What is it about?

When we study climate, we use a statistical framework to compare recent change with older ones. Till today, the vast majority of studies assume that classical statistics are sufficient to descrobe climatic variability. However, here we show that if we examine temperature records in different scales, strong Hurst-Kolmogorov behaviour (also known as Long Term Persistence) emerges. In addition we explain how this kind stochastic framework is connected with determinisitic periodic processes such as the orbital effect on ice age succesion (Milankovitch theory).

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Why is it important?

If the climatic varibility can be described and consequently modelled by Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics then there are serious implications to the magnitude of the internal varibility of the climatic system and the uncertainty in its future changes. For example, if classical statistical estimators are used then we would have experienced all the possible climatic varience in two and a half years, whereas this corresponds to half a billion years in the real world.


This was my first publication during the research for my PhD thesis, so I was very excited about it. It was also an important introductory work, along with the literature review named "The scientific legacy of Harold Edwin Hurst (1880 – 1978)", which prepared the ground for the studies that followed, focusing into temperature and precipitation variability in a larger number of climatic reconstructions.

Yannis Markonis

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Climatic Variability Over Time Scales Spanning Nine Orders of Magnitude: Connecting Milankovitch Cycles with Hurst–Kolmogorov Dynamics, Surveys in Geophysics, November 2012, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1007/s10712-012-9208-9.
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