Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

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Inferring causation from time series in Earth system sciences
Runge, Jakob ; Bathiany, Sebastian ; Bollt, Erik ; Camps-Valls, Gustau ; Coumou, Dim ; Deyle, Ethan ; Glymour, Clark ; Kretschmer, Marlene ; Mahecha, Miguel D. ; Muñoz-Marí, Jordi ; Nes, Egbert H. van; Peters, Jonas ; Quax, Rick ; Reichstein, Markus ; Scheffer, Marten ; Schölkopf, Bernhard ; Spirtes, Peter ; Sugihara, George ; Sun, Jie ; Zhang, Kun ; Zscheischler, Jakob - \ 2019
Nature Communications 10 (2019)1. - ISSN 2041-1723

The heart of the scientific enterprise is a rational effort to understand the causes behind the phenomena we observe. In large-scale complex dynamical systems such as the Earth system, real experiments are rarely feasible. However, a rapidly increasing amount of observational and simulated data opens up the use of novel data-driven causal methods beyond the commonly adopted correlation techniques. Here, we give an overview of causal inference frameworks and identify promising generic application cases common in Earth system sciences and beyond. We discuss challenges and initiate the benchmark platform causeme.net to close the gap between method users and developers.

Causal feedbacks in climate change
Nes, E.H. van; Scheffer, M. ; Brovkin, V. ; Lenton, T.M. ; Ye, H. ; Deyle, E. ; Sugihara, G. - \ 2015
Nature Climate Change 5 (2015). - ISSN 1758-678X - p. 445 - 448.
carbon-cycle - ice core - antarctic temperature - last deglaciation - atmospheric co2 - global climate - dioxide - record - model - lag
The statistical association between temperature and greenhouse gases over glacial cycles is well documented1, but causality behind this correlation remains difficult to extract directly from the data. A time lag of CO2 behind Antarctic temperature—originally thought to hint at a driving role for temperature2, 3—is absent4, 5 at the last deglaciation, but recently confirmed at the last ice age inception6 and the end of the earlier termination II (ref. 7). We show that such variable time lags are typical for complex nonlinear systems such as the climate, prohibiting straightforward use of correlation lags to infer causation. However, an insight from dynamical systems theory8 now allows us to circumvent the classical challenges of unravelling causation from multivariate time series. We build on this insight to demonstrate directly from ice-core data that, over glacial–interglacial timescales, climate dynamics are largely driven by internal Earth system mechanisms, including a marked positive feedback effect from temperature variability on greenhouse-gas concentrations.
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