Atmosphere & climate

Moron V, Robertson AW, Ghil M. Impact of the modulated annual cycle and intraseasonal oscillation on daily-to-interannual rainfall variability across monsoonal India. Climate Dynamics. 2011 :666.Abstract

Variability of the Indian summer monsoon is decomposed into an interannually modulated annual cycle (MAC) and a northward-propagating, intraseasonal (30-60-day) oscillation (ISO). To achieve this decomposition, we apply multi-channel singular spectrum analysis (M-SSA) simultaneously to unfiltered daily fields of observed outgoing long-wave radiation (OLR) and to reanalyzed 925-hPa winds over the Indian region, from 1975 to 2008. The MAC is essentially given by the year-to-year changes in the annual and semi-annual components; it displays a slow northward migration of OLR anomalies coupled with an alternation between the northeast winter and southwest summer monsoons. The impact of these oscillatory modes on rainfall is then analyzed using a 1-degree gridded daily data set, focusing on Monsoonal India (north of 17°N and west of 90°E) during the months of June to September. Daily rainfall variability is partitioned into three states using a Hidden Markov Model. Two of these states are shown to agree well with previous classifications of "active" and "break" phases of the monsoon, while the third state exhibits a dipolar east-west pattern with abundant rainfall east of about 77°E and low rainfall to the west. Occurrence of the three rainfall states is found to be an asymmetric function of both the MAC and ISO components. On average, monsoon active phases are favored by large positive anomalies of MAC, and breaks by negative ones. ISO impact is decisive when the MAC is near neutral values during the onset and withdrawal phases of the monsoon. Active monsoon spells are found to require a synergy between the MAC and ISO, while the east-west rainfall dipole is less sensitive to interactions between the two. The driest years, defined from spatially averaged June-September rainfall anomalies, are found to be mostly a result of breaks occurring during the onset and withdrawal stages of the monsoon, e.g., mid-June to mid-July, and during September. These breaks are in turn associated with anomalously late MAC onset or early MAC withdrawal, often together with a large-amplitude, negative ISO event. The occurrence of breaks during the core of the monsoon—from late July to late August—is restricted to a few years when MAC was exceptionally weak, such as 1987 or 2002. Wet years are shown to be mostly associated with more frequent active spells and a stronger MAC than usual, especially at the end of the monsoon season. Taken together, our results suggest that monthly and seasonal precipitation predictability is higher in the early and late stages of the summer monsoon season.

Chekroun MD, Ghil M, Liu H, Wang S. Low-dimensional Galerkin approximations of nonlinear delay differential equations. Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems - Series S. 2016;36 (8) :4133-4177.Abstract

This article revisits the approximation problem of systems of nonlinear delay differential equations (DDEs) by a set of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). We work in Hilbert spaces endowed with a natural inner product including a point mass, and introduce polynomials orthogonal with respect to such an inner product that live in the domain of the linear operator associated with the underlying DDE. These polynomials are then used to design a general Galerkin scheme for which we derive rigorous convergence results and show that it can be numerically implemented via simple analytic formulas. The scheme so obtained is applied to three nonlinear DDEs, two autonomous and one forced: (i) a simple DDE with distributed delays whose solutions recall Brownian motion; (ii) a DDE with a discrete delay that exhibits bimodal and chaotic dynamics; and (iii) a periodically forced DDE with two discrete delays arising in climate dynamics. In all three cases, the Galerkin scheme introduced in this article provides a good approximation by low-dimensional ODE systems of the DDE's strange attractor, as well as of the statistical features that characterize its nonlinear dynamics.

Keppenne CL, Ghil M. Adaptive filtering and prediction of noisy multivariate signals: an application to subannual variability in atmospheric angular momentum. International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos. 1993;3 :625–634.Abstract

Principal component analysis (PCA) in the space and time domains is applied to filter adaptively the dominant modes of subannual (SA) variability of a 12-year long multivariate time series of Northern Hemisphere atmospheric angular momentum (AAM); AAM is computed in 23 latitude bands of equal area from operational analyses of the U.S. National Meteorological Center. PCA isolates the leading empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs) of spatial dependence, while multivariate singular spectrum analysis (M-SSA) yields filtered time series that capture the dominant low-frequency modes of SA variability. The time series prefiltered by M-SSA lend themselves to prediction by the maximum entropy method (MEM). Whole-field predictions are made by combining the forecasts so obtained with the leading spatial EOFs obtained by PCA. The combination of M-SSA and MEM has predictive ability up to about a month. These methods are essentially linear but data-adaptive. They seem to perform well for short, noisy, multivariate time series, to which purely nonlinear, deterministically based methods are difficult to apply.