Articles | Volume 13, issue 5
10 Oct 2006
10 Oct 2006

Multi-parameter uncertainty analysis of a bifurcation point

B. Knopf, M. Flechsig, and K. Zickfeld

Abstract. Parameter uncertainty analysis of climate models has become a standard approach for model validation and testing their sensitivity. Here we present a novel approach that allows one to estimate the robustness of a bifurcation point in a multi-parameter space. In this study we investigate a box model of the Indian summer monsoon that exhibits a saddle-node bifurcation against those parameters that govern the heat balance of the system. The bifurcation brings about a change from a wet summer monsoon regime to a regime that is characterised by low precipitation. To analyse the robustness of the bifurcation point itself and its location in parameter space, we perform a multi-parameter uncertainty analysis by applying qualitative, Monte Carlo and deterministic methods that are provided by a multi-run simulation environment.

Our results show that the occurrence of the bifurcation point is robust over a wide range of parameter values. The position of the bifurcation, however, is found to be sensitive on these specific parameter choices.