Dynamical systems

Pierini S, Ghil M, Chekroun MD. Exploring the pullback attractors of a low-order quasigeostrophic ocean model: The deterministic case. Journal of Climate. 2016;29 (11) :4185-4202.Abstract

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.

Hallegatte S, Ghil M, Dumas P, Hourcade J-C. Business cycles, bifurcations and chaos in a neo-classical model with investment dynamics. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 2008;67 (1) :57–77.Abstract

This paper presents a non-equilibrium dynamic model (NEDyM) that introduces investment dynamics and non-equilibrium effects into a Solow growth model. NEDyM can reproduce several typical economic regimes and, for certain ranges of parameter values, exhibits endogenous business cycles with realistic characteristics. The cycles arise from the investment-profit instability and are constrained by the increase in labor costs and the inertia of production capacity. For other parameter ranges, the model exhibits chaotic behavior. These results show that complex variability in the economic system may be due to deterministic, intrinsic factors, even if the long-term equilibrium is neo-classical in nature.

Chekroun MD, Liu H, Wang S. Stochastic Parameterizing Manifolds and Non-Markovian Reduced Equations: Stochastic Manifolds for Nonlinear SPDEs II. New York: Springer Briefs in Mathematics, Springer; 2015. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In this second volume, a general approach is developed to provide approximate parameterizations of the "small" scales by the "large" ones for a broad class of stochastic partial differential equations (SPDEs). This is accomplished via the concept of parameterizing manifolds (PMs), which are stochastic manifolds that improve, for a given realization of the noise, in mean square error the partial knowledge of the full SPDE solution when compared to its projection onto some resolved modes. Backward-forward systems are designed to give access to such PMs in practice. The key idea consists of representing the modes with high wave numbers as a pullback limit depending on the time-history of the modes with low wave numbers. Non-Markovian stochastic reduced systems are then derived based on such a PM approach. The reduced systems take the form of stochastic differential equations involving random coefficients that convey memory effects. The theory is illustrated on a stochastic Burgers-type equation.

Carrassi A, Ghil M, Trevisan A, Uboldi F. Data assimilation as a nonlinear dynamical systems problem: Stability and convergence of the prediction-assimilation system. Chaos. 2008;18 (2) :023112.Abstract

We study prediction-assimilation systems, which have become routine in meteorology and oceanography and are rapidly spreading to other areas of the geosciences and of continuum physics. The long-term, nonlinear stability of such a system leads to the uniqueness of its sequentially estimated solutions and is required for the convergence of these solutions to the system's true, chaotic evolution. The key ideas of our approach are illustrated for a linearized Lorenz system. Stability of two nonlinear prediction-assimilation systems from dynamic meteorology is studied next via the complete spectrum of their Lyapunov exponents; these two systems are governed by a large set of ordinary and of partial differential equations, respectively. The degree of data-induced stabilization is crucial for the performance of such a system. This degree, in turn, depends on two key ingredients: (i) the observational network, either fixed or data-adaptive, and (ii) the assimilation method.

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.

Chekroun MD, Neelin JD, Kondrashov D, McWilliams JC, Ghil M. Rough parameter dependence in climate models and the role of Ruelle-Pollicott resonances. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2014;111 (5) :1684-1690.Abstract

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.