# Response to Perturbations

Detection and attribution studies have played a major role in shaping contemporary climate science and have provided key motivations supporting global climate policy negotiations. Their goal is to associate unambiguously observed patterns of climate change with anthropogenic and natural forcings acting as drivers through the so-called optimal fingerprinting method. We show here how response theory for nonequilibrium systems provides the physical and dynamical foundations behind optimal fingerprinting for the climate change detection and attribution problem, including the notion of causality used for attribution purposes. We clearly frame assumptions, strengths, and potential pitfalls of the method. Additionally, we clarify the mathematical framework behind the degenerate fingerprinting method that leads to early warning indicators for tipping points. Finally, we extend the optimal fingerprinting method to the regime of nonlinear response. Our findings indicate that optimal fingerprinting for detection and attribution can be applied to virtually any stochastic system undergoing time-dependent forcing.

*modus operandi*, the backward integration time is the key parameter to select per scale/variable to parameterize in order to derive the relevant parameterizations which are doomed to be no longer exact away from instability onset due to the breakdown of slaving typically encountered, e.g., for chaotic regimes. The selection criterion is then made through data-informed minimization of a least-square parameterization defect. It is thus shown through optimization of the backward integration time per scale/variable to parameterize, that skilled OPM reduced systems can be derived for predicting with accuracy higher-order critical transitions or catastrophic tipping phenomena, while training our parameterization formulas for regimes prior to these transitions takes place.

Nonlinear time delay systems produce inherently delay-induced periodic oscillations, which are, however, too idealistic compared to observations. We exhibit a unified stochastic framework to systematically rectify such oscillations into oscillatory patterns with enriched temporal variabilities through generic, nonlinear responses to stochastic perturbations. Two paradigms of noise-driven chaos in high dimension are identified, fundamentally different from chaos triggered by parameter-space noise. Noteworthy is a low-dimensional stretch-and-fold mechanism, leading to stochastic strange attractors exhibiting horseshoe-like structures mirroring turbulent transport of passive tracers. The other is high-dimensional , with noise acting along the critical eigendirection and transmitted to “deeper” stable modes through nonlinearity, leading to stochastic attractors exhibiting swarm-like behaviors with power-law and scale break properties. The theory is applied to cloud delay models to parameterize missing physics such as intermittent rain and Lagrangian turbulent effects. The stochastically rectified model reproduces with fidelity complex temporal variabilities of open-cell oscillations exhibited by high-end cloud simulations.

Noise modifies the behavior of chaotic systems in both quantitative and qualitative ways. To study these modifications, the present work compares the topological structure of the deterministic Lorenz (1963) attractor with its stochastically perturbed version. The deterministic attractor is well known to be “strange” but it is frozen in time. When driven by multiplicative noise, the Lorenz model’s random attractor (LORA) evolves in time. Algebraic topology sheds light on the most striking effects involved in such an evolution. In order to examine the topological structure of the snapshots that approximate LORA, we use branched manifold analysis through homologies—a technique originally introduced to characterize the topological structure of deterministically chaotic flows—which is being extended herein to nonlinear noise-driven systems. The analysis is performed for a fixed realization of the driving noise at different time instants in time. The results suggest that LORA’s evolution includes sharp transitions that appear as topological tipping points.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 S^{2}.

A low-order quasigeostrophic double-gyre ocean model is subjected to an aperiodic forcing that mimics time dependence dominated by interdecadal variability. This model is used as a prototype of an unstable and nonlinear dynamical system with time-dependent forcing to explore basic features of climate change in the presence of natural variability. The study relies on the theoretical framework of nonautonomous dynamical systems and of their pullback attractors (PBAs), that is, of the time-dependent invariant sets attracting all trajectories initialized in the remote past. The existence of a global PBA is rigorously demonstrated for this weakly dissipative nonlinear model. Ensemble simulations are carried out and the convergence to PBAs is assessed by computing the probability density function (PDF) of localization of the trajectories. A sensitivity analysis with respect to forcing amplitude shows that the PBAs experience large modifications if the underlying autonomous system is dominated by small-amplitude limit cycles, while less dramatic changes occur in a regime characterized by large-amplitude relaxation oscillations. The dependence of the attracting sets on the choice of the ensemble of initial states is then analyzed. Two types of basins of attraction coexist for certain parameter ranges; they contain chaotic and nonchaotic trajectories, respectively. The statistics of the former does not depend on the initial states whereas the trajectories in the latter converge to small portions of the global PBA. This complex scenario requires separate PDFs for chaotic and nonchaotic trajectories. General implications for climate predictability are finally discussed.

The goal of this article is to propose an efficient way of empirically improving suboptimal solutions designed from the recent method of finite-horizon parameterizing manifolds (PMs) introduced by Chekroun and Liu (Acta Appl. Math., 2015) and concerned with the (sub)optimal control of nonlinear parabolic partial differential equations (PDEs). Given a finite horizon [0, T ] and a reduced low-mode phase space, a finite-horizon PM provides an approximate parameterization of the high modes by the low ones so that the unexplained high-mode energy is reduced — in an L 2-sense — when this parameterization is applied. In Chekroun and Liu (Acta Appl. Math., 2015), various PMs were constructed analytically from the uncontrolled version of the underlying PDE that allow for the design of reduced systems from which low-dimensional suboptimal controllers can be efficiently synthesized. In this article, the analytic approach from Chekroun and Liu (Acta Appl. Math., 2015) is recalled and a post-processing procedure is introduced to improve the PM-based suboptimal controllers. It consists of seeking for a high-mode parametrization aiming to reduce the energy contained in the high modes of the PDE solution, when the latter is driven by a PM-based suboptimal controller. This is achieved by solving simple regression problems. The skills of the resulting empirically post-processed suboptimal controllers are numerically assessed for an optimal control problem associated with a Burgers-type equation.

This article proposes a new approach based on finite-horizon parameterizing manifolds (PMs) for the design of low-dimensional suboptimal controllers to optimal control problems of nonlinear partial differential equations (PDEs) of parabolic type. Given a finite horizon [0,T] and a low-mode truncation of the PDE, a PM provides an approximate parameterization of the uncontrolled high modes by the controlled low ones so that the unexplained high-mode energy is reduced, in an L2-sense, when this parameterization is applied. Analytic formulas of such PMs are derived by application of the method of pullback approximation of the high-modes. These formulas allow for an effective derivation of reduced ODE systems, aimed to model the evolution of the low-mode truncation of the controlled state variable, where the high-mode part is approximated by the PM function applied to the low modes. A priori error estimates between the resulting PM-based low-dimensional suboptimal controller u_R* and the optimal controller u* are derived. These estimates demonstrate that the closeness of u_R* to u*? is mainly conditioned on two factors: (i) the parameterization defect of a given PM, associated respectively with u_R* and u*; and (ii) the energy kept in the high modes of the PDE solution either driven by u_R* or u* itself. The practical performances of such PM-based suboptimal controllers are numerically assessed for various optimal control problems associated with a Burgers-type equation. The numerical results show that a PM-based reduced system allows for the design of suboptimal controllers with good performances provided that the associated parameterization defects and energy kept in the high modes are small enough, in agreement with the rigorous results. The practical performances of such PM-based suboptimal controllers are numerically assessed for optimal control problems associated with a Burgers-type equation; the locally as well as globally distributed cases being both considered. The numerical results show that a PM-based reduced system allows for the design of suboptimal controllers with good performances provided that the associated parameterization defects and energy kept in the high modes are small enough, in agreement with the rigorous results.

Despite the importance of uncertainties encountered in climate model simulations, the fundamental mechanisms at the origin of sensitive behavior of long-term model statistics remain unclear. Variability of turbulent flows in the atmosphere and oceans exhibits recurrent large-scale patterns. These patterns, while evolving irregularly in time, manifest characteristic frequencies across a large range of time scales, from intraseasonal through interdecadal. Based on modern spectral theory of chaotic and dissipative dynamical systems, the associated low-frequency variability may be formulated in terms of Ruelle-Pollicott (RP) resonances. RP resonances encode information on the nonlinear dynamics of the system, and an approach for estimating them—as filtered through an observable of the system—is proposed. This approach relies on an appropriate Markov representation of the dynamics associated with a given observable. It is shown that, within this representation, the spectral gap—defined as the distance between the subdominant RP resonance and the unit circle—plays a major role in the roughness of parameter dependences. The model statistics are the most sensitive for the smallest spectral gaps; such small gaps turn out to correspond to regimes where the low-frequency variability is more pronounced, whereas autocorrelations decay more slowly. The present approach is applied to analyze the rough parameter dependence encountered in key statistics of an El-Niño–Southern Oscillation model of intermediate complexity. Theoretical arguments, however, strongly suggest that such links between model sensitivity and the decay of correlation properties are not limited to this particular model and could hold much more generally.

This article is concerned with conjugacy problems arising in the homeomorphisms group, Hom(F), of unbounded subsets F of normed vector spaces E. Given two homeomorphisms f and g in Hom(F), it is shown how the existence of a conjugacy may be related to the existence of a common generalized eigenfunction of the associated Koopman operators. This common eigenfunction serves to build a topology on Hom(F), where the conjugacy is obtained as limit of a sequence generated by the conjugacy operator, when this limit exists. The main conjugacy theorem is presented in a class of generalized Lipeomorphisms.

Interannual and interdecadal prediction are major challenges of climate dynamics. In this article we develop a prediction method for climate processes that exhibit low-frequency variability (LFV). The method constructs a nonlinear stochastic model from past observations and estimates a path of the “weather” noise that drives this model over previous finite-time windows. The method has two steps: (*i*) select noise samples—or “snippets”—from the past noise, which have forced the system during short-time intervals that resemble the LFV phase just preceding the currently observed state; and (*ii*) use these snippets to drive the system from the current state into the future. The method is placed in the framework of pathwise linear-response theory and is then applied to an El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) model derived by the empirical model reduction (EMR) methodology; this nonlinear model has 40 coupled, slow, and fast variables. The domain of validity of this forecasting procedure depends on the nature of the system’s pathwise response; it is shown numerically that the ENSO model’s response is linear on interannual time scales. As a result, the method’s skill at a 6- to 16-month lead is highly competitive when compared with currently used dynamic and statistic prediction methods for the Niño-3 index and the global sea surface temperature field.

There is a gap between single-species model predictions, and empirical studies, regarding the effect of habitat fragmentation per se, i.e., a process involving the breaking apart of habitat without loss of habitat. Empirical works indicate that fragmentation can have positive as well as negative effects, whereas, traditionally, single-species models predict a negative effect of fragmentation. Within the class of reaction-diffusion models, studies almost unanimously predict such a detrimental effect. In this paper, considering a single-species reaction-diffusion model with a removal – or similarly harvesting – term, in two dimensions, we find both positive and negative effects of fragmentation of the reserves, i.e., the protected regions where no removal occurs. Fragmented reserves lead to higher population sizes for time-constant removal terms. On the other hand, when the removal term is proportional to the population density, higher population sizes are obtained on aggregated reserves, but maximum yields are attained on fragmented configurations, and for intermediate harvesting intensities.