Assessing the direction of climate interactions by means of complex networks and information theoretic tools

Deza, J. I. , Barreiro, M. and Masoller, C. (2015) Assessing the direction of climate interactions by means of complex networks and information theoretic tools. Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, 25 (3). 033105. ISSN 1054-1500 Available from:

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An estimate of the net direction of climate interactions in different geographical regions is made by constructing a directed climate network from a regular latitude-longitude grid of nodes, using a directionality index (DI) based on conditional mutual information (CMI). Two datasets of surface air temperature anomalies—one monthly averaged and another daily averaged—are analyzed and compared. The network links are interpreted in terms of known atmospheric tropical and extra- tropical variability patterns. Specific and relevant geographical regions are selected, the net direction of propagation of the atmospheric patterns is analyzed, and the direction of the inferred links is validated by recovering some well-known climate variability structures. These patterns are found to be acting at various time-scales, such as atmospheric waves in the extratropics or longer range events in the tropics. This analysis demonstrates the capability of the DI measure to infer the net direction of climate interactions and may contribute to improve the present understanding of cli- mate phenomena and climate predictability. The work presented here also stands out as an application of advanced tools to the analysis of empirical, real-world data.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate networks, nonlinear time series analysis, climate communities, information transfer
Faculty/Department: Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Architecture and the Built Environment
Depositing User: Dr I. Deza
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2019 16:04
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2019 20:08


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