Interpretation of link fluctuations in climate networks during El Niño periods
Complexity Science Group, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 1N4
Received: 17 January 2013
Accepted: 18 May 2013
Recent work has shown that the topologies of functional climate networks are sensitive to El Niño events. One important interpretation of the findings was that parts of the globe act in correlated relationships which become weaker, on average, during El Niño periods (this was shown using monthly averaged data where no time lag is required, and with daily averaged data where time lags were utilized). In contrast to this, we show that El Niño periods actually exhibit higher correlations than “Normal” climate conditions, while typically having lower correlations than La Niña periods. We also show that it is crucial to establish the sensitivity and the robustness of a given method used to extract functional climate networks —parameters such as time lags can significantly influence and even totally alter the outcome.
PACS: 89.75.-k – Complex systems / 05.45.Tp – Time series analysis / 92.10.am – El Nino Southern Oscillation
© EPLA, 2013