Cascading transitions in the climate system

Dekker, Mark M.; von der Heydt, Anna S.; Dijkstra, Henk A.

We introduce a framework of cascading tipping, i.e. a sequence of abrupt transitions occurring because a transition in one subsystem changes the background conditions for another subsystem. A mathematical framework of elementary deterministic cascading tipping points in autonomous dynamical systems is presented containing the double-fold, fold–Hopf, Hopf–fold and double-Hopf as the most generic cases. Statistical indicators which can be used as early warning indicators of cascading tipping events in stochastic, non-stationary systems are suggested. The concept of cascading tipping is illustrated through a conceptual model of the coupled North Atlantic Ocean – El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) system, demonstrating the possibility of such cascading events in the climate system.

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Dekker, Mark M. / von der Heydt, Anna S. / Dijkstra, Henk A.: Cascading transitions in the climate system. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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