EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The role of extreme noise in tipping between stable states

Peter Ditlevsen
Peter Ditlevsen
  • University of Copenhagen, Niels Bohr Institute, Centre for Ice and Climate, Copenhagen N, Denmark (

Paleoclimatic records show that under glacial boundary conditions the climate has jumped irregularly between two different climate states. These are the stadial and interstadial climates characterized by extremely abrupt climate change, the Dansgaard-Oeschger events. The irregularity and the fact that no known external triggering is present indicate that these are induced by internal noise, so-called n-tipping. The high resolution record of dust from Greenland icecores, which is a proxy of the state of the atmosphere, can be well fitted by a non-linear 1D stochastic process. But in order to do so the noise process needs to be an alpha-stable process, which is characterized by heavy tails violating the central limit theorem.  I will discus how extreme events can influence the transition from one climate state to the other.

How to cite: Ditlevsen, P.: The role of extreme noise in tipping between stable states , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9798,, 2020