Year of selection 2009
Institution University of East Anglia
Country United Kingdom
Small changes in the climate may have serious consequences for our planet. Whether we can predict them or not is what Dr. Valerie Livina is studying. Due to human-induced global warming, several components of the earth’s system could cross critical thresholds and switch to different states. For instance, in the future, the Arctic sea ice could entirely melt during summer. The West African monsoon could be strongly disrupted, inducing severe droughts. Dr. Livina is developing novel statistical methods for the analysis of time series of data in order to identify potential indicators of the approach of critical thresholds. Dr. Livina's work might help anticipate, detect and forecast them, which is crucial for the development of sustainable strategies by policy makers. It could therefore have significant consequences for the future evolution of the climate on our planet.
My research focuses on studying bifurcations and transitions in the climate system using novel methods of statistical analysis: modified degenerate fingerprinting and potential analysis. The approach employs (i) derivation of potential from time series; (ii) study of possible bifurcations of the potential; (iii) projection of the time series according to the estimated transition. The objectives are to examine whether any components of the climate system have already passed a bifurcation point under anthropogenic forcing, and to explore which components may pass a bifurcation point this century.
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