Identifying large-scale patterns of unpredictability and response to insolation in atmospheric data
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Understanding the complex dynamics of the atmosphere is of paramount interest due to its impact in the entire climate system and in human society. Here we focus on identifying, from data, the geographical regions which have similar atmospheric properties. We study surface air temperature (SAT) time series with monthly resolution, recorded at a regular grid covering the Earth surface. We consider two datasets: NCEP CDAS1 and ERA Interim reanalysis. We show that two surprisingly simple measures are able to extract meaningful information: i) the distance between the lagged SAT and the incoming solar radiation and ii) the Shannon entropy of SAT and SAT anomalies. The distance uncovers well-defined spatial patterns formed by regions with similar SAT response to solar forcing while the entropy uncovers regions with similar degree of SAT unpredictability. The entropy analysis also allows identifying regions in which SAT has extreme values. Importantly, we uncover differences between the two datasets which are due to the presence of extreme values in one dataset but not in the other. Our results indicate that the distance and entropy measures can be valuable tools for the study of other climatological variables, for anomaly detection and for performing model inter-comparisons.
CitationArizmendi, F., Barreiro, M., Masoller, C. Identifying large-scale patterns of unpredictability and response to insolation in atmospheric data. "Scientific reports", 30 Març 2017, vol. 7, p. 45676-1-45676-8.