Chekroun, Mickaël D., Jeroen S.W. Lamb, Christian J. Pangerl, and Martin Rasmussen. Submitted. “A Girsanov approach to slow parameterizing manifolds in the presence of noise”. arXiv's link Abstract
We consider a three-dimensional slow-fast system with quadratic nonlinearity and additive noise. The associated deterministic system of this stochastic differential equation (SDE) exhibits a periodic orbit and a slow manifold. The deterministic slow manifold can be viewed as an approximate parameterization of the fast variable of the SDE in terms of the slow variables. In other words the fast variable of the slow-fast system is approximately "slaved" to the slow variables via the slow manifold. We exploit this fact to obtain a two dimensional reduced model for the original stochastic system, which results in the Hopf-normal form with additive noise. Both, the original as well as the reduced system admit ergodic invariant measures describing their respective long-time behaviour. We will show that for a suitable metric on a subset of the space of all probability measures on phase space, the discrepancy between the marginals along the radial component of both invariant measures can be upper bounded by a constant and a quantity describing the quality of the parameterization. An important technical tool we use to arrive at this result is Girsanov's theorem, which allows us to modify the SDEs in question in a way that preserves transition probabilities. This approach is then also applied to reduced systems obtained through stochastic parameterizing manifolds, which can be viewed as generalized notions of deterministic slow manifolds.
Wang, Peng, James C. McWilliams, Yusuke Uchiyama, Mickaël D. Chekroun, and Daling Li Yi. 2020. “Effects of wave streaming and wave variations on nearshore wave-driven circulation.” J. Phys. Oceanograhy 50 (10): 3025-3041. Publisher's Version Abstract

Wave streaming is a near-bottom mean current induced by the bottom drag on surface gravity waves. Wave variations include the variations in wave heights, periods, and directions. Here we use numerical simulations to study the effects of wave streaming and wave variations on the circulation that is driven by incident surface waves. Wave streaming induces an inner-shelf Lagrangian overturning circulation, which links the inner shelf with the surf zone. Wave variations cause along shore-variable wave breaking that produces surf eddies; however, such eddies can be suppressed by wave streaming. Moreover, with passive tracers we show that wave streaming and wave variations together enhance the cross- shelf material transport.

Chekroun, Mickaël D., and Honghu Liu. 2020. “Optimal management of harvested population at the edge of extinction.” Advances in Nonlinear Biological Systems: Modeling and Optimal Control, J. Kotas (Ed.)., 11: 35-72. AIMS Applied Mathematics Book series. ISBN-10 : 1-60133-025-1, ISBN-13 : 978-1-60133-025-3. arXiv version Abstract

Optimal control of harvested population at the edge of extinction in an unprotected area, is considered. The underlying population dynamics is governed by a Kolmogorov-Petrovsky-Piskunov equation with a harvesting term and space-dependent coefficients while the control consists of transporting individuals from a natural reserve. The nonlinear optimal control problem is approximated by means of a Galerkin scheme. Convergence result about the optimal controlled solutions and error estimates between the corresponding optimal controls, are derived. For certain parameter regimes, nearly optimal solutions are calculated from a simple logistic ordinary differential equation (ODE) with a harvesting term, obtained as a Galerkin approximation of the original partial differential equation (PDE) model. A critical allowable fraction of the reserve's population is inferred from the reduced logistic ODE with a harvesting term. This estimate obtained from the reduced model allows us to distinguish sharply between survival and extinction for the full PDE itself, and thus to declare whether a control strategy leads to success or failure for the corresponding rescue operation while ensuring survival in the reserve's population. In dynamical terms, this result illustrates that although continuous dependence on the forcing may hold on finite-time intervals, a high sensitivity in the system's response may occur in the asymptotic time. We believe that this work, by its generality, establishes bridges interesting to explore between optimal control problems of ODEs with a harvesting term and their PDE counterpart.


Chekroun, Mickaël D., Ilan Koren, and Honghu Liu. 2020. “Efficient reduction for diagnosing Hopf bifurcation in delay differential systems: Applications to cloud-rain models.” Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science 30: 053130 . Publisher's Version Abstract

By means of Galerkin-Koornwinder (GK) approximations, an efficient reduction approach to the Stuart-Landau (SL) normal form and center manifold is presented for a broad class of nonlinear systems of delay differential equations (DDEs) that covers the cases of discrete as well as distributed delays. The focus is on the Hopf bifurcation as the consequence of the critical equilibrium's destabilization resulting from an eigenpair crossing the imaginary axis. The nature of the resulting Hopf bifurcation (super- or subcritical) is then characterized by the inspection of a Lyapunov coefficient easy to determine based on the model's coefficients and delay parameter.  We believe that our approach, which does not rely too much on functional analysis considerations but more on analytic calculations, is suitable  to concrete situations arising in physics applications.

Thus, using this GK approach to the Lyapunov coefficient and SL normal form, the occurrence of Hopf bifurcations in the cloud-rain delay models of Koren and Feingold (KF) on one hand, and Koren, Tziperman and Feingold (KTF), on the other, are analyzed. Noteworthy is the existence for the KF model of large regions of the parameter space for which subcritical and supercritical Hopf bifurcations coexist. These regions are determined in particular by the intensity of the KF model's nonlinear effects. ``Islands'' of supercritical Hopf bifurcations are shown to exist within a subcritical Hopf bifurcation ``sea;'' these islands being bordered by double-Hopf bifurcations occurring when the linearized dynamics at the critical equilibrium exhibit two pairs of purely imaginary eigenvalues. 

Chekroun, Mickaël D., Youngjoon Hong, and Roger Temam. 2020. “Enriched numerical scheme for singularly perturbed barotropic quasi-geostrophic equations.” Journal of Computational Physics 416: 109493. Publisher's Version Abstract

Singularly perturbed barotropic Quasi-Geostrophic (QG) models are considered. A boundary layer analysis is presented and the convergence of solutions is studied. Based on the rigorous analysis of the underlying boundary layer problems, an enriched spectral method (ESM) is proposed to solve the QG models. It consists of adding to the Legendre basis functions, analytically-determined boundary layer elements called “correctors," with the aim of capturing most of the complex behavior occurring near the boundary with such elements. Through detailed numerical experiments, it is shown that high-accuracy is often reached by the ESM scheme with only a relatively low number N of basis functions, when compared to approximations based on spectral elements which typically display non-physical oscillations throughout the physical domain, for such values of N. The key to success relies on our analytically-based boundary layer elements, which, due to their highly nonlinear nature, are able to capture most of the steep gradients occurring in the problem’s solution, near the boundary. Our numerical results include multi-dimensional as well as time-dependent problems.

Tantet, Alexis, Mickaël D. Chekroun, Henk A. Dijkstra, and J. David Neelin. 2020. “Ruelle-Pollicott Resonances of Stochastic Systems in Reduced State Space. Part II: Stochastic Hopf Bifurcation.” Journal of Statistical Physics 179: 1403–1448. Publisher's Version Abstract

The spectrum of the generator (Kolmogorov operator) of a diffusion process, referred to as the Ruelle-Pollicott (RP) spectrum, provides a detailed characterization of correlation functions and power spectra of stochastic systems via decomposition formulas in terms of RP resonances; see Part I of this contribution (Chekroun et al. in Theory J Stat., 2020). Stochastic analysis techniques relying on the theory of Markov semigroups for the study of the RP spectrum and a rigorous reduction method is presented in Part I Chekroun et al. (2020). This framework is here applied to study a stochastic Hopf bifurcation in view of characterizing the statistical properties of nonlinear oscillators perturbed by noise, depending on their stability. In light of the Hörmander theorem, it is first shown that the geometry of the unperturbed limit cycle, in particular its isochrons, i.e., the leaves of the stable manifold of the limit cycle generalizing the notion of phase, is essential to understand the effect of the noise and the phenomenon of phase diffusion. In addition, it is shown that the RP spectrum has a spectral gap, even at the bifurcation point, and that correlations decay exponentially fast. Explicit small-noise expansions of the RP eigenvalues and eigenfunctions are then obtained, away from the bifurcation point, based on the knowledge of the linearized deterministic dynamics and the characteristics of the noise. These formulas allow one to understand how the interaction of the noise with the deterministic dynamics affect the decay of correlations. Numerical results complement the study of the RP spectrum at the bifurcation point, revealing useful scaling laws. The analysis of the Markov semigroup for stochastic bifurcations is thus promising in providing a complementary approach to the more geometric random dynamical system (RDS) approach. This approach is not limited to low-dimensional systems and the reduction method presented in Chekroun et al. (2020) is applied to a stochastic model relevant to climate dynamics in the third part of this contribution (Tantet et al. in J Stat Phys., 2019).

Chekroun, Mickaël D., A. Tantet, Henk A. Dijkstra, and J. David Neelin. 2020. “Ruelle-Pollicott Resonances of Stochastic Systems in Reduced State Space. Part I: Theory.” Journal of Statistical Physics 179: 1366–1402. Publisher's Version Abstract

A theory of Ruelle–Pollicott (RP) resonances for stochastic differential systems is presented. These resonances are defined as the eigenvalues of the generator (Kolmogorov operator) of a given stochastic system. By relying on the theory of Markov semigroups, decomposition formulas of correlation functions and power spectral densities (PSDs) in terms of RP resonances are then derived. These formulas describe, for a broad class of stochastic differential equations (SDEs), how the RP resonances characterize the decay of correlations as well as the signal’s oscillatory components manifested by peaks in the PSD. It is then shown that a notion reduced RP resonances can be rigorously defined, as soon as the dynamics is partially observed within a reduced state space V. These reduced resonances are obtained from the spectral elements of reduced Markov operators acting on functions of the state space V, and can be estimated from series. They inform us about the spectral elements of some coarse-grained version of the SDE generator. When the time-lag at which the transitions are collected from partial observations in V, is either sufficiently small or large, it is shown that the reduced RP resonances approximate the (weak) RP resonances of the generator of the conditional expectation in V, i.e. the optimal reduced system in V obtained by averaging out the contribution of the unobserved variables. The approach is illustrated on a stochastic slow-fast system for which it is shown that the reduced RP resonances allow for a good reconstruction of the correlation functions and PSDs, even when the time-scale separation is weak. The companions articles, Part II and Part III, deal with further practical aspects of the theory presented in this contribution. One important byproduct consists of the diagnosis usefulness of stochastic dynamics that RP resonances provide. This is illustrated in the case of a stochastic Hopf bifurcation in Part II. There, it is shown that such a bifurcation has a clear manifestation in terms of a geometric organization of the RP resonances along discrete parabolas in the left half plane. Such geometric features formed by (reduced) RP resonances are extractable from time series and allow thus for providing an unambiguous “signature” of nonlinear oscillations embedded within a stochastic background. By relying then on the theory of reduced RP resonances presented in this contribution, Part III addresses the question of detection and characterization of such oscillations in a high-dimensional stochastic system, namely the Cane–Zebiak model of El Niño-Southern Oscillation subject to noise modeling fast atmospheric fluctuations.

Chekroun, Mickaël D., Honghu Liu, and James C. McWilliams. 2019. “Variational approach to closure of nonlinear dynamical systems: Autonomous case.” Journal of Statistical Physics 179: 1073–1160. Publisher's Version Abstract

A general, variational approach to derive low-order reduced systems for nonlinear systems subject to an autonomous forcing, is introduced. The approach is based on the concept of optimal parameterizing manifold (PM) that substitutes the more classical notion of slow manifold or invariant manifold when breakdown of slaving occurs. An optimal PM provides the manifold that describes the average motion of the neglected scales as a function of the resolved scales and allows, in principle, for determining the best vector field of the reduced state space that describes e.g. the dynamics' slow motion. The underlying optimal parameterizations are approximated by dynamically-based formulas derived analytically from the original equations. These formulas are contingent upon the determination of only a few (scalar) parameters obtained from minimization of cost functionals, depending on training dataset collected from direct numerical simulation. In practice, a training period of length comparable to a characteristic recurrence or decorrelation time of the dynamics, is sufficient for the efficient derivation of optimized parameterizations. Applications to the closure of low-order models of Atmospheric Primitive Equations and Rayleigh-Bénard convection are then discussed. The approach is finally illustrated --- in the context of the Kuramoto-Sivashinsky turbulence --- as providing efficient closures without slaving for a cutoff scale kc placed within the inertial range and the reduced state space is just spanned by the unstable modes, without inclusion of any stable modes whatsoever. The underlying optimal PMs obtained by our variational approach are far from slaving and allow for remedying the excessive backscatter transfer of energy to the low modes encountered by classical invariant manifold approximations in their standard forms when the latter are used at this cutoff wavelength.

Cao, Yining, Mickaël D. Chekroun, Roger Temam, and Aimin Huang. 2019. “Mathematical analysis of the Jin-Neelin model of El Nino-Southern-Oscillation.” Chinese Annals of Mathematics, Series B 40 (1): 1–38. Publisher's Version Abstract


The Jin-Neelin model for the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO for short) is considered for which the authors establish existence and uniqueness of global solutions in time over an unbounded channel domain. The result is proved for initial data and forcing that are sufficiently small. The smallness conditions involve in particular key physical parameters of the model such as those that control the travel time of the equatorial waves and the strength of feedback due to vertical-shear currents and upwelling; central mechanisms in ENSO dynamics.

From the mathematical view point, the system appears as the coupling of a linear shallow water system and a nonlinear heat equation. Because of the very different nature of the two components of the system, the authors find it convenient to prove the existence of solution by semi-discretization in time and utilization of a fractional step scheme. The main idea consists of handling the coupling between the oceanic and temperature components by dividing the time interval into small sub-intervals of length k and on each sub-interval to solve successively the oceanic component, using the temperature T calculated on the previous sub-interval, to then solve the sea-surface temperature (SST for short) equation on the current sub-interval. The passage to the limit as k tends to zero is ensured via a priori estimates derived under the aforementioned smallness conditions.


Tantet, Alexis, Mickaël D. Chekroun, J. David Neelin, and Henk A. Dijkstra. 2019. “Ruelle–Pollicott Resonances of Stochastic Systems in Reduced State Space. Part III: Application to the Cane–Zebiak Model of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation.” Journal of Statistical Physics 179: 1449–1474. Publisher's Version Abstract

The response of a low-frequency mode of climate variability, El Niño–Southern Oscillation, to stochastic forcing is studied in a high-dimensional model of intermediate complexity, the fully-coupled Cane–Zebiak model (Zebiak and Cane 1987), from the spectral analysis of Markov operators governing the decay of correlations and resonances in the power spectrum. Noise-induced oscillations excited before a supercritical Hopf bifurcation are examined by means of complex resonances, the reduced Ruelle–Pollicott (RP) resonances, via a numerical application of the reduction approach of the first part of this contribution (Chekroun et al. 2019) to model simulations. The oscillations manifest themselves as peaks in the power spectrum which are associated with RP resonances organized along parabolas, as the bifurcation is neared. These resonances and the associated eigenvectors are furthermore well described by the small-noise expansion formulas obtained by Gaspard (2002) and made explicit in the second part of this contribution (Tantet et al. 2019). Beyond the bifurcation, the spectral gap between the imaginary axis and the real part of the leading resonances quantifies the diffusion of phase of the noise-induced oscillations and can be computed from the linearization of the model and from the diffusion matrix of the noise. In this model, the phase diffusion coefficient thus gives a measure of the predictability of oscillatory events representing ENSO. ENSO events being known to be locked to the seasonal cycle, these results should be extended to the non-autonomous case. More generally, the reduction approach theorized in Chekroun et al. (2019), complemented by our understanding of the spectral properties of reference systems such as the stochastic Hopf bifurcation, provides a promising methodology for the analysis of low-frequency variability in high-dimensional stochastic systems.

Pierini, Stefano, Mickaël D. Chekroun, and Michael Ghil. 2018. “The onset of chaos in nonautonomous dissipative dynamical systems: a low-order ocean-model case study.” Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics 25: 671-692. Publisher's Version Abstract

A four-dimensional nonlinear spectral ocean model is used to study the transition to chaos induced by periodic forcing in systems that are nonchaotic in the autonomous limit. The analysis relies on the construction of the system’s pullback attractors (PBAs) through ensemble simulations, based on a large number of initial states in the remote past. A preliminary analysis of the autonomous system is carried out by investigating its bifurcation diagram, as well as by calculating a metric that measures the mean distance between two initially nearby trajectories, along with the system’s entropy. We find that nonchaotic attractors can still exhibit sensitive dependence on initial data over some time interval; this apparent paradox is resolved by noting that the dependence only concerns the phase of the periodic trajectories, and that it disappears once the latter have converged onto the attractor. The periodically forced system, analyzed by the same methods, yields periodic or chaotic PBAs depending on the periodic forcing’s amplitude ε. A new diagnostic method – based on the cross-correlation between two initially nearby trajectories – is proposed to characterize the transition between the two types of behavior. Transition to chaos is found to occur abruptly at a critical value εc and begins with the intermittent emergence of periodic oscillations with distinct phases. The same diagnostic method is finally shown to be a useful tool for autonomous and aperiodically forced systems as well.

Kondrashov, Dmitri, Mickaël D. Chekroun, and Michael Ghil. 2018. “Data-adaptive harmonic decomposition and prediction of Arctic sea ice extent.” Dynamics and Statistics of the Climate System 3 (1): 1. Publisher's Version Abstract

Decline in the Arctic sea ice extent (SIE) is an area of active scientific research with profound socio-economic implications. Of particular interest are reliable methods for SIE forecasting on subseasonal time scales, in particular from early summer into fall, when sea ice coverage in the Arctic reaches its minimum. Here, we apply the recent data-adaptive harmonic (DAH) technique of Chekroun and Kondrashov, (2017), Chaos, 27 for the description, modeling and prediction of the Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent (MASIE, 2006–2016) data set. The DAH decomposition of MASIE identifies narrowband, spatio-temporal data-adaptive modes over four key Arctic regions. The time evolution of the DAH coefficients of these modes can be modelled and predicted by using a set of coupled Stuart–Landau stochastic differential equations that capture the modes’ frequencies and amplitude modulation in time. Retrospective forecasts show that our resulting multilayer Stuart–Landau model (MSLM) is quite skilful in predicting September SIE compared to year-to-year persistence; moreover, the DAH–MSLM approach provided accurate real-time prediction that was highly competitive for the 2016–2017 Sea Ice Outlook.

Kondrashov, Dmitri, Mickaël D. Chekroun, and Pavel Berloff. 2018. “Multiscale Stuart-Landau Emulators: Application to Wind-Driven Ocean Gyres.” Fluids 3 (1): 21. Publisher's Version Abstract

The multiscale variability of the ocean circulation due to its nonlinear dynamics remains a big challenge for theoretical understanding and practical ocean modeling. This paper demonstrates how the data-adaptive harmonic (DAH) decomposition and inverse stochastic modeling techniques introduced in (Chekroun and Kondrashov, (2017), Chaos, 27), allow for reproducing with high fidelity the main statistical properties of multiscale variability in a coarse-grained eddy-resolving ocean flow. This fully-data-driven approach relies on extraction of frequency-ranked time-dependent coefficients describing the evolution of spatio-temporal DAH modes (DAHMs) in the oceanic flow data. In turn, the time series of these coefficients are efficiently modeled by a family of low-order stochastic differential equations (SDEs) stacked per frequency, involving a fixed set of predictor functions and a small number of model coefficients. These SDEs take the form of stochastic oscillators, identified as multilayer Stuart–Landau models (MSLMs), and their use is justified by relying on the theory of Ruelle–Pollicott resonances. The good modeling skills shown by the resulting DAH-MSLM emulators demonstrates the feasibility of using a network of stochastic oscillators for the modeling of geophysical turbulence. In a certain sense, the original quasiperiodic Landau view of turbulence, with the amendment of the inclusion of stochasticity, may be well suited to describe turbulence.

Decadal DAH mode


Chekroun, Mickaël D. 2018. “Topological instabilities in families of semilinear parabolic problems subject to nonlinear perturbations.” Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems B, doi: 10.3934/dcdsb.2018075. Publisher's version Abstract

In this article it is proved that the dynamical properties of a broad class of semilinear parabolic problems are sensitive to arbitrarily small but smooth perturbations of the nonlinear term, when the spatial dimension is either equal to one or two. This topological instability is shown to result from a local deformation of the global bifurcation diagram associated with the corresponding elliptic problems. Such a deformation is shown to systematically occur via the creation of either a multiple-point or a new fold-point on this diagram when an appropriate small perturbation is applied to the nonlinear term. More precisely, it is shown that for a broad class of nonlinear elliptic problems, one can always find an arbitrary small perturbation of the nonlinear term, that generates a local S on the bifurcation diagram whereas the latter is e.g. monotone when no perturbation is applied; substituting thus a single solution by several ones. Such an increase in the local multiplicity of the solutions to the elliptic problem results then into a topological instability for the corresponding parabolic problem.
The rigorous proof of the latter instability result requires though to revisit the classical concept of topological equivalence to encompass important cases for the applications such as semi-linear parabolic problems for which the semigroup may exhibit non-global dissipative properties, allowing for the coexistence of blow-up regions and local attractors in the phase space; cases that arise e.g. in combustion theory. A revised framework of topological robustness is thus introduced in that respect within which the main topological instability result is then proved for continuous, locally Lipschitz but not necessarily C1 nonlinear terms, that prevent in particular the use of linearization techniques, and for which the family of semigroups may exhibit non-dissipative properties.

Kondrashov, Dmitri, and Mickaël D. Chekroun. 2018. “Data-adaptive harmonic analysis and modeling of solar wind-magnetosphere coupling.” Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 177: 179-189. Publisher's Version Abstract

The solar wind-magnetosphere coupling is studied by new data-adaptive harmonic (DAH) decomposition approach for the spectral analysis and inverse modeling of multivariate time observations of complex nonlinear dynamical systems. DAH identifies frequency-based modes of interactions in the combined dataset of Auroral Electrojet (AE) index and solar wind forcing. The time evolution of these modes can be very effi- ciently simulated by using systems of stochastic differential equations (SDEs) that are stacked per frequency and formed by coupled Stuart-Landau oscillators. These systems of SDEs capture the modes’ frequencies as well as their amplitude modulations, and yield, in turn, an accurate modeling of the AE index’ statistical properties.


Kondrashov, Dmitri, Mickaël D. Chekroun, Xiaojun Yuan, and Michael Ghil. 2018. “Data-adaptive harmonic decomposition and stochastic modeling of Arctic sea ice.” Advances in Nonlinear Geosciences, A. Tsonis, 179-205. Springer. Publisher's Version Abstract

We present and apply a novel method of describing and modeling complex multivariate datasets in the geosciences and elsewhere. Data-adaptive harmonic (DAH) decomposition identifies narrow-banded, spatio-temporal modes (DAHMs) whose frequencies are not necessarily integer multiples of each other. The evolution in time of the DAH coefficients (DAHCs) of these modes can be modeled using a set of coupled Stuart-Landau stochastic differential equations that capture the modes’ frequencies and amplitude modulation in time and space. This methodology is applied first to a challenging synthetic dataset and then to Arctic sea ice concentration (SIC) data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The 36-year (1979–2014) dataset is parsimoniously and accurately described by our DAHMs. Preliminary results indicate that simulations using our multilayer Stuart-Landau model (MSLM) of SICs are stable for much longer time intervals, beyond the end of the twenty-first century, and exhibit interdecadal variability consistent with past historical records. Preliminary results indicate that this MSLM is quite skillful in predicting September sea ice extent.

Chekroun, Mickaël D., Axel Kröner, and Honghu Liu. 2018. “Galerkin approximations for the optimal control of nonlinear delay differential equations.” Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman Equations. Numerical Methods and Applications in Optimal Control, D. Kalise, K. Kunisch, and Z. Rao, 21: 61-96. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. Publisher's version Abstract

Optimal control problems of nonlinear delay  equations (DDEs) are considered for which we propose a general Galerkin approximation scheme built from Koornwinder polynomials. Error estimates for the resulting Galerkin-Koornwinder approximations to the optimal control and the value function, are derived for a broad class of cost functionals and nonlinear DDEs. The approach is illustrated on a delayed logistic equation set not far away from its Hopf bifurcation point in the parameter space. In this case, we show that low-dimensional controls for a standard quadratic cost functional can be efficiently computed from Galerkin-Koornwinder approximations to reduce at a nearly optimal cost the oscillation amplitude displayed by the DDE's solution. Optimal controls computed from the Pontryagin's maximum principle (PMP) and the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman equation (HJB) associated with the corresponding ODE systems, are shown to provide numerical solutions in good agreement. It is finally argued that the value function computed from the  corresponding reduced HJB equation provides a good approximation of that obtained from the full HJB equation.

Value function solving the reduced HJB equation

Chekroun, Mickaël D., Michael Ghil, and J. David Neelin. 2018. “Pullback attractor crisis in a delay differential ENSO model.” Advances in Nonlinear Geosciences, A. Tsonis, 1-33. Springer. Publisher's version Abstract

We study the pullback attractor (PBA) of a seasonally forced delay differential model for the El Ni\~no--Southern Oscillation (ENSO); the model has two delays, associated with a positive and a negative feedback. The control parameter is the intensity of the positive feedback and the PBA undergoes a crisis that consists of a chaos-to-chaos transition. Since  the PBA is dominated by chaotic behavior, we refer to it as a strange PBA. Both chaotic regimes correspond to an overlapping of resonances but the two differ by the properties of this overlapping. The crisis manifests itself by a brutal change not only in the size but also in the shape of the PBA. The change is associated with the sudden disappearance of the most extreme warm (El Ni\~no) and cold (La Ni\~na) events, as one crosses the critical parameter value from below.  The analysis reveals that regions of the strange PBA that survive the crisis are those populated by the most probable states of the system. These regions are those that exhibit robust foldings with respect to perturbations.  The effect of noise on this phase-and-paramater space behavior is then discussed. It is shown that the chaos-to-chaos crisis may or may not survive the addition of small noise to the evolution equation, depending on how the noise enters the latter.



Chekroun, Mickaël D., and Dmitri Kondrashov. 2017. “Data-adaptive harmonic spectra and multilayer Stuart-Landau models.” Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science 27 (9): 093110. Publisher's version Abstract

Harmonic decompositions of multivariate time series are considered for which we adopt an integral operator approach with  
periodic semigroup kernels. Spectral decomposition theorems are derived that cover the important cases of two-time statistics drawn from a mixing invariant measure. 

The corresponding eigenvalues can be grouped per Fourier frequency, and are actually given, at each frequency, as the singular values of a cross-spectral matrix depending on the data. These eigenvalues obey furthermore a variational principle that allows us to define naturally a multidimensional power spectrum.  The eigenmodes, as far as they are concerned, exhibit a data-adaptive character manifested in their phase which allows us in turn to define a multidimensional phase spectrum.

The resulting data-adaptive harmonic (DAH) modes allow for reducing the data-driven modeling effort to elemental models stacked per frequency, only coupled at different frequencies by the same noise realization. In particular, the DAH decomposition extracts time-dependent coefficients stacked by Fourier frequency which can be efficiently modeled---provided the decay of temporal correlations is sufficiently well-resolved---within a class of multilayer stochastic models (MSMs) tailored here on stochastic Stuart-Landau oscillators.

Applications to the Lorenz 96 model and to a stochastic heat equation driven by a space-time white noise, are considered. In both cases, the DAH decomposition allows for an extraction of spatio-temporal modes revealing key features of the dynamics in the embedded phase space. The multilayer Stuart-Landau models (MSLMs) are shown to successfully model the typical patterns of the corresponding time-evolving fields, as well as their statistics of occurrence.

Chekroun, Mickaël D., Axel Kröner, and Honghu Liu. 2017. “Galerkin approximations of nonlinear optimal control problems in Hilbert spaces.” Electronic Journal of Differential Equations 2017 (189): 1-40. Publisher's version Abstract

Nonlinear optimal control problems in Hilbert spaces are considered for which we derive approximation theorems for Galerkin approximations. Approximation theorems are available in the literature. The originality of our approach
relies on the identification of a set of natural assumptions that allows us to deal with a broad class of nonlinear evolution equations and cost functionals for which we derive convergence of the value functions associated with the optimal control problem of the Galerkin approximations. This convergence result holds for a broad class of nonlinear control strategies as well. In particular, we show that the framework applies to the optimal control of semilinear heat equations posed on a general compact manifold without boundary.   The framework is then shown to apply to geoengineering and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions formulated here in terms of optimal control of energy balance climate models posed on the sphere S2.