The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 222, Issue 2, pp 511–523 | Cite as

Inferring interdependencies in climate networks constructed at inter-annual, intra-season and longer time scales

  • J.I. Deza
  • M. Barreiro
  • C. Masoller
Regular Article Applications to Real World Time Series


We study global climate networks constructed by means of ordinal time series analysis. Climate interdependencies among the nodes are quantified by the mutual information, computed from time series of monthly-averaged surface air temperature anomalies, and from their symbolic ordinal representation (OP). This analysis allows identifying topological changes in the network when varying the time-interval of the ordinal pattern. We consider intra-season time-intervals (e.g., the patterns are formed by anomalies in consecutive months) and inter-annual time-intervals (e.g., the patterns are formed by anomalies in consecutive years). We discuss how the network density and topology change with these time scales, and provide evidence of correlations between geographically distant regions that occur at specific time scales. In particular, we find that an increase in the ordinal pattern spacing (i.e., an increase in the timescale of the ordinal analysis), results in climate networks with increased connectivity on the equatorial Pacific area. On the contrary, the number of significant links decreases when the ordinal analysis is done with a shorter timescale (by comparing consecutive months), and interpret this effect as due to more stochasticity in the time-series in the short timescale. As the equatorial Pacific is known to be dominated by El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on scales longer than several months, our methodology allows constructing climate networks where the effect of ENSO goes from mild (monthly OP) to intense (yearly OP), independently of the length of the ordinal pattern and of the thresholding method employed.


Mutual Information European Physical Journal Special Topic Thresholding Method Symbolic Dynamics Interannual Time Scale 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© EDP Sciences and Springer 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departament de Física i Enginyeria Nuclear, Universitat Politècnica de CatalunyaTerrassa, BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Instituto de Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay

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