Articles | Volume 24, issue 4
Research article
13 Oct 2017
Research article |  | 13 Oct 2017

Multi-scale event synchronization analysis for unravelling climate processes: a wavelet-based approach

Ankit Agarwal, Norbert Marwan, Maheswaran Rathinasamy, Bruno Merz, and Jürgen Kurths

Abstract. The temporal dynamics of climate processes are spread across different timescales and, as such, the study of these processes at only one selected timescale might not reveal the complete mechanisms and interactions within and between the (sub-)processes. To capture the non-linear interactions between climatic events, the method of event synchronization has found increasing attention recently. The main drawback with the present estimation of event synchronization is its restriction to analysing the time series at one reference timescale only. The study of event synchronization at multiple scales would be of great interest to comprehend the dynamics of the investigated climate processes. In this paper, the wavelet-based multi-scale event synchronization (MSES) method is proposed by combining the wavelet transform and event synchronization. Wavelets are used extensively to comprehend multi-scale processes and the dynamics of processes across various timescales. The proposed method allows the study of spatio-temporal patterns across different timescales. The method is tested on synthetic and real-world time series in order to check its replicability and applicability. The results indicate that MSES is able to capture relationships that exist between processes at different timescales.

Short summary
Extreme events such as floods and droughts result from synchronization of different natural processes working at multiple timescales. Investigation on an observation timescale will not reveal the inherent underlying dynamics triggering these events. This paper develops a new method based on wavelets and event synchronization to unravel the hidden dynamics responsible for such sudden events. This method is tested with synthetic and real-world cases and the results are promising.