Climate Networks and Extreme Events

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Department Seminar Series

5/15 (Friday)             Noon – 1:00 pm            15 MetroTech 19th fl Exhibition Space

Climate Networks and Extreme Events

Dr. Juergen Kurths
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
and King´s College, University of Aberdeen, UK

We analyse climate dynamics from a complex network approach. This leads to an inverse problem: Is there a backbone-like structure underlying the climate system? For this we propose a method to reconstruct and analyze a complex network from data generated by a spatio-temporal dynamical system. This approach enables us to uncover relations to global circulation patterns in oceans and atmosphere. We also evaluate different regional climate models from this aspect.  This concept is also applied to Monsoon data; in particular, we develop a general framework to predict extreme events by combining a non-linear synchronization technique with complex networks.  Applying this method, we uncover a new mechanism of extreme floods in the eastern central Andes which could be used for operational forecasts.

Donges, J., Y. Zou, N. Marwan, and J. Kurths, Europhys. Lett. 87, 48007 (2009).
Donges, J., R. Donner, M. Trauth, N. Marwan, H.J. Schellnhuber, and J. Kurths, PNAS 108, 20422-20427 (2011). 
Runge, J., J. Heitzig, V. Petoukhov, J. Kurths, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 258701 (2012)
Boers, N., B. Bookhagen, N. Marwan, J. Kurths, and J. Marengo, Geophys. Res. Lett. 40, 4386 (2013) 
N. Boers, B. Bookhagen, H.M.J. Barbosa, N. Marwan, J. Kurths, and J.A. Marengo, Nature Communications 5, 5199 (2014)


Jürgen Kurths studied mathematics at the University of Rostock and got his PhD in 1983 at the GDR Academy of Sciences and his Dr. habil. in 1990. He was full Professor at the University of Potsdam from 1994-2008 and has been Professor of Nonlinear Dynamics at the Humboldt University, Berlin and chair of the research domain Transdisciplinary Concepts of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research since 2008 and a 6th century chair at the Institute for Complex Systems and Mathematical Biology at Kings College of the Aberdeen University (UK) since 2009.  He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Fraunhofer Society (Germany). He has become a member of the Academia Europaea, got an Alexander von Humboldt research award from CSIR (India), two Honory Doctorates, a Honorary Professorship, and was awarded the L.F. Richardson Medal of the European Geosciences Union in 2013.  His main research interests are complex synchronization phenomena, complex networks, time series analysis and their applications in climatology, sustainability research, physiology, systems biology and engineering.  He has supervised more than 60 PhD students from about 20 countries; more than 30 of them have now tenured positions in various countries. He has published more than 600 papers in peer-reviewed journals and two monographs which are cited more than 23.000 times (H-index: 67).