Articles | Volume 22, issue 3
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 22, 249–258, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-22-249-2015
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 22, 249–258, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-22-249-2015

Research article 04 May 2015

Research article | 04 May 2015

A novel method for analyzing the process of abrupt climate change

P. C. Yan1, G. L. Feng2,3, and W. Hou2 P. C. Yan et al.
  • 1College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
  • 2National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China
  • 3College of Physical Science and Technology, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, China

Abstract. A climate system which is transitioning from one state to another is known as an abrupt climate change. Most of the recent studies regarding abrupt climate change have focused on the changes occurring before and after the abrupt change point, while little attention has been given to the "transition process" which occurs when the system breaks away from the original state to a new state. In this study, a novel method for analyzing the process of abrupt climate change was presented. By using the mathematical model based on the logistic model, the process of the abrupt change could be analyzed and divided into different phases which include start moment, end moment, stable state, and unstable transition state. Meanwhile, the method was confirmed to be effective by testing in a study of Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) time sequence, and the results of this study specify that this abrupt change process (ACP) of PDO has a relationship with global warming.

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Short summary
A novel method is created to detect the process of the abrupt change, which has not been mentioned yet in traditional research. By building an ideal time series with a transition process, the results show that the process could be detected clearly. When applied to a climate index, this method detects five processes, and all of them have reappeared via the “start-end states” phase diagram. Additionally, it is detectable that the persist time of the process is related to global warming.