as long-lasting states, during which the jet stream is further south or further north, stronger or weaker, more split or more merged than usual. We estimate the probability of rare configurations, lasting at least 2 months, based on large deviation rate functions. The rate functions are asymmetric in case of the jet speed index, meaning that anomalously strong jet states are more persistent and more frequent than weak ones. Furthermore, we quantify the increased frequency of temperature and precipitation extremes over affected European regions. Here, we find a stronger link between jet events and precipitation extremes compared to temperature extremes. We observe the largest effects in case of precipitation extremes over the Mediterranean and Western Europe during anomalously strong jet configurations.

How to cite: Galfi, V. M. and Messori, G.: Persistent configurations of the North Atlantic jet stream from the perspective of large deviation theory, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-474,, 2022.

EGU22-2050 | Presentations | NP2.2 | Highlight

Intergenerational inequities in exposure to climate extremes

Wim Thiery and the The kids aren't alright team

Under continued global warming, extreme events such as heatwaves will continue to rise in frequency, intensity, duration, and spatial extent over the next decades. Younger generations are therefore expected to face more such events across their lifetimes compared to older generations. This raises important questions about solidarity and fairness across generations that have fueled a surge of climate protests led by young people in recent years, and that underpin questions of intergenerational equity raised in recent climate litigation. However, the standard scientific paradigm is to assess climate change in discrete time windows or at discrete levels of warming, a “period” approach that inhibits quantification of how much more extreme events a particular generation will experience over its lifetime compared to another. By developing a “cohort” perspective to quantify changes in lifetime exposure to climate extremes and compare across generations, we estimate that children born in 2020 will experience a two to sevenfold increase in extreme events, particularly heatwaves, under current climate policy pledges. Our results highlight a severe threat to the safety of young generations and call for drastic emission reductions to safeguard their future.


Thiery, W., Lange, S., Rogelj, J., Schleussner, C.-F., Gudmundsson, L., Seneviratne, S.I., Frieler, K., Emanuel, K., Geiger, T., Bresch, D.N., Zhao, F., Willner, S.N., Büchner, M., Volkholz, J., Andrijevic, M., Bauer, N., Chang, J., Ciais, P., Dury, M., François, L., Grillakis, M., Gosling, S.N., Hanasaki, N., Hickler, T., Huber, V., Ito, A., Jägermeyr, J., Khabarov, N., Koutroulis, A., Liu, W., Lutz, W., Mengel, M., Müller, C., Ostberg, S., Reyer, C.P.O., Stacke, T., Wada, Y., 2021, Intergenerational inequities in exposure to climate extremes, Science, 374(6564), 158-160.

How to cite: Thiery, W. and the The kids aren't alright team: Intergenerational inequities in exposure to climate extremes, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2050,, 2022.

EGU22-3127 | Presentations | NP2.2

The influence of ENSO and Antarctic Oscillation on extreme precipitation over southeastern South America. 

Xinjia Hu, Damien Decremer, Laura Ferranti, Linus Magnusson, Daoyi Gong, Florian Pappenberger, and Holger Kantz

The Southeastern South American region (SESA) is one of the AR6 WGI reference regions which is used as an illustration of the interplay between climate variability drivers and regional response. Since most of the agricultural activities take place over this region, its climate variability has a strong impact on society. The region is sensitive to extreme precipitation and puts constraints on water resource management. In recent decades, positive rainfall trends have been detected especially during austral summer. Interactions between the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Antarctic Oscillation (AAO) also known as the Southern Annual mode, have been well documented indicating the crucial role of ENSO in modulating the AAO phase. In this paper, we explore the interplay between ENSO and AAO and their effect on extreme precipitation over the SESA region during austral spring and summer. Statistical approaches based on extreme value theory (EVT) are applied to daily precipitation amounts to model extreme precipitation, identifying the relative impact of ENSO and AAO. We obtained return values for different phases of ENSO and AAO. We also perform dynamical analysis for sea level pressure and wind field to relate large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns with extreme precipitation.

How to cite: Hu, X., Decremer, D., Ferranti, L., Magnusson, L., Gong, D., Pappenberger, F., and Kantz, H.: The influence of ENSO and Antarctic Oscillation on extreme precipitation over southeastern South America. , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3127,, 2022.

EGU22-12461 | Presentations | NP2.2

S2S Extreme Weather Featurization: A Global Skill Assessment Study

Zubeida Patel, Gciniwe Baloyi, Campbell Watson, Akram Zaytar, Bianca Zadrozny, Daniel Civitarese, Sibusisiwe Makhanya, and Etienne Vos

A more accurate characterization of S2S extremes may result in great positive societal impact. Featurized S2S forecasts in the form of risk or extreme indices will aid in disaster response (especially for drought and flood events), inform disease outbreaks and heatwave onset, persistence, and decay. In this study, we identify a set of ECMWF-derived extreme weather indices that have spatio-temporal windows of opportunity for better-than-climatology skill. We report on the correlation between ECMWF-derived indices and ground-truth values.  The selected indices can be calculated directly form probabilistic daily forecasts, or alternatively, by training specialized ML-models to process ensembles in a multi-task learning setup. Our goal is to find better approaches to communicate S2S climate risk by deploying a set of ECMWF-derived climate forecast products.

How to cite: Patel, Z., Baloyi, G., Watson, C., Zaytar, A., Zadrozny, B., Civitarese, D., Makhanya, S., and Vos, E.: S2S Extreme Weather Featurization: A Global Skill Assessment Study, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12461,, 2022.

EGU22-4021 | Presentations | NP2.2

Advances in rare event simulations using data-based estimation of committor functions

Dario Lucente, Joran Rolland, Corentin Herbert, and Freddy Bouchet

Rare events, such as heat waves, floods, or hurricanes, play a crucial role in climate dynamics mainly due to the large impact they have. Predicting the occurrence of such events is thus a major challenge. 

In this talk, we introduce the relevant mathematical object for predicting a future event: the committor function is the probability that an event will occur, conditioned on the current state of the system. Computing this quantity from observations is an extremely difficult task since rare events have a very low probability of occurring and may not even have been observed in measurements made to date. Similarly, direct simulation of such events with comprehensive climate models comes at a prohibitive computational cost. Hence, rare event algorithms have been devised to simulate rare events efficiently, avoiding the computation of long periods of typical fluctuations.

The effectiveness of these algorithms strongly relies on the knowledge of a measure of how close the event of interest is to occur, called the “score function”. The main difficulty is that the optimal score function is the committor function which is exactly the quantity to be computed. Therefore, it is very natural to consider an iterative procedure where the data produced by the algorithm is used to improve the score function, which in turn improves the algorithm, and so on.

In this presentation, we propose a data-driven approach for computing the committor function, based on a Markov chain approximation of the dynamics of the system (the analogue method). We first illustrate this approach for a paradigmatic toy model of multistability for atmospheric dynamics with six variables (the Charney-Devore model). Secondly, we apply this methodology to data generated from a climate model, in order to study and predict the occurrence of extreme heat waves. In both cases, we show that it is possible to obtain fairly precise estimates of the committor function, even when few observations are available.

In the second part of the talk, we show the advantage of coupling the analogue Markov chain with a rare event algorithm. Indeed, the committor learned with the analogue Markov chain can be used as a score function performing better than user-defined score functions, as we show for the Charney-Devore model. 

This new approach is promising for studying rare events in complex dynamics: the rare events can be simulated with a minimal prior knowledge and the results are much more precise than those obtained with a user-designed score function.

How to cite: Lucente, D., Rolland, J., Herbert, C., and Bouchet, F.: Advances in rare event simulations using data-based estimation of committor functions, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4021,, 2022.

EGU22-5734 | Presentations | NP2.2

Simulating extreme cold spells in France with empirical importance sampling

Camille Cadiou and Pascal Yiou

Extreme winter cold spells in Europe have huge societal impacts. Being able to simulate worst case scenarios of such events for present and future climates is hence crucial for adaptation. Rare event algorithms have been applied to simulate extreme heatwaves. They have emphasized the role of the atmospheric circulation in such extremes. The goal of this study is to test such algorithms to extreme cold spells.
We focus on cold spells that occur in France since 1950. The analysis is based on the ERA5 reanalysis. We select cold events that have occurred for different time scales (10 days, 1 month, 3 months). We identify record shattering cold events for time scales of 1 and 3 months (in 1956 and 1963). We find that, although the frequency of extreme cold spells decreases with time, their intensity is stationary.
We applied a stochastic weather generator approach with importance sampling, to simulate the worst cold spells that could occur every year since 1950, with lengths of 1 month and 3 months. We hence simulated ensembles of worst winter cold spells that are consistent with observations. Those worst cases are slightly colder than the record shattering events, and do not yield the trend that is observed on the mean temperature. The atmospheric circulation that prevails during those events is analyzed and compared to the observed circulation during the record breaking events.

How to cite: Cadiou, C. and Yiou, P.: Simulating extreme cold spells in France with empirical importance sampling, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5734,, 2022.

EGU22-8626 | Presentations | NP2.2

Interrelation between the Indian and East Asian Summer Monsoon: A complex network-based approach

Shraddha Gupta, Zhen Su, Niklas Boers, Jürgen Kurths, Norbert Marwan, and Florian Pappenberger

The Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) and the East Asian Summer monsoon (EASM) are two integral components of the Asian Summer Monsoon system, largely influencing the agro-based economy of the densely populated southern and eastern parts of Asia. In our study, we use a complex network based approach to investigate the spatial coherence of extreme precipitation in the Asian Summer Monsoon region and gain a deep insight into the complex nature of the interaction between the ISM and the EASM. We identify two dominant modes of ISM-EASM interaction – (a) a southern mode connecting onset of the ISM over the Arabian Sea and southern India in June to the onset of Meiyu over south-eastern China, i.e., lower and middle reaches of the Yangtze river valley, and (b) a northern mode relating the occurrence and intensity of rainfall over the northern and central parts of India to that in northern China during July. Through determination of specific times of high synchronization of extreme precipitation, we distinctly identify the particular large-scale atmospheric circulation and moisture transport patterns associated with each mode. Thereafter, we investigate the role of the different components of the tropical intraseasonal oscillations, such as the Madden-Julian Oscillation and the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation, in the intraseasonal variability of the relationship between the ISM and the EASM.

This work is funded by the CAFE project which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 813844.

How to cite: Gupta, S., Su, Z., Boers, N., Kurths, J., Marwan, N., and Pappenberger, F.: Interrelation between the Indian and East Asian Summer Monsoon: A complex network-based approach, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8626,, 2022.

EGU22-11389 | Presentations | NP2.2

Storylines of past and plausible future climates for recent extreme weather events with coupled climate models

Antonio Sánchez Benítez, Thomas Jung, Marylou Athanase, Felix Pithan, and Helge Goessling

Under the ongoing climate change, extreme weather events are becoming more prolonged, intense, and frequent; and this trend is expected to continue in a future warmer climate. Several studies have found that the synoptic atmospheric circulation at the time of the event is the main contributing factor in most cases. Moreover, they are shaped by slower processes, including sea-surface temperature and soil moisture, in turn influenced by the history of preceding weather patterns, and by the background climate. The separation of influencing components is exploited by the storyline approach, where an atmosphere model is nudged toward the observed dynamics using different climate boundary conditions. Thus, the storyline approach focuses on the less uncertain thermodynamic influence of climate on extreme events, disregarding the somewhat controversial dynamical changes. This approach provides a very efficient way of making the impacts of climate change more tangible to experts and non-experts alike as events fresh in the people's memory are reproduced in different plausible climates with just moderate computational resources.

Spectral nudging experiments have been run with two coupled climate models, AWI-CM-1 and AWI-CM-3. In these simulations, the large-scale free-troposphere dynamics are constrained toward ERA5 data and the model is run for different boundary conditions. Here, the ocean and sea-ice state are consistently simulated, unlike previous studies which employed atmosphere-only models. Our setups reasonably reproduce daily to seasonal observed anomalies of relevant unconstrained parameters, including near-surface temperature, soil moisture or cloud cover. In particular, our configurations showed satisfactory skills in reproducing two different extreme events: the July 2019 European heat wave, and the July 2021 European extreme rainfall. Therefore, this methodology has been applied to study several extreme events in different climates. To do so, nudged simulations are branched off CMIP6 historical and scenario simulations of the same model. For the particular July 2021 extreme rainfall event, we have run five ensemble members for AWI-CM-1-1-MR for dynamical conditions from 1st January 2017 to 31st July 2021 in pre-industrial, present-day, +2K, and +4K climates. These simulations are complemented with similar experiments for AWI-CM-3. 

The most outstanding finding of these studies is a global warming amplification associated with some events, which exacerbates their exceptionality, especially in a high emission scenario.

How to cite: Sánchez Benítez, A., Jung, T., Athanase, M., Pithan, F., and Goessling, H.: Storylines of past and plausible future climates for recent extreme weather events with coupled climate models, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11389,, 2022.

NP2.4 – Nonlinear Dynamics and Tipping Points in the Earth System

EGU22-10128 | Presentations | NP2.4

Nonautonomous dynamics and its applications to paleoclimate

Michael Ghil

The dynamics of systems with time-dependent forcing or coefficients has become a matter of considerable interest in the last couple of decades in general and in the last dozen years or so in the climate sciences in particular (Ghil, 2019; Ghil & Lucarini, 2020; Ghil, 2021; Tel et al., 2021; and references therein). We shall provide a general introduction to the topic and illustrate it with several paleoclimate-related examples (Crucifix, 2012; Riechers et al., 2022; Rousseau et al., 2022). Perspectives for further applications of the concepts and methods of the theory of pullback and random attractors and of their tipping points to paleoclimate will also be provided.


  • Crucifix, M.: Oscillators and relaxation phenomena in Pleistocene climate theory, PTRSA, 370, 1140–1165, 2012.
  • Ghil, M., 2019: A century of nonlinearity in the geosciences, Earth & Space Science, 6, 1007–1042, doi: 1029/2019EA000599.
  • Ghil, M., 2020: Review article: Hilbert problems for the climate sciences in the 21st century – 20 years later, Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 27, 429–451,
  • Ghil, M., and V. Lucarini, 2020: The physics of climate variability and climate change, Mod. Phys., 92(3), 035002, doi: 10.1103/RevModPhys.92.035002.
  • Riechers, K., T. Mitsui, N. Boers, and M. Ghil, 2022: Orbital insolation variations, intrinsic climate variability, and Quaternary glaciations, Clim. Past Discuss. [preprint],, in review.
  • Rousseau, D.-D., W. Bagnewski, and M. Ghil, 2021: Abrupt climate changes and the astronomical theory: are they related?, Clim. Past, accepted, doi: 10.5194/cp-2021-103 .
  • Tél, T., Bódai, T., Drótos, G., Haszpra, T., Herein, M., Kaszás, B. and Vincze, M., 2020. The theory of parallel climate realizations. Journal of Statistical Physics179(5), 1496–1530.

How to cite: Ghil, M.: Nonautonomous dynamics and its applications to paleoclimate, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10128,, 2022.

EGU22-1514 | Presentations | NP2.4

The Mid-Pleistocene Transition: A delayed response to an increasing positive feedback?

Anne Willem Omta, John Shackleton, Mick Follows, and Peter Thomas

Glacial-interglacial cycles constitute large natural variations in Earth's climate. The Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT) marks a shift of the dominant periodicity of these climate cycles from ~40 to ~100 kyr. Ramping with frequency locking is a promising mechanism to explain the MPT, combining an increase in the internal period with lockings to an external forcing. We identify the strength of positive feedbacks as a key parameter to induce increases in the internal period and allow ramping with frequency locking. Using the calcifier-alkalinity model, we simulate changes in periodicity similar to the Mid-Pleistocene Transition through this mechanism. However, the periodicity shift occurs up to 10 Million years after the change in the feedback strength. This result puts into question the assumption that the cause for the MPT must have operated around the same time as the observed periodicity shift.

How to cite: Omta, A. W., Shackleton, J., Follows, M., and Thomas, P.: The Mid-Pleistocene Transition: A delayed response to an increasing positive feedback?, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1514,, 2022.

EGU22-2396 | Presentations | NP2.4

Cascade of abrupt transitions in past climates

Denis-Didier Rousseau, Valerio Lucarini, Witold Bagniewski, and Michael Ghil

The Earth’s climate has experienced numerous abrupt and critical transitions during its long history. Such transitions are evidenced in precise, high-resolution records at different timescales. This type of evidence suggests the possibility of identifying a hierarchy of past critical events, which would yield a more complex perspective on climatic history of the than the classical saddle-node two-dimension representation of tipping points. Such a context allows defining a tipping, or dynamical, landscape (Lucarini and Bódai, 2020), similar to the epigenetic landscape of Waddington (1957).

To illustrate a richer structure of critical transitions, we have analyzed 3 key high-resolution datasets covering the past 66 Ma and provided evidences of abrupt transitions detected with the augmented Kolmogorov-Smirnov test and a recurrence analysis (Bagniewski et al., 2021). These time series are the CENOGRID benthic d18O and d13C (Westerhold et al., 2020), the U1308 benthic d18O, d13C and the d18bulk carbonate (Hodell and Channell, 2016), and the NGRIP d18O (Rasmussen et al., 2014) records. The aim was to examine objectively the observed visual evidence of abrupt transitions and to identify among them the key thresholds indicating regime changes that differentiate among major clusters of variability. This identification is followed by establishing a hierarchy in the observed thresholds organized through a domino-like cascade of abrupt transitions that shaped the Earth’s climate system over the past 66 Ma.

This study is supported by the H2020-funded Tipping Points in the Earth System (TiPES) project.


Bagniewski, W., Ghil, M., and Rousseau, D. D.: Automatic detection of abrupt transitions in paleoclimate records, Chaos, 31,, 2021.

Hodell, D. A. and Channell, J. E. T.: Mode transitions in Northern Hemisphere glaciation: co-evolution of millennial and orbital variability in Quaternary climate, Clim. Past, 12, 1805–1828,, 2016.

Lucarini, V. and Bódai, T.: Global stability properties of the climate: Melancholia states, invariant measures, and phase transitions, Nonlinearity, 33, R59–R92,, 2020.

Rasmussen, S. O., Bigler, M., Blockley, S. P., et al.: A stratigraphic framework for abrupt climatic changes during the Last Glacial period based on three synchronized Greenland ice-core records: refining and extending the INTIMATE event stratigraphy, Quat. Sci. Rev., 106, 14–28,, 2014.

Waddington, C. H.: The strategy of the genes., Allen & Unwin., London, 1957.

Westerhold, T., Marwan, N., Drury, A. J., et al.: An astronomically dated record of Earth’s climate and its predictability over the last 66 million years, Science, 369, 1383-+,, 2020.

How to cite: Rousseau, D.-D., Lucarini, V., Bagniewski, W., and Ghil, M.: Cascade of abrupt transitions in past climates, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2396,, 2022.

EGU22-10628 | Presentations | NP2.4

Loss of Earth System Resilience during Early Eocene Global Warming Events

Shruti Setty, Margot Cramwinckel, Ingrid van de Leemput, Egbert H. van Nes, Lucas J. Lourens, Appy Sluijs, and Marten Scheffer

The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM; 56 Ma) and Eocene Thermal Maximum 2 and 3 (ETM2; 54.06 Ma and ETM3; 52.87 Ma) were three of a series of abrupt climate and carbon cycle perturbations, characterized by massive carbon input into the ocean-atmosphere system and strong global warming. These abrupt events, termed hyperthermals, potentially represent ‘tipping points’ at moments in time when the resilience of the system was low and reinforced by strong internal feedbacks, such as the catastrophic release of carbon from submarine methane hydrates. Alternatively, external mechanisms such as volcanism may have played a pronounced external role during the PETM. Here, we evaluate if the hyperthermals indeed resulted from reduced Earth System resilience and tipping point behaviour through the mathematical analyses of climate and carbon cycle indicators, namely, oxygen and stable carbon isotope ratios of deep ocean foraminifer calcite, across the late Paleocene and early Eocene. Our combined analysis using Dynamic Indicators of Resilience (DIORs) and Convergent Cross Mapping (CCM) reveals a loss of resilience and an increase in the causal interaction between the carbon cycle and climate towards the PETM, ETM2, and ETM3. A novel, windowed CCM approach indicates a tight coupling between carbon and climate across the early Eocene, further supporting dominant climate forcing on carbon cycle dynamics. This indicates that the internal rather than external mechanisms were responsible for the hyperthermals, suggesting a secondary role for endogenic processes such as volcanism. Furthermore, the CCM analysis in conjunction with the absence of major positive feedbacks such as the presence of polar ice caps during early Eocene could be employed to stipulate that these hyperthermal events may be caused by the increase in coupling between the carbon cycle and climate systems, eventually pushing both systems towards a tipping point through increasing positive feedbacks.

How to cite: Setty, S., Cramwinckel, M., Leemput, I. V. D., Nes, E. H. V., Lourens, L. J., Sluijs, A., and Scheffer, M.: Loss of Earth System Resilience during Early Eocene Global Warming Events, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10628,, 2022.

EGU22-2784 | Presentations | NP2.4

Mechanisms behind climate oscillations in last glacial maximum simulations

Yvan Romé, Ruza Ivanovic, and Lauren Gregoire

Millennial-scale variability has been extensively observed across the last glacial period records (115 to 12 thousand years ago) but reproducing it on general circulation models remains a challenge. In recent years, a growing number of climate models have reported simulations with oscillating behaviours comparable to typical abrupt climate changes, although often relying on unrealistic forcing fields and/or boundary conditions. This may become an issue when trying to review the mechanisms at stake because of glacial climates’ sensitivity to these parameters, notably ice sheets geometry and greenhouse gases concentration.

With the addition of snapshots of the early last deglaciation meltwater history over a last glacial maximum (~21 thousand years ago) equilibrium simulation, we obtained different regimes of climate variability, including oscillations that provides the perfect framework for studying abrupt climate changes dynamics in a glacial background. The oscillations consist of shifts between cold modes with a weak to almost collapsed Atlantic Meridional Ocean Circulation (AMOC) and warmer and stronger AMOC modes, with large reorganisation of the deep-water formation sites, surface ocean and atmospheric circulations. The phenomenon has a periodicity of roughly every 1500 years and can be linked to changes of about 10°C in Greenland. This new set of simulation suggests an intricate large-scale coupling between ice, ocean, and atmosphere in the North Atlantic when meltwater is discharged to the North Atlantic.

Most attempts at theorising millennial-scale variability have involved vast transfers of salt between the subtropical and subpolar gyres, often referred to as the salt oscillator mechanism, that in turn controlled the intensity of the north Atlantic current. We believe that the salt oscillator is in fact part of a larger harmonic motion spanning through all components of the climate system and that can enter into resonance under the specific boundary conditions and/or forcing. Illustrated by the mapping of the main salinity and heat fluxes on the oscillating simulations, we propose a new interpretation of the salt oscillator that includes the stochastic resonance phenomenon as well as the effect of meltwater forcing.

How to cite: Romé, Y., Ivanovic, R., and Gregoire, L.: Mechanisms behind climate oscillations in last glacial maximum simulations, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2784,, 2022.

EGU22-3973 | Presentations | NP2.4

A minimal SDE model of D-O events with multiplicative noise

Kolja Kypke and Peter Ditlevsen

The abrupt transitions in the last glacial period between cold stadial and warmer interstadial climate states found in Greenlandic ice-core records, known as Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) events, are a rich topic of study not only due to their potential similarities in time scales and mechanisms to present and near-future climate transitions but also since their underlying physical mechanisms are not fully understood. The dynamics of the climate can be described by a Langevin equation dx = −∂U/∂x dt + η(t) where the potential U(x) has a bimodal distribution to represent the stable stadial and interstadial states and the stochastic process η(t) is usually realized as a Gaussian white noise process that causes jumps between these two states. From the steady-state of the Fokker-Planck equation associated with this Langevin equation, the potential U(x) can be determined from the probability distribution of the ice-core record time series. Thus this minimal model simulates time series with statistics similar to those of the original ice-core record. Novel to this study, we introduce a multiplicative noise term η(t, x) to represent the different statistical properties of the noise in the stadial and interstadial periods. The difference between the Itô and the Stratonovich integration of the Langevin equation with multiplicative noise results in slight differences in the attribution of the drift and diffusion terms for a transformed variable. This is illustrated by performing both.

How to cite: Kypke, K. and Ditlevsen, P.: A minimal SDE model of D-O events with multiplicative noise, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3973,, 2022.

EGU22-5997 | Presentations | NP2.4

A fast-slow model for glacial cycles since the Mid-Pleistocene Transition

Jade Ajagun-Brauns and Peter Ditlevsen

A new simple approach inspired by MacAyeal (1979) to explain the time-asymmetric ‘saw-toothed’ shape and 100,000-year quasi-period of glacial-interglacial cycles since the Middle Pleistocene Transition, is presented. Using a simple model with fast-slow dynamics, the global ice volume is taken to be a function of two independently varying parameters, the solar insolation and ‘alpha’, a secondary control parameter, the study of which is the focus this research. The steady state of the model is a partially folded surface in three-dimensional space where insolation, ‘alpha’, and global ice volume are orthogonal axes. The pleated surface allows for the gradual increase and sudden decrease in ice volume that is observed in the paleoclimate record. To derive a time series of global ice volume, the Euler integration method is used, producing a time series which replicates the ‘saw-toothed’ pattern of glacial cycles in the late Pleistocene. The second control parameter, ‘alpha’, is proposed to be related to internal dynamics of the climate system, such as ice sheet dynamics.



D. R.  MacAyeal, ‘A Catastrophe Model of the Paleoclimate Record’ , Journal of Glaciology , Volume 24 , Issue 90 , 1979 , pp. 245 – 257.

How to cite: Ajagun-Brauns, J. and Ditlevsen, P.: A fast-slow model for glacial cycles since the Mid-Pleistocene Transition, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5997,, 2022.

Confirmation exists for the 1997 revolutionary date of 12.850 cal yr BP established for the Laacher See Eruption (LSE) and introduced to encourage US-research on the P/H-KISS impact with LSE as isochrone and impact volcanism proxy (Bujatti-Narbeshuber, 1997). Bayesian analysis by Wolbach et al. (2018) of 157 dated records of the YD-impact hypothesis of Firestone et al. (2007) confirms impact with 2.854 ± 0.056 ka BP. This now allows to introduce the much larger P/H-KISS paleoceanographic transition scenario relating also to Holocene up to the present global climate change. The Holocene era, because of the thermohaline damped flow scenario, is herein considered as permanent end of the ice age, suggested here as the climatic consequence of an ocean topography and threshold change. Decoded cave art navigation world maps with Pleistocene paleoceanography content from Altamira , La Pasiega and El Castillo document in each one of the three maps specific AMOC stable states for interstadial/ full stadial/ stadial paleoclimate. Each map-thermohaline stable state is differently relating to a geomorphological boundary condition that is the subaerial surface Topography of a large Mid Atlantic Plateau (MAP)-Island. It is modelled in the P/H-KISS scenario as primary Pleistocene thermohaline phase 0 geomorphological threshold. As physical boundary condition it is in interaction with the thermohaline gulfstream current (above /below/at threshold). This results in the 3 distinct AMOC equilibrium stages of interstadial/ full stadial /stadial, as Pleistocene criticality interconnected by their respective further transition thresholds. When the primary  geomorphological threshold is removed the result is the Holocene damped flow, a transition continuum of thermohaline phases 1, 2, 3. Geomorphological proof is first the MAP-Island, invariably shown on all three maps. Furthermore the MAP-Island is identified by its characteristic topography on decorated columns in Göbekli Tepe as a highly abstract island symbol with deeper political-territorial meanings. With paleo-astronomical precession dating on Pillar 43, the LSE 12.850 cal yr BP date was reproduced and the YD (P/H-KISS) impact series from comet fragments in the Taurid stream were decoded by M. Sweatman (2019).  The symbol sequence on Pillar 18, revealed here for the first time, is the (HI-T) = MAP-Island-Dual 90°-Transition-Tsunami Code of the two step Mid Atlantic Ridge MAR & MAP- Island isostatic submersion by the Taurid stream Koefels-comet oceanic-impact fragments: Paleoclimatology thus confirms and now extends the D. Paillard (1998) three equilibria ocean-box-climate-model with 3 thresholds for 3 transitions between the 3 thermohaline stable states of the ice age to the larger P/H-KISS transition scenario of paleo-climate change. It states that the above 3 AMOC states are exclusively based on the existence of the MAP-Island threshold. Isostatic MAR & MAP-Submergence brings their ice age ending collapse into the broad continuum of the Global warming Threshold Triad with thermohaline damped flow in a very long lasting Holocene interstadial.


*) Bujatti-Narbeshuber, M. - Pleistocene/Holocene (P/H) boundary oceanic Koefels-comet Impact Series Scenario (KISS) of 12.850 yr BP Global-warming Threshold Triad (GTT). -Climates: Past, Present and Future; Second European Palaeontological Congress Abstracts edited by D.K. Ferguson & H.A. Kollmann; Vienna, 1997.


How to cite: Dr. Bujatti-Narbeshuber, M.: Pleistocene/Holocene (P/H) boundary oceanic Koefels-comet Impact Series Scenario (KISS) of 12.850 yr BP Global-warming Threshold Triad (GTT)-Part II *) , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8412,, 2022.

EGU22-11671 | Presentations | NP2.4

Abrupt climate events recorded in speleothems from the ante penultimate glacial

Vanessa Skiba, Martin Trüssel, Birgit Plessen, Christoph Spötl, René Eichstädter, Andrea Schröder-Ritzrau, Tobias Braun, Takahito Mitsui, Norbert Frank, Niklas Boers, Norbert Marwan, and Jens Fohlmeister

Millennial-scale climate variability, especially abrupt stadial-interstadial transitions, are a prominent feature of the last glacial as recorded in Greenland ice core records (Dansgaard-Oeschger events). Event abruptness and presence of statistical early warning signals before these transitions indicate that they involve repeated crossing of a tipping point of the climate system. However, only little information is available for periods before the last glacial period as Greenland ice cores and many other high-resolution records do not extent beyond the last glacial cycle. Given the lack of understanding of the triggering mechanism responsible for glacial millennial-scale variability with palaeoclimate data from the last glacial, it is essential to investigate this phenomenon during earlier glacial periods.

Here, we present a new highly resolved, precisely U-Th-dated speleothem oxygen isotope record from the Northern European Alps, a region which has been previously shown to resemble the glacial millennial-scale climate variability obtained from Greenland ice core records very well. Our new data covers the time interval from the ante-penultimate glacial to the penultimate glacial (MIS8-MIS6) with a high degree of replication. For both glacial periods, we find phases of pronounced millennial-scale variability but also several, ~10 ka long phases with the climate system being exclusively in stadial conditions. We compare our data with conceptual model results and investigate the occurrence and absence of abrupt climate transitions of the last 300,000 a.

How to cite: Skiba, V., Trüssel, M., Plessen, B., Spötl, C., Eichstädter, R., Schröder-Ritzrau, A., Braun, T., Mitsui, T., Frank, N., Boers, N., Marwan, N., and Fohlmeister, J.: Abrupt climate events recorded in speleothems from the ante penultimate glacial, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11671,, 2022.

EGU22-9504 | Presentations | NP2.4

Synchronization of layer-counted archives using a statistical age-depth model

Eirik Myrvoll-Nilsen, Keno Riechers, and Niklas Boers

Layer-counted paleoclimatic proxy records have non-negligible uncertainty arising from the dating process. Knowledge of this uncertainty is important for a rigorous propagation to further analyses; for example for identification and dating of abrupt transitions in climate or to provide a complete uncertainty quantification of early warning signals. This dating uncertainty can be quantified by assuming a probabilistic model for the age-depth relationship. We assume that the number of counted layers per unit of depth can be described using a Bayesian regression model with residuals following an autoregressive process. By synchronizing the chronologies with other archives one can constrain the uncertainties and correct potential biases in the dating process. This is done by matching the chronologies to tie-points obtained by analyzing different archives covering the same period in time. In practice, tie-points can be associated with a significant amount of uncertainty which also needs to be accounted for. We present a theoretically consistent approach which, under certain assumptions, allows for efficient sampling from synchronized age-depth models that match the tie-points under known uncertainty distributions. The model and associated methodology has been implemented into an R-package. 

How to cite: Myrvoll-Nilsen, E., Riechers, K., and Boers, N.: Synchronization of layer-counted archives using a statistical age-depth model, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9504,, 2022.

EGU22-13023 | Presentations | NP2.4

Data-driven Reconstruction of Last Glacials' Climate Dynamics Suggests Monostable Greenland Temperatures and a Bistable Northern Hemisphere Atmosphere

Keno Riechers, Leonardo Rydin, Forough Hassanibesheli, Dirk Witthaut, Pedro Lind, and Niklas Boers

Multiple proxy records from Greenland ice cores exhibit a series of concomitant abrupt climatic shifts during the last glacial. These so-called Dansgaard–Oeschger (DO) events comprise, among others, warming over Greenland, a sudden retreat of North Atlantic and Nordic Seas’ sea ice, and an atmospheric reorganisation of hemispheric extent. Typically DO events are followed by a phase of moderate cooling, before the climate abruptly transition back to its pre-event state. While the physics behind these dynamics are still subject to a vibrant debate, the idea that at least one of the involved climatic subsystems features bistability is widely accepted.

We assess the stability of Greenland temperatures and the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation represented by δ¹⁸O and dust concentration records from the NGRIP ice core, respectively. We investigate the 27-59 ky b2k period of the combined record which covers 12 major DO events at high temporal resolution. Regarding the data as the realisation of a stochastic process we reconstruct the corresponding drift and diffusion by computing the Kramers–Moyal (KM) coefficients. In contrast to previous studies, we find the drift of the δ¹⁸O to be monostable, while analysis of the dust record yields a bistable drift. Furthermore, we find a non-vanishing 4th-order KM coefficient for the δ¹⁸O, which indicates that the δ¹⁸O time series cannot be considered a standard type Langevin process. In a second step, we treat the joint (δ¹⁸O , dust) time series as a two dimensional stochastic process and compute the corresponding coefficients of the two dimensional KM expansion. This reveals the position of the fixed point of δ¹⁸O to be controlled by the value of the dust. In turn, the drift of the dust undergoes an imperfect supercritical pitchfork bifurcation when transitioning from low to high δ¹⁸O values.

How to cite: Riechers, K., Rydin, L., Hassanibesheli, F., Witthaut, D., Lind, P., and Boers, N.: Data-driven Reconstruction of Last Glacials' Climate Dynamics Suggests Monostable Greenland Temperatures and a Bistable Northern Hemisphere Atmosphere, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13023,, 2022.

EGU22-12501 | Presentations | NP2.4

Paleoclimatic tipping points and abrupt transitions: An application of advanced time series analysis methods

Witold Bagniewski, Michael Ghil, and Denis-Didier Rousseau

Paleoclimate proxy records contain abrupt transitions that may represent former instances of the climate system crossing a tipping point (TP). Properly identifying these TPs in the Earth’s past helps determine critical thresholds in present-day climate and better understand the climate system’s underlying bifurcation mechanisms.

Information contained in paleoclimate proxy records is often ambiguous because of the complexity of the system, which includes both deterministic and stochastic processes. Furthermore, paleoclimate time series differ in their time spans and periodicities, and often have high levels of noise and a nonuniform resolution. These combined sources of uncertainty highlight the need for using advanced statistical methods for robustly identifying and comparing TPs.

A recently developed method that uses an augmented Kolmogorov-Smirnov test has been shown to be highly effective for transition detection in different types of records. Here, we apply this method to a set of high-quality paleoproxy records exhibiting centennial-to millennial-scale variability that have been compiled in the PaleoJump database. We thereby detect previously unrecognized transitions in these records and identify potential TPs. Furthermore, we investigate regime changes with recurrence analysis and spectral analysis.

This study is supported by the H2020-funded Tipping Points in the Earth System (TiPES) project.

How to cite: Bagniewski, W., Ghil, M., and Rousseau, D.-D.: Paleoclimatic tipping points and abrupt transitions: An application of advanced time series analysis methods, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12501,, 2022.

EGU22-5928 | Presentations | NP2.4

Commitment as Lost Opportunities

Marina Martinez Montero, Michel Crucifix, Nicola Botta, and Nuria Brede

In the context of climate change, the word "commitment" was originally used to denote how much extra warming is to be expected eventually given a certain fixed concentration of CO2. The notion has evolved and now it is customary to encounter terms such as "constant emissions commitment", "sea level rise commitment" and "zero emissions commitment". All these notions refer to how much change with respect to the current climate state is expected at a given point in the future considering our current climate state and specified future anthropogenic emissions.

Here, we propose thinking about commitment as available options for future action that will allow future decision makers to avoid harmful futures. The definition requires the identification of unwanted outcomes e.g., too high temperature or too fast sea level rise and the specification of a range of possible future anthropogenic emission/intervention scenarios. Given an initial climate state, the measure of commitment is based on the diagnosis of which of those emission/intervention scenarios yield futures safe from the unwanted outcomes. This new definition of commitment explicitly captures the notion of legacy: It measures the range of options that the next generations have at their disposal to avoid harmful futures.

We illustrate the definition and methodology with a simple model featuring ice sheet tipping points and ocean carbonate chemical balance. After having introduced the model, we specify the considered future anthropogenic emission/intervention options available, along with the considered unwanted outcomes. We show how the safe options available for future generations would change in time if we were to follow some of the most standard emission scenarios used in the literature.

How to cite: Martinez Montero, M., Crucifix, M., Botta, N., and Brede, N.: Commitment as Lost Opportunities, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5928,, 2022.

EGU22-1988 | Presentations | NP2.4

Modelling Abrupt Transitions in Past Ocean Circulation to Constrain Future Tipping Points

Guido Vettoretti, Markus Jochum, and Peter Ditlevsen

Recent observationally based studies indicate that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) and the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) may be approaching critical thresholds or tipping points, although the timing is uncertain. The connection between both Greenland meltwater fluxes and anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on the future state of the AMOC is also uncertain. Here we investigate the role of ocean vertical mixing within the interior and surface boundary layer (the K-Profile Parameterization (KPP)) on past millennial scale climate variability in a coupled climate model. Previous studies have demonstrated a sensitivity of the period of millennial scale ice age oscillations to the KPP scheme. Here we show that small changes in the profiles of vertical mixing under ice age boundary conditions can drive the AMOC through a Hopf bifurcation and result in the appearance of millennial-scale AMOC oscillations. This has implications on whether changes in tidal energy dissipation in the coastal and deep ocean are important for modelling past climate variability. More importantly, the same changes in ocean vertical mixing can impact the stability and hysteresis behaviour of the modern AMOC under freshwater input to the North Atlantic as well as leading to abrupt transitions in AMOC strength under a doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. We show how understanding the sensitivity of the AMOC to ocean vertical mixing parameterizations used in coupled Earth System models may be important for constraining future climate tipping points.

How to cite: Vettoretti, G., Jochum, M., and Ditlevsen, P.: Modelling Abrupt Transitions in Past Ocean Circulation to Constrain Future Tipping Points, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1988,, 2022.

EGU22-9322 | Presentations | NP2.4

The Antarctic and Greenland response to PlioMIP2 mPWP climatic fields

Javier Blasco, Ilaria Tabone, Daniel Moreno-Parada, Jorge Alvarez-Solas, Alexander Robinson, and Marisa Montoya

Since the pre-industrial era, global sea level has been rising along with greenhouse gas emissions. Part of the contribution to this sea-level change is the mass lost from continental ice sheets, i.e. the Greenland (GrIS) and Antarctic (AIS) ice sheets, which are shrinking at an accelerated rate. However, how they will respond to future warming is highly uncertain due to our lack of knowledge and associated uncertainty in modelling several physical processes, as well as in warming projections. A way to gain insight into future projections is to study past warm periods that are, to some extent, comparable to the present day (PD) in terms of external forcing. The mid-Pliocene warm period (mPWP, 3.3-3.0 million years ago) offers an ideal benchmark, as it is the most recent period with CO2 levels comparable to PD (350-450 ppmv), showing global mean temperatures 2.5-4.0 degrees higher. Eustatic sea-level reconstructions from that period estimate a sea level 15-20 meters higher than PD, implying ice sheets were much smaller in size. The GrIS was starting to form and the AIS was most likely constrained to land-based regions. The Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 2 (PlioMIP2) has brought together over 15 climate outputs from 11 General Circulation models from different institutions. These models have simulated mPWP conditions under 400 ppmv of CO2 concentration over a topography generated from an updated bedrock configuration for that time period. Here we use these model outputs to force offline a higher-order ice sheet model for the Antarctic and Greenland domain. Our aim is to investigate how polar continental ice sheets respond to these different climatic fields to pinpoint their most significant climatic and topographical discrepancies. In addition, several sources of structural dependence, from different dynamic states (i.e. basal friction laws) to different initial boundary conditions (starting from no ice-sheet to the PD configuration) are investigated in this modelling framework to create a comprehensive output database for statistical analysis.

How to cite: Blasco, J., Tabone, I., Moreno-Parada, D., Alvarez-Solas, J., Robinson, A., and Montoya, M.: The Antarctic and Greenland response to PlioMIP2 mPWP climatic fields, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9322,, 2022.

EGU22-12438 | Presentations | NP2.4

Updated assessment suggests >1.5°C global warming could trigger multiple climate tipping points

David Armstrong McKay, Arie Staal, Jesse Abrams, Ricarda Winkelmann, Boris Sakschewski, Sina Loriani, Ingo Fetzer, Sarah Cornell, Johan Rockström, and Timothy Lenton

Climate tipping points occur when change in a part of the climate system becomes self-perpetuating beyond a forcing threshold, leading to abrupt and/or irreversible impacts. Synthesizing paleoclimate, observational, and model-based studies, we provide a revised shortlist of global ‘core’ tipping elements and regional ‘impact’ tipping elements and their temperature thresholds. Current global warming of ~1.1°C above pre-industrial already lies within the lower end of some tipping point uncertainty ranges. Several more tipping points may be triggered in the Paris Agreement range of 1.5-2°C global warming, with many more likely at the 2-3°C of warming expected on current policy trajectories. In further work we use these estimates to test the potential for and impact of tipping cascades in response to global warming scenarios using a stylised model. This strengthens the evidence base for urgent action to mitigate climate change and to develop improved tipping point risk assessment, early warning capability, and adaptation strategies.


How to cite: Armstrong McKay, D., Staal, A., Abrams, J., Winkelmann, R., Sakschewski, B., Loriani, S., Fetzer, I., Cornell, S., Rockström, J., and Lenton, T.: Updated assessment suggests >1.5°C global warming could trigger multiple climate tipping points, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12438,, 2022.

EGU22-5197 | Presentations | NP2.4

Investigating the 'Hothouse narrative' with dynamical systems

Victor Couplet and Michel Crucifix

The 'hothouse narrative' states that tipping cascades could lead humanity to a binary choice between a 'governed Earth' and a 'hothouse' with no midway alternative. To investigate this scenario, we construct a toy model of interacting tipping elements and ask the following questions: Given a continuous family of emission scenarios, are there discontinuities in the family of responses, as suggested by the 'hothouse narrative'? How realistic is this given knowledge provided by climate simulations and paleo-climate evidence? The relatively low complexity of our model allows us to easily run it for several thousand years and a large range of emissions scenarios, helping us highlight the fundamental role of the different time scales involved in answering our questions. On the one hand, we find that the near-linear relationship predicted by GCMs between global temperature and GHG emissions for the next century can break up at millennial time scales due to cascades involving slower tipping elements such as the ice sheets. This translates as a discontinuity in the family of responses of our model. On the other hand, we find that different emissions scenarios respecting the same carbon budget could potentially lead to different tipping cascades and thus qualitatively different outcomes.

How to cite: Couplet, V. and Crucifix, M.: Investigating the 'Hothouse narrative' with dynamical systems, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5197,, 2022.

EGU22-8753 | Presentations | NP2.4

Is West-Antarctica’s Tipping Point a Fixed Value?

Jan Swierczek-Jereczek, Marisa Montoya, Alexander Robinson, Jorge Alvarez-Solas, and Javier Blasco

Given large regions of ice grounded below sea level associated with a retrograde bedrock, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is believed to be a tipping element whose tipping point could be reached within this century under high emission scenarios. As the WAIS represents the largest and most uncertain source of future sea-level rise, characterising its stability is crucial for defining safe emission pathways and protecting livelihoods in coastal regions. In the present work, we investigate its potential to undergo an abrupt change due to a fold bifurcation. To this end, we use a high-order ice sheet model with 16km spatial resolution. Rather than applying a fixed forcing rate as in previous studies, we apply a forcing scheme that adaptively increases the local temperature while keeping the system near equilibrium, which allows us to obtain a rigorous value for the bifurcation tipping point. More importantly, we show how this threshold can become relevant for much lower warming levels than expected - even within the bounds of relatively conservative emission scenarios. Subsequently, we explain the underlying mechanisms leading the marine ice-sheet instability to possibly arise earlier than suggested by the bifurcation study. We finally question whether the tipping point of the WAIS can be understood as a fixed temperature value and if not, by which information it should be extended to provide an early warning signal.

How to cite: Swierczek-Jereczek, J., Montoya, M., Robinson, A., Alvarez-Solas, J., and Blasco, J.: Is West-Antarctica’s Tipping Point a Fixed Value?, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8753,, 2022.

The rise of the global sea-level due to the melting of the Greenland ice-sheet poses one of the biggest threats to human society in the 21st century (IPCC, 2021). The Greenland ice sheet has been hypothesized to exhibit multiple stable states with tipping point behavior when crossing specific thresholds of the global mean temperature (Robinson et al., 2012). In regards to the desultory efforts to reduce the global emissions it becomes more and more unlikely to reach the 1.5°C goal by the end of the century and a crossing of the tipping threshold for the Greenland ice sheet becomes inevitable. First early-warning signals of a possible transition have already been found (Boers&Rypdal, 2021). However, it is known that a short-term overshooting of a critical threshold is possible without prompting a change of the system state (Ritchie et al., 2021). Using a complex ice sheet model, we investigate the effects of different carbon-capture scenarios after crossing the tipping threshold for the Greenland ice sheet. We are able to sketch a stability diagram for a number of emission scenarios and show that temporarily overshooting the temperature threshold for Greenland might be quasi-irreversible for some of the emission scenarios.

IPCC, 2021: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of
Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-
Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S.L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M.I. Gomis, M.
Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J.B.R. Matthews, T.K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu, and B. Zhou (eds.)].
Cambridge University Press. In Press.

Robinson, A., Calov, R. & Ganopolski, A. Multistability and critical thresholds of the Greenland ice sheet. Nature Clim Change 2, 429–432 (2012).

Boers, N. & Rypdal, M. Critical slowing down suggests that the western Greenland Ice Sheet is close to a tipping point. PNAS 118, (2021).

Ritchie, P. D. L., Clarke, J. J., Cox, P. M. & Huntingford, C. Overshooting tipping point thresholds in a changing climate. Nature 592, 517–523 (2021).

How to cite: Bochow, N.: Overshooting the tipping point threshold for the Greenland ice-sheet using a complex ice-sheet model, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2353,, 2022.

Many generations of climate general circulation models (GCMs) have suggested that a radical reorganisation (tipping) of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is unlikely in the 21st Century in response to the greenhouse gas emissions pathways considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Yet some studies suggest that GCMs as a class may represent an AMOC that is biased towards excessive stability. If this is the case then simply looking at AMOC response in the ensemble of current GCMs may give a misleading picture of the possible future pathways of the AMOC.

In this study we use a simple coupled climate model, including both the thermal and water cycle responses to greenhouse gas increase, to explore beyond the range of the current ensemble of ‘best estimate’ GCMs. What would the climate system need to look like in order for AMOC tipping to be a plausible outcome? We find that tipping behaviour would require key parameters controlling the response of the hydrological cycle to surface warming to be towards the edge of plausible ranges.

While AMOC tipping remains a ‘High Impact, Low Likelihood’ outcome, our results extend current knowledge by showing how AMOC tipping could occur in response to greenhouse gas forcing (as opposed to the common idealisation of ‘water hosing’ experiments). The results also show how monitoring key parameters of the climate system may over time allow the possibility of tipping to be more confidently assessed.

How to cite: Wood, R.: Climate storylines for AMOC tipping in response to increasing greenhouse gases, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13181,, 2022.

EGU22-5999 | Presentations | NP2.4

AMOC Early-Warning Signals in CMIP6

Lana Blaschke, Maya Ben-Yami, Niklas Boers, and Da Nian

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is a vital part of the global climate that has been suggested to exhibit bi-stability. A collapse from its current strong state to the weak one would have significant consequences for the climate system. Early-warning signals (EWS) for such a transition have recently been found in observational fingerprints for the AMOC.

Some uncertainty in our understanding of the AMOC and its recent evolution is due to the varying quality of its representation in state-of-the-art models. In this work we examine the historical AMOC simulations in the 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) by analyzing the AMOC strength in the models both directly and through the sea-surface temperature fingerprint. As well as examining the evolution of these AMOC time-series in the models, we calculate their associated EWS and use these to evaluate the models in terms of their representation of the AMOC.

How to cite: Blaschke, L., Ben-Yami, M., Boers, N., and Nian, D.: AMOC Early-Warning Signals in CMIP6, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5999,, 2022.

Several climate sub-systems are believed to be at risk of undergoing abrupt, irreversible changes as a tipping point (TP) in Greenhouse gas concentrations is reached. Since the current generation of climate models is likely not accurate enough to reliably predict TPs, a hope is to anticipate them from observations via early-warning signals (EWS). EWS have been designed to identify generic changes in variability that occur before a well-defined TP is crossed.

Such well-defined, singular TPs are believed to arise from a single dominant positive feedback that destabilizes the system. However, one may ask whether the large number of spatio-temporal scales in the climate system, and associated second-order feedbacks, could not lead to a variety of more subtle, but discontinuous reorganizations of the spatial climate pattern before the eventual catastrophic tipping. Such intermediate TPs could hinder predictability and mask EWS.

We performed simulations with a global ocean model that shows a TP of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) due to freshening of the surface waters resulting from increased ice melt. Using a large ensemble of equilibrium simulations, we map out the stability landscape of the ocean circulation in high detail. While in a classical hysteresis experiment only one regime of bistability is found, by very slow increases in forcing we observe an abundance of discontinuous, qualitative changes in the AMOC variability. These are used to initialize smaller-scale hysteresis experiments that reveal a variety of multistable regimes with at least 4 coexisting alternative attractors.

We argue that due to chaotic dynamics, non-autonomous instabilities, and complex geometries of the basins of attraction, the realized path to tipping can be highly sensitive to initial conditions and the trajectory of the control parameter. Further, we discuss the degree to which the equilibrium dynamics are reflected in the transient dynamics for different rates of forcing. The results have implications regarding the expected abruptness of TPs, as well as their predictability and the design of EWS.

How to cite: Lohmann, J.: Abundant multistability and intermediate tipping points in a global ocean model, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4470,, 2022.

EGU22-5725 | Presentations | NP2.4

Arctic summer sea-ice loss will accelerate in coming decades

Anna Poltronieri, Nils Bochow, and Martin Rypdal

Every year, the area of the Arctic sea-ice decreases in the boreal spring and summer and reaches its yearly minimum in the early autumn. The continuous satellite-based time series shows that the September area has decreased from 4.5 x 106 km2 in 1979, to 2.8 x 106 km2 in 2020. The decline has been approximately linear in global mean surface temperature, with a rate of loss of 2.7 x 106 km2 per degree C of global warming.

In the CMIP6 ensemble, however, we find that the majority of the models that reach an Arctic sea-ice free state in the SSP585 runs show an accelerated loss of sea-ice for the last degree of warming compared to the second last degree of warming, which implies an increased sensitivity of the sea-ice to temperature changes. 

Both in the observational and CMIP6 data, we find that the decline in September sea-ice area is approximately proportional to the area north of which the zonal average temperature in spring and summer is lower than a critical threshold Tc. The Arctic amplification implies that the zonally averaged temperatures increase relative to the global temperatures, and with rates increasing with latitude. Linear extrapolation of the zonally averaged temperatures predicts that, with further warming, the September sea-ice area will depend non-linearly on global temperature, the sensitivity will increase and the September sea-ice area may become less that 1 x 106 km2 for global warming between 0.5 and 1.4oC above the current temperature. 

As a result of accelerated sea-ice loss, the average evolution of the sea-ice area among the CMIP6 models before the complete loss of the summer sea-ice shows an increase in the year-to-year fluctuations in minimum ice cover in the next decade. This implies exceptional accumulation of extreme events with very low or no sea-ice at all even before the final loss of the sea-ice. Likewise, an apparent short-term recovery of the sea-ice loss might be observable due to the increasing fluctuations. 

How to cite: Poltronieri, A., Bochow, N., and Rypdal, M.: Arctic summer sea-ice loss will accelerate in coming decades, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5725,, 2022.

EGU22-9340 | Presentations | NP2.4

Measuring Amazon rainforest resilience from remotely sensed data

Da Nian, Lana Blaschke, Yayun Zheng, and Niklas Boers

The Amazon rainforest has a major contribution to the bio-geochemical functioning of the Earth system and has been projected to be at risk of large-scale, potentially irreversible, dieback to a savanna state. Measuring the resilience of the Amazon rainforest empirically is critical to helping us understand the magnitude and frequency of disturbances that the rainforest can still recover from. Different means to quantify resilience in practice have been proposed. Here we determine the Amazon rainforest resilience based on a space-for-time replacement, and then estimating the average residence time in the forest state. This 'global' notion of resilience is different from local measures based on variance or autocorrelation and thus provides complementary information. We study the dependence of the exit-time-base resilience on total rainfall and, in order to study the evolution of the Amazon rainforest, we also estimate changes in their resilience over the years.

How to cite: Nian, D., Blaschke, L., Zheng, Y., and Boers, N.: Measuring Amazon rainforest resilience from remotely sensed data, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9340,, 2022.

The potential impact of tipping points for climate dynamics is now widely recognized. Furthermore, paleoclimate records suggest that abrupt climate changes have indeed occurred in Earth’s past, potentially on timescales which do not exceed a decade. Several tipping elements, involving various components of the climate system, such as the ocean circulation, sea-ice, continental ice sheets, vegetation, and their couplings, have been suggested. Yet, it remains virtually unknown whether the large-scale atmospheric circulation, the component of the climate system with shortest response time, may undergo bifurcations that could trigger abrupt climate change.

    In this talk I will discuss the possibility of abrupt transitions of the large-scale circulation in the tropics. Specifically, I will consider potential reversals of the mean zonal winds, from the weak easterlies observed in current climate to a "superrotation" state with prevailing westerly winds. The superrotating state exhibits a strongly reduced Hadley circulation.
    I will discuss positive feedback mechanisms and their relevance for the Earth across a hierarchy of models of increasing complexity. A low-dimensional model based on Rossby wave resonance exhibits bistability, and provides a simple criterion for the region of parameter space where this regime exists. We then study the nature of the transition to superrotation in a dry dynamical core, forced in an idealized manner. The main result is that there exists a parameter regime where the dry primitive equations support two coexisting states, with and without an equatorial jet. We will discuss the role of parameters such as the meridional temperature gradient and the boundary layer friction on the existence of this bifurcation.

How to cite: Herbert, C.: Bistability and hysteresis of the large-scale tropical circulation in idealized GCM simulations, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6519,, 2022.

EGU22-5268 | Presentations | NP2.4

Transition Probabilities of Wind-driven Ocean Flows

René van Westen and Henk Dijkstra

The quasi-geostrophic wind-driven double-gyre ocean circulation in a midlatitude rectangular basin is a multi-stable system. Under time-independent forcing, the number of steady states is controlled by the Reynolds number. For a specific range of Reynolds numbers, at least two stable steady states exist. In the quasi-geostrophic model, sub-grid scale processes are usually heavily parameterised, either by deterministic or stochastic representation. In the stochastic case, noise-induced transitions between the steady states may occur.

A standard method to determine transition rates between different steady states is a Monte Carlo approach. One obtains sufficient independent realisations of the model and simply counts the number of transitions. However, this Monte Carlo approach is not well-suited for high-dimensional systems such as the quasi-geostrophic wind-driven ocean circulation. Moreover, when transition probabilities are rare, one needs long integration times or a large number of realisations.

Here we propose a new method to determine transition rates between steady states, by using Dynamically Orthogonal (DO) field theory. The stochastic dynamical system is decomposed using a Karhunen-Loéve expansion and separate problems arise for the ensemble mean state and the so-called time-dependent DO modes. Each DO mode has a specific probability density function, which represents the probability in that direction of phase space. In the case of two steady states, at least one of the DO modes has a bimodal distribution. We analyse transition probabilities using this specific DO mode, which is more efficient compared to the ordinary Monte Carlo approach. We will present the general method and show results for transition probabilities in the quasi-geostrophic wind-driven double-gyre ocean circulation.

How to cite: van Westen, R. and Dijkstra, H.: Transition Probabilities of Wind-driven Ocean Flows, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5268,, 2022.

EGU22-7531 | Presentations | NP2.4

Bifurcation diagram for vegetation patterns model: old ways for new insight

Lilian Vanderveken and Michel Crucifix

Spatial organization is a well-known feature of vegetation in semi-arid regions. This phenomenon appears in various parts of the world where water is the limiting factor for plants growing. Those patterns can be reproduced by using reaction-diffusion equations. Rietkerk developed a vegetation patterns model where the joint effects of a local reaction and diffusion create heterogeneous solutions.

The existence of those solutions expands the range of precipitation conditions under which vegetation can prevail. The complete region in the bifurcation diagram where such stable patterns exist is called the Busse balloon.

To our knowledge, no full investigation of the Busse balloon in Rietkerk’s model is available. Here we address this gap and dissect this Busse balloon by analysing the patterned solution branches of the bifurcation diagram.

For a given domain length, those branches can be computed starting from the different zero modes at the edge of the Turing zone around the branch of homogeneous solutions. Then, we use a Newton-Raphson method to track each branch for precipitation changes. Two types of branches appear. What we call the main branches have a roughly constant wavenumber along the branch. What we call the “mixed state branches” originate at the transition between stability and instability along one main branch. The corresponding solutions appear as mixing the solutions of two main branches, which is why we call them that way. However, we show that the latter plays a minor role in the dynamics of the system.

The awareness of the various patterned branch sheds new light on the dynamics of wavenumber switching or R-tipping for patterned systems. More generally, this work gives new insights into the behaviour of patterned systems under changing environment.

How to cite: Vanderveken, L. and Crucifix, M.: Bifurcation diagram for vegetation patterns model: old ways for new insight, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7531,, 2022.

EGU22-7029 | Presentations | NP2.4

Global-scale Changes in Vegetation Resilience Mapped with Satellite Data

Taylor Smith, Niklas Boers, and Dominik Traxl

It is theorized that the resilience of natural ecosystems – their ability to resist and recover from external perturbations – can be estimated from their natural variability. We test this hypothesis using a global set of recovery rates from large disturbances derived from satellite vegetation data, and find that the expected theoretical relationships between these empirical recovery rates and the lag-1 autocorrelation and variance indeed hold approximately. The spatial pattern of global vegetation resilience reveals a strong link to both precipitation availability and variability, implying that water plays a first-order role in controlling the resilience of global vegetation.

The resilience of vegetation is not, however, static – global changes in temperature, precipitation, and anthropogenic influence will all impact the ability of ecosystems to adapt to and recover from disturbances. We investigate the global spatial and temporal patterns of changes in resilience using the empirically confirmed metrics – lag-1 autocorrelation and variance – and find spatially heterogeneous long-term (1980s-) trends; recent trends (2000s-) in vegetation resilience are strongly negative across land-cover types and climate zones.

How to cite: Smith, T., Boers, N., and Traxl, D.: Global-scale Changes in Vegetation Resilience Mapped with Satellite Data, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7029,, 2022.

EGU22-5433 | Presentations | NP2.4

Tipping points in hydrology: observed regional regime shift and System Dynamics modeling

Valentin Wendling, Christophe Peugeot, Manuela Grippa, Laurent Kergoat, Eric Mougin, Pierre Hiernaux, Nathalie Rouché, Geremy Panthou, Jean-Louis Rajot, Caroline Pierre, Olivier Mora, Angeles Garcia-Mayor, Abdramane Ba, Emmanuel Lawin, Ibrahim Bouzou-Moussa, Jerôme Demarty, Jordi Etchanchu, Basile Hector, Sylvie Galle, and Thierry Lebel and the TipHyc Project

River runoff and climate data existing from 1950 to present time in West Africa are analyzed over a climatic gradient from the Sahel (semi-arid) to the Gulf of Guinea (humid). The region experienced a severe drought in the 70s-90s, with strong impact on the vegetation, soils and populations. We show that the hydrological regime in the Sahel has shifted: the runoff increased significantly between pre- and post-drought periods and is still increasing. In the Guinean region, instead, no shift is observed.

This suggests that a tipping point could have been passed, triggered by climate and/or land use change. In order to explore this hypothesis, we developed a System Dynamics model representing feedbacks between soil, vegetation and flow connectivity of hillslopes, channels and aquifers. Model runs were initialized in 1950 with maps of land use/land cover, and fed with observed rainfall (climate external forcing).

The modeling results accurately represent the observed evolution of the hydrological regime on the watersheds monitored since the 50s (ranging from 1 to 50000 km²). The model revealed that alternative stable states can exist for the climatic conditions of the study period. From the model runs, we showed that the drought triggered the crossing of a tipping point (rainfall threshold), which explains the regime shift. We identified domains within the watersheds where tipping occurred at small scale, leading to larger scale shifts. This result supports that tipping points exist in semi-arid systems where ecohydrology plays a major role. This approach seems well suited to identify areas of high risk of irreversible hydrological regime shifts under different climate and land-use scenarios.

How to cite: Wendling, V., Peugeot, C., Grippa, M., Kergoat, L., Mougin, E., Hiernaux, P., Rouché, N., Panthou, G., Rajot, J.-L., Pierre, C., Mora, O., Garcia-Mayor, A., Ba, A., Lawin, E., Bouzou-Moussa, I., Demarty, J., Etchanchu, J., Hector, B., Galle, S., and Lebel, T. and the TipHyc Project: Tipping points in hydrology: observed regional regime shift and System Dynamics modeling, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5433,, 2022.

EGU22-12686 | Presentations | NP2.4

Early warning signals for topological tipping points

Gisela Daniela Charó, Michael Ghil, and Denisse Sciamarella

The topology of the branched manifold associated with the Lorenz model’s random attractor (LORA) evolves in time. LORA’s time-evolving branched manifold robustly supports the point cloud associated with the system’s invariant measure at each instant in time. 

This manifold undergoes not only continuous deformations — with branches that bend, stretch or compress — but also discontinuous deformations, with branches that intersect at discrete times. These discontinuities in the system's invariant measure manifest themselves in the decrease or increase of the number of 1-holes, thus producing abrupt changes in the branched manifold’s topology.

Topological tipping points (TTPs) are defined as abrupt changes in the topology of a random attractor’s branched manifold. Branched Manifold Analysis through Homologies
(BraMAH) is a robust method that allows one to detect these fundamental changes. 
The existence of such TTPs is being confirmed by careful statistical analysis of LORA’s time-evolving branched manifold, following up on Charó et al. (Chaos, 2021, doi:10.1063/5.0059461). Research is being pursued on early warning signals for these TTPs, concentrating on local fluctuations in the system’s invariant measure.

How to cite: Charó, G. D., Ghil, M., and Sciamarella, D.: Early warning signals for topological tipping points, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12686,, 2022.

EGU22-2689 | Presentations | NP2.4

Data-driven estimation of the committor function for an idealised AMOC model

Valérian Jacques-Dumas, Henk Dijkstra, and René van Westen

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) transports warm, saline water towards the northern North Atlantic, contributing substantially to the meridional heat transport in the climate system. Measurements of the Atlantic freshwater divergence show that it may be in a bistable state and hence subject to collapsing under anthropogenic forcing. We aim at computing the probability of such a transition. We focus on timescales of the century and on temporary collapses of the AMOC. Using simulated data from an idealized stochastic AMOC model, where forcing and white noise are applied via a surface freshwater flux, we compute the transition probabilities versus noise and forcing amplitudes.

Such transitions are very rare and simulating long-enough trajectories in order to gather sufficient statistics is too expensive. Conversely, rare-events algorithms like TAMS (Trajectory-Adaptive Multilevel Sampling) encourage the transition without changing the statistics. In TAMS, N trajectories are simulated and evaluated with a score function; the poorest-performing trajectories are discarded, and the best ones are re-simulated.

The optimal score function is the committor function, defined as the probability that a trajectory reaches a zone A of the phase space before another zone B. Its exact computation is in general difficult and time-consuming. In this presentation, we compare data-driven methods to estimate the committor. Firstly, the Analogues Markov Chain method computes it from the transition matrix of a long re-simulated trajectory. The K-Nearest Neighbours method relies on an existing pool of states where the committor function is already known to estimate it everywhere. Finally, the Dynamical Modes Decomposition method is based on a Galerkin approximation of the Koopman operator. The latter is the most efficient one for the AMOC model when using adaptive dimensionality reduction of the phase space.

How to cite: Jacques-Dumas, V., Dijkstra, H., and van Westen, R.: Data-driven estimation of the committor function for an idealised AMOC model, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2689,, 2022.

EGU22-9237 | Presentations | NP2.4

Using complex networks to predict abrupt changes in oscillatory systems

Noemie Ehstand, Reik V. Donner, Cristóbal López, and Emilio Hernández-García

Functional networks are powerful tools to study statistical interdependency structures in extended systems. They have been used to get insights into the structure and dynamics of complex systems in various areas of science. In particular, several studies have suggested the use of precursors based on percolation transitions in correlation networks to forecast El Niño events.

Our aim is to provide a better understanding of the potential of such percolation precursors for the prediction of episodic events in generic systems presenting chaotic oscillations. To this end, we study the behavior of the precursors in a spatially extended stochastic Vallis model, an asymmetric Lorenz-63 type model for the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Our results demonstrate the ability of the largest connected component of the network to anticipate abrupt changes associated with the system's oscillatory dynamics.

This research was conducted as part of the CAFE Innovative Training Network ( which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 813844.

How to cite: Ehstand, N., Donner, R. V., López, C., and Hernández-García, E.: Using complex networks to predict abrupt changes in oscillatory systems, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9237,, 2022.

EGU22-10031 | Presentations | NP2.4

Early Warning Signals For Climate Tipping Points: Beyond White Noise

Joseph Clarke, Chris Huntingford, Paul Ritchie, and Peter Cox

Tipping points in the Earth System could present challenges for society and ecosystems. The existence of tipping points also provides a major challenge for science, as the global warming thresholds at which they are triggered is highly uncertain. A theory of `Early Warning Signals' has been developed to 
warn of approaching tipping points. Although this theory uses generic features of a system approaching a Tipping Point, the conventional application of it relies on an implicit assumption that the system experiences white noise forcing. In the Earth system, this assumption is frequently invalid.
Here, we extend the theory of early warning signals to a system additively forced by an autocorrelated process. We do this by considering the spectral properties of both the system and also of the forcing.  We test our method on a simple dynamical system, before applying our method to a particular example from the Earth System: Amazon rainforest dieback. Using our new approach, we successfully forewarn of modelled rainforest collapse in a state-of-the-art CMIP6 Earth System Model.

How to cite: Clarke, J., Huntingford, C., Ritchie, P., and Cox, P.: Early Warning Signals For Climate Tipping Points: Beyond White Noise, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10031,, 2022.

EGU22-5500 | Presentations | NP2.4

Conditions for detecting early warning of tipping.

Peter Ditlevsen

The warning of tipping to an undesired state in a complex system, such as the climate, when a control parameter slowly approaching a critical value ($\lambda(t) \rightarrow \lambda_0$) relies on detecting early warning signals (EWS) in observations of the system. The primary EWS are increase in variance, due to loss of resilience, and increased autocorrelation due to critical slow down. They are statistical in nature, which implies that the reliability and statistical significance of the detection depends on the sample size in observations and the magnitude of the change away from the base value prior to the approach to the tipping point. Thus the possibility of providing useful early warning depends on the relative magnitude of several interdependent time scales in the problem. These are (a) the time before the critical value $\lambda_c$ is reached, (b) the (inverse) rate of approach to the bifurcation point (c) The size of the time window required to detect a significant change in the EWS and finally, (d) The escape time for noise-induced transition (prior to the bifurcation). Here we investigate under which conditions early warning of tipping can be provided. 

How to cite: Ditlevsen, P.: Conditions for detecting early warning of tipping., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5500,, 2022.

EGU22-12053 | Presentations | NP2.4

Fitting and extrapolation of transient behaviour in the presence of tipping points

Peter Ashwin, Robbin Bastiaansen, and Anna von der Heydt

One of the key problems in climate science is to understand the asymptotic behaviour of a climate model, such as Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS), from finite time computations of transients of a model that may be complex and realistic. Typically, this is done by fitting to some simpler model and then extrapolating to an asymptotic state. But how do transients behave in the presence of tipping points? More precisely, how much warning can one get of an approaching tipping point? In this work we highlight an illustrative example showing how a good fit of a transient to a simpler model does not necessarily guarantee a good extrapolation, and discuss some other implicit assumptions that may arise when estimating quantities such as ECS.

How to cite: Ashwin, P., Bastiaansen, R., and von der Heydt, A.: Fitting and extrapolation of transient behaviour in the presence of tipping points, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12053,, 2022.

The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the most important driver of interannual global climate variability and affects weather and climate in large parts of the world. Recently, we have developed a dynamical network approach for predicting the onset of El Niño events well before the spring predictability barrier. In the regarded climate network, the nodes are grid points in the Pacific, and the strengths of the links (teleconnections) between them are characterized by the cross-correlations of the atmospheric surface temperatures at the grid points. In the year before an El Niño event, the links between the eastern equatorial Pacific and the rest of the Pacific tend to strengthen such that the average link strength exceeds a certain threshold. This feature can be used to predict the onset of an El Niño with 73% probability and its absence with 90% probability. The p-value of the hindcasting and forecasting phase (1981-2021) for this performance based on random guessing with the climatological average is 4.6*10-5.

To assess whether this predictive feature is also present in coupled general circulation models, we apply our algorithm to historical and control runs of CMIP5 and CMIP6. We find that the predictive performance present in observational data is absent or very low in GCMs. The lack of this feature may explain the difficulties of GCMs to overcome the spring barrier.

How to cite: Ludescher, J., Bunde, A., and Schellnhuber, H. J.: El Niño forecasting by climate networks: comparison of the forecasting performance in observational data and in historical and controls runs of CMIP5 and CMIP6, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6329,, 2022.

EGU22-1171 | Presentations | NP2.4

Decomposing the Dynamics of the Lorenz 1963 model using Unstable Periodic Orbits: Averages, Transitions, and Quasi-Invariant Sets

Chiara Cecilia Maiocchi, Valerio Lucarini, and Andrey Gritsun

Unstable periodic orbits (UPOs) are a valuable tool for studying chaotic dynamical systems, as they allow one to distill their dynamical structure. We consider here the Lorenz 1963 model with the classic parameters' value. We investigate how a chaotic orbit can be approximated using a complete set of UPOs up to symbolic dynamics' period 14. At each instant, we rank the UPOs according to their proximity to the position of the orbit in the phase space. We study this process from two different perspectives. First, we find that longer period UPOs overwhelmingly provide the best local approximation to the trajectory. Second, we construct a finite-state Markov chain by studying the scattering of the orbit between the neighbourhood of the various UPOs. Each UPO and its neighbourhood are taken as a possible state of the system. Through the analysis of the subdominant eigenvectors of the corresponding stochastic matrix we provide a different interpretation of the mixing processes occurring in the system by taking advantage of the concept of quasi-invariant sets.

How to cite: Maiocchi, C. C., Lucarini, V., and Gritsun, A.: Decomposing the Dynamics of the Lorenz 1963 model using Unstable Periodic Orbits: Averages, Transitions, and Quasi-Invariant Sets, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1171,, 2022.

EGU22-269 | Presentations | NP2.4

Nonlinear Multiscale Modelling of Layering in Turbulent Stratified Fluids

Paul Pruzina, David Hughes, and Samuel Pegler

One of the most fascinating, and surprising, aspects of stratified turbulence is the spontaneous formation of density staircases, consisting of layers with nearly constant density, separated by interfaces with large density gradients. Within a staircase, there are two key lengthscales: the layer depth, and the interface thickness. Density staircases appear in regions of the ocean where the overall stratification is stable, and can be induced experimentally by stirring a fluid with a stable salt gradient. Staircases also appear as a result of double diffusive convection, in both oceanic and astrophysical contexts. Turbulent transport through staircases is enhanced compared to non-layered regions, so understanding their dynamics is crucial for modelling salt and heat transport.

Progress has been made numerically and experimentally, but the fundamental aspects of the problem are not yet fully understood. One leading theory is the Phillips Effect: layering occurs due to the dependence of the turbulent density flux on the density gradient. If the flux is a decreasing function of the gradient for a finite range of gradients, then negative diffusion causes perturbations to grow into systems of layers and interfaces.

An important extension of the Phillips theory is by Balmforth, Llewellyn-Smith and Young [J. Fluid Mech., 335:329-358, 1998], who developed a k-ε style model of stirred stratified flow in terms of horizontally averaged energy and buoyancy fields. These fields obey turbulent diffusion equations, with fluxes depending on a mixing length. The parameterisation of this lengthscale is key to the model, as it must pick out both layer and interface scales. This phenomonological model parameterises terms based on dimensional arguments, and neglects diffusion for simplicity. This model produces clear density staircases, which undergo mergers where two interfaces combine to form one. Layers take up the interior of the domain, while edge regions on either side expand inwards at a rate of t1/2 , removing layers from the outside in. Eventually the edge regions fill the entire domain, so the long time behaviour of the layers cannot be seen.

We present a similar model for stirred stratified layering derived directly from the Boussinesq equations, including molecular and viscous diffusion, so the model can be tailored to specific conditions to make realistic predictions. We show that the layered  region can evolve indefinitely through mergers, by taking fixed-buoyancy boundary conditions to prevent the expansion of the edge regions. We investigate the effects of diffusion on layer formation and evolution, finding that it acts to stabilise the system, both by decreasing the range of buoyancy gradients that are susceptible to the layering instability, and by decreasing the growth rates of perturbations. The lengthscale of the instability also increases, with larger viscosities and diffusivities producing deeper layers with less sharp interfaces.

This model can be used as a more general framework for layering phenomena. Extending to equations for energy, temperature and salinity can model double diffusive layering. More general parameterisations for the fluxes allow it to be adapted to other settings, including potential vorticity staircases in atmospheres and E×B staircases in plasmas.

How to cite: Pruzina, P., Hughes, D., and Pegler, S.: Nonlinear Multiscale Modelling of Layering in Turbulent Stratified Fluids, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-269,, 2022.

We run a moist shallow water model with stochastic mesoscale forcing, to simulate the effects of mesoscale forcing on exciting large-scale flow structures. In previous work, we showed how the mesoscale forcing excites a classical -5/3 eddy kinetic energy upscale cascade to planetary scales where the linear tropical modes such as Rossby, Yanai, Intertial Gravity, and Kelvin waves form. In this work, we focus on the arising zonal mean flow.

We present results from ensembles of a few hundred simulations indicating multiple-equilibria in the tropical flow, once latent heat release passes a certain threshold in the first 1000 days. Runs up to one hundred thousand days confirm these results and show abrupt transitions in the dry and moist shallow-water turbulence lasting several thousand days. We will discuss the transient nature of the mean flow and suggest a possible new mechanism for the transition of the wind at the equator to super-rotation in a moist environment.

How to cite: Schröttle, J. and Harnik, N.: Spontaneous transitions between sub- and superrotation in dry and moist shallow-water turbulence on the sphere, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1307,, 2022.

Heat waves result from large-scale stationary waves and have major impacts on the economy and mortality. However, the dynamical processes leading to and maintaining heat waves are still not well understood. Here we use a nonlinear stationary wave model (NSWM) to examine the role played by anomalous stationary waves and how they are forced during heat waves. We will discuss heat waves in Europe and Asia. We show that the NSWM can successfully reproduce the main features of the observed anomalous stationary waves in the upper troposphere. Our results indicate that the dynamics of heat waves are nonlinear, and transient momentum fluxes are the primary drivers of the observed anomalous stationary waves. We will also discuss the role of anomalous SSTs in influencing heat waves.

How to cite: Franzke, C. and Ma, Q.: The role of transient eddies and diabatic heating in the maintenance of heat waves: a nonlinear quasi-stationary wave perspective, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1571,, 2022.

EGU22-230 | Presentations | NP2.4

Eddy saturation in a reduced two-level model of the atmosphere

Melanie Kobras, Maarten H. P. Ambaum, and Valerio Lucarini

Eddy saturation describes the nonlinear mechanism in geophysical flows whereby, when average conditions are considered, direct forcing of the zonal flow increases the eddy kinetic energy, while the energy associated with the zonal flow does not increase. We present a minimal baroclinic model that exhibits complete eddy saturation. Starting from Phillips’ classical quasi-geostrophic two-level model on the beta channel of the mid-latitudes, we derive a reduced order model comprising of six ordinary differential equations including parameterised eddies. This model features two physically realisable steady state solutions, one a purely zonal flow and one where, additionally, finite eddy motions are present. As the baroclinic forcing in the form of diabatic heating is increased, the zonal solution loses stability and the eddy solution becomes attracting. After this bifurcation, the zonal components of the solution are independent of the baroclinic forcing, and the excess of heat in the low latitudes is efficiently transported northwards by finite eddies, in the spirit of baroclinic adjustment.

How to cite: Kobras, M., Ambaum, M. H. P., and Lucarini, V.: Eddy saturation in a reduced two-level model of the atmosphere, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-230,, 2022.

On a synoptic time scale, the northern mid-latitudes weather is dominated by the influence of the eddy-driven jet stream and its variability. The usually zonal jet can become mostly meridional during so-called blocking events, increasing the persistence of cyclonic and anticyclonic structures and therefore triggering extremes of temperature or precipitations. During those events, the jet takes unusual latitudinal positions, either northerly or southerly of its mean position. Previous research proposed theoretically derived 1D models of the jet stream to represent the dynamics of such events. Here, we take a data-driven approach using ERA5 reanalysis data over the period 1979-2019 to investigate the variability of the eddy-driven jet latitudinal position and wind speed variability. We show that shifts of the jet latitudinal position occur on a daily time scale and are preceded by a strong decrease of the jet zonal wind speed 2-3 days prior to the shift. We also show that the dynamics of the jet zonal wind speed can be modelled by a non-linear oscillator with stochastic perturbations. We combine those two results to propose a simple 1D model capable of representing the statistics and dynamics of blocking events of the eddy-driven jet stream. The model is based on two stochastic coupled non-linear lattices representing the jet latitudinal position and zonal wind speed. Our model is able to reproduce temporal and spatial characteristics of the jet and we highlight a potential link between the propagation of solitary waves along the jet and the occurrence of blocking events.

How to cite: Noyelle, R., Faranda, D., and Yiou, P.: Modeling the Northern eddy-driven jet stream position and wind speed variability with stochastic coupled non-linear lattices, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1250,, 2022.

EGU22-8745 | Presentations | NP2.4

Stochastic Modeling of Stratospheric Temperature

Mari Eggen, Kristina Rognlien Dahl, Sven Peter Näsholm, and Steffen Mæland

This study suggests a stochastic model for time series of daily zonal (circumpolar) mean stratospheric temperature at a given pressure level. It can be seen as an extension of previous studies which have developed stochastic models for surface temperatures. The proposed model is a combination of a deterministic seasonality function and a Lévy-driven multidimensional Ornstein–Uhlenbeck process, which is a mean-reverting stochastic process. More specifically, the deseasonalized temperature model is an order 4 continuous-time autoregressive model, meaning that the stratospheric temperature is modeled to be directly dependent on the temperature over four preceding days, while the model’s longer-range memory stems from its recursive nature. This study is based on temperature data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts ERA-Interim reanalysis model product. The residuals of the autoregressive model are well represented by normal inverse Gaussian-distributed random variables scaled with a time-dependent volatility function. A monthly variability in speed of mean reversion of stratospheric temperature is found, hence suggesting a generalization of the fourth-order continuous-time autoregressive model. A stochastic stratospheric temperature model, as proposed in this paper, can be used in geophysical analyses to improve the understanding of stratospheric dynamics. In particular, such characterizations of stratospheric temperature may be a step towards greater insight in modeling and prediction of large-scale middle atmospheric events, such as sudden stratospheric warming. Through stratosphere–troposphere coupling, the stratosphere is hence a source of extended tropospheric predictability at weekly to monthly timescales, which is of great importance in several societal and industry sectors.

How to cite: Eggen, M., Rognlien Dahl, K., Näsholm, S. P., and Mæland, S.: Stochastic Modeling of Stratospheric Temperature, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8745,, 2022.

EGU22-4858 | Presentations | NP2.4

Data-driven stochastic model of multi-scale climate dynamics

Alexander Feigin, Andrey Gavrilov, and Evgeny Loskutov

The directional dependencies of different climate indices are explored using the Liang-Kleeman information flow in order to disentangle the influence of certain regions over the globe on the development of low-frequency variability of others. Seven key indices (the sea-surface temperature in El-Niño 3.4 region, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the North Pacific America pattern, the Arctic Oscillation, the Pacifid Decadal Oscillation, the Tropical North Atlantic index), together with three local time series located in Western Europe (Belgium), are selected. The analysis is performed on time scales from a month to 5 years by using a sliding window as filtering procedure.

A few key new results on the remote influence emerge: (i) The Arctic Oscillation plays a key role at short time (monthly) scales on the dynamics of the North Pacific and North Atlantic; (ii) the North Atlantic Oscillation is playing a global role at long time scales (several years); (iii) the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is indeed slaved to other influences; (iv) the local observables over Western Europe influence the variability on the ocean basins on long time scales. These results further illustrate the power of the Liang-Kleeman information flow in disentangling the dynamical dependencies.

How to cite: Vannitsem, S. and Liang, X. S.: Dynamical dependencies at monthly and interannual time scales in the Climate system: Study of the North Pacific and Atlantic regions, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1994,, 2022.

EGU22-7496 | Presentations | NP2.4

Information flow in complex high-dimensional systems

Mart Ratas and Peter Jan van Leeuwen
Knowledge on how information flows in complex Earth system models would be of great benefit for our understanding of the system Earth and its components. In principle the Kolmogorov or Fokker-Planck equation can be used to estimate the evolution of the probability density. However, this is not very practical since this equation can only be solved in very low dimensional systems. Because of that, mutual information and information flow have been used to infer information in complex systems. This usually involves integration over all state variables, which is generally numerically too expensive. Here we introduce an exact but much simpler way to find how information flows in numerical solutions that only involves integrations over the local state variables. It allows to infer both magnitude and direction of the information flow. The method is based on ensemble integrations of the system, but because the calculations are local the ensemble size can remain small, of  O(100). 
In this talk we will explain the methodology and demonstrate its use on the highly nonlinear Kumamoto-Sivashinsky model using a range of model sizes and exploring both 1-dimensional and multi-dimensional configurations. 

How to cite: Ratas, M. and van Leeuwen, P. J.: Information flow in complex high-dimensional systems, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7496,, 2022.

NP3.2 – Climate Variability Across Scales and Multifractals in Urban Geosciences

EGU22-1157 | Presentations | NP3.2

Evaluation of hydrological cycle intensification in response to temperature variability

Shailendra Pratap and Yannis Markonis

As the climate warms, the hydrological cycle is expected to intensify. Also, in response to climate warming, hydrologic sensitivity is a major concern for the coming decades. Here, we aim to understand the relationship between hydroclimate and temperature variability during the past. The periods selected for investigation are the Mid-Miocene Climate Optimum (MMCO), the Eemian Interglacial (EI) Stage, the Last Glacial Maximum, the Heinrich and Dansgaard–Oeschger Events, the Bølling-Allerød, the Younger Dryas, the 8.2 ka event, the Medieval Climate Anomaly, and the Little Ice Age. In general, the proxy records suggest that the hydrological cycle is intensified under warmer climate conditions and weakened over colder periods. However, the spatial signals are not uniform worldwide. For instance, during the MMCO and EI, the global temperature was higher than the pre-industrial time; some regions were wetter, (northern Eurasia and Sahara Arabian desert), while others were more arid (Argentina, Bolivia, and Africa). Therefore, the hypothesis “a warmer climate is a wetter climate” could be considered as a simplified pattern of regional changes as a result of global warming. The reason is that the water cycle response is spatiotemporally not similar. Due to its wide distribution, hydroclimate variability is difficult to quantify on a regional, continental, and global scale. In this context, investigation of paleo-hydroclimatic changes, specifically during the warm periods, could provide relevant insights into the present and future climate.

How to cite: Pratap, S. and Markonis, Y.: Evaluation of hydrological cycle intensification in response to temperature variability, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1157,, 2022.