Interdisciplinary perspectives on climate sciences – highlighting past and current scientific achievements
Interdisciplinary perspectives on climate sciences – highlighting past and current scientific achievements
Editor(s): Valerio Lembo, Tommaso Alberti, Christian Franzke, Vera Melinda Galfi, Lesley De Cruz, and Olivier Talagrand
As a consequence of the pandemic situation, a series of online seminars titled Perspectives on Climate Sciences: from historical developments to research frontiers was organized in October 2020. The seminars were such a success that the series was extended twice, finally running until July 2021.

The aim of this initiative was to allow senior researchers in the field of climate sciences to share their expertise and exchange ideas with early-career scientists. The ultimate goal was to raise awareness of the chain of arguments, discoveries, and technological breakthroughs that have enabled today's most interesting and relevant lines of research in climate sciences. The speakers were asked to give their perspective on what future developments they expect in the field and, last but not least, how their personal background, the historical situation at the time of their most seminal works, and the network of interactions they established, contributed to their career.

The seminar series, hosted on online platforms, was supported by the Nonlinear Processes in Geosciences (NP) division of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) at first and later by the EGU as a whole, as an official NP Campfire event. It featured 24 contributions that were livestreamed and uploaded on a Youtube channel, with more than 300 subscribed users. Overall, almost 1000 users registered for the seminars, and the livestream featured an average of about 80 participants, with peaks of 170. The abstracts from the seminars can be found here:

The development of theories and tools in nonlinear sciences contributed crucially to the understanding and prediction of the climate system. One well-known example is the development of chaos theory, which allowed us to understand the apparently erratic behavior of climate fields and their sensitivity to initial and model errors, and it pushed forward the development of probabilistic predictions. Other important examples are the successes of (i) the theory of stochastic resonance for understanding the transitions between glacial and interglacial climate states, (ii) the development of optimal fingerprinting techniques in order to separate the forced changes from internal variability, and (iii) applications of stochastic methods, such as stochastic parameterizations, which pushed breakthrough achievements in the setup of efficient and manageable Earth system models for climate prediction. Some of these advancements have been recognized for their outstanding contribution to the detection of anthropogenic climate change and their impact on human societies by awarding the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics to Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann, and Giorgio Parisi for their studies on nonlinear dynamics in complex systems and their applications in climate sciences and beyond. Klaus Hasselmann was one of the speakers of this seminar series.

With this special issue, we want to build upon the outcomes of the seminar series, and we wish to highlight some of the nonlinear and interdisciplinary foundations on which modern climate sciences were built, by inviting a group of influential scientists to review their achievements and the perspectives of their work.

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23 Nov 2023
Stieltjes functions and spectral analysis in the physics of sea ice
Kenneth M. Golden, N. Benjamin Murphy, Daniel Hallman, and Elena Cherkaev
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 30, 527–552,,, 2023
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10 Oct 2023
Review article: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Climate Sciences – Highlighting Past and Current Scientific Achievements
Vera Melinda Galfi, Tommaso Alberti, Lesley De Cruz, Christian L. E. Franzke, and Valerio Lembo
Nonlin. Processes Geophys. Discuss.,,, 2023
Revised manuscript accepted for NPG (discussion: closed, 4 comments)
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05 Oct 2023
Review article: Dynamical systems, algebraic topology and the climate sciences
Michael Ghil and Denisse Sciamarella
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 30, 399–434,,, 2023
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16 Aug 2023
Review article: Scaling, dynamical regimes, and stratification. How long does weather last? How big is a cloud?
Shaun Lovejoy
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 30, 311–374,,, 2023
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30 Jun 2023
Review article: Large fluctuations in non-equilibrium physics
Giovanni Jona-Lasinio
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 30, 253–262,,, 2023
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28 Jun 2023
Review article: Towards strongly coupled ensemble data assimilation with additional improvements from machine learning
Eugenia Kalnay, Travis Sluka, Takuma Yoshida, Cheng Da, and Safa Mote
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 30, 217–236,,, 2023
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15 Feb 2023
A range of outcomes: the combined effects of internal variability and anthropogenic forcing on regional climate trends over Europe
Clara Deser and Adam S. Phillips
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 30, 63–84,,, 2023
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07 Feb 2023
On the interaction of stochastic forcing and regime dynamics
Joshua Dorrington and Tim Palmer
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 30, 49–62,,, 2023
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31 Jan 2023
Brief communication: Climate science as a social process – history, climatic determinism, Mertonian norms and post-normality
Hans von Storch
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 30, 31–36,,, 2023
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