Tipping Points Workshop, September 2013


Organised by Dr Sebastian Wieczorek and Dr Jan Sieber (Exeter)

The workshop on “Tipping Points: Fundamentals and Applications'' that took place at the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS) in Edinburgh in September 9--13, 2013, was the first Hot Topic workshop with support from CliMathNet.

The workshop brought together mathematicians and statisticians with climate scientists, ecologists and economists, all sharing a mathematical and scientific interest in the phenomenon of tipping.
The main theme emerging from talks and discussions is the urgent need to link the mathematical techniques presented at the workshop to complex mathematical models and observations of the real world.

The six overview lectures, the associated public lecture, and the short research talks are available here.

One component of the workshop were discussion groups with the goal to identify future research directions and initiate new research collaborations. From among a number of topics, problems and questions, that emerged during discussions, some were elaborated by the specially formed focus groups:

1. Robust indicators of tipping: spatial versus temporal data analysis.
2. Skill of prediction methods: How much predictability is there?
3. Tipping and non-smooth dynamical systems with applications to climate.
4. Difference between underlying mechanisms (equations) for tipping in natural systems and financial systems.
5. Noise and attraction in random dynamical systems.
6. How to facilitate collaboration between conceptual model(er)s and large climate model(er)s?

The workshop was followed by a weekend meeting between members of the US MCRN and the CliMathNet, and included representatives reporting on mathematics in climate activities from The Netherlands and Canada.