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Jürgen Kurths

Renowned German mathematical physicist Jürgen Kurths is the current Sydney Chapman Endowed Chair of Physical Sciences. He developed this schedule with an eye to interdisciplinary research and hopes that mathematicians, biologists, climate scientists, geoscientists, and scientists from many other disciplines will attend. The seminars are open to all levels from undergraduates to faculty.

Extreme Events from Climate to Power Grids

These seminars will bring in some of the field’s leading researchers to talk about extreme events in the complex systems of ecosystems, climate and power grids.

Many complex systems have extreme events as one of their characteristics. What the extreme event is depends on the system. Climate has large storms or very large floods as extreme events. Power grids have large blackouts. Ecosystems have large die offs or population explosions.

Theme: Climate

Power transmission grid as a complex system

Description coming soon

3:15 pm | Elvey Aud., Elvey Bldg.
David Newman
Physics Professor at UAF

Resilience and Robustness of Power Grids with High Shares of Renewables

In the face of climate change related extreme weather events makes the resilience of power grid infrastructure one of the key challenges for grid operators worldwide. At PIK we developed stability methods to evaluate a system’s reaction towards large local perturbations and found empiric evidence of the relationship between structural and dynamic properties.

Next to the grid’s resilience towards large perturbations the increasing share of renewable energy sources (RES) asks for a better understanding of its robustness being subject to stochastic power infeed. Ireland restricts its renewable power penetration to 55% fearing serious dynamic stability issues related to the rate of change of frequency. The new power grid dynamics introduced by RES are manifold. The power production by RES is intermittent and thus fluctuating on time scales from seconds to hours. Also, the nature of generation changes from physical machines to power electronic systems that show delays caused by measurement times and interact with each other in an often unknown manner.

We investigate the topology influence on stochastic stability measures for single-node intermittent power infeed from Renewables Energy Sources in lossy microgrids and Mid-Voltage (MV) grids.  In order to balance frequency fluctuations we suggest an Electric Vehicle (EV) control scheme that effectively ensures grid stability and safe battery operation at the same time.

4:15 pm | Elvey Aud., Elvey Bldg.
Sabine Auer, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Bio: Sabine Auer is a PhD candidate in Physics within the BMBF funded Condynet (Collective Nonlinear Dynamics of complex Networks) Project in the research group of Prof. Kurths at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and at Humboldt University Berlin. Prior, she studied physics at TU Ilmenau, TU Berlin and worked for Siemens AG, Yale University in New Haven and the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) In Barcelona as a working student or intern.

In a broader sense in her dissertation, Sabine is interested in modeling future power system dynamics. Her personal focus is the investigation of the novel dynamics intermittent power fluctuations induce into distribution grids. Besides, she is also interested in concepts of decentral control for grid stabilization, e.g. with electric vehicles, and in power market modeling.

Theme: Power Grids

Methods for Evaluating Dynamic Stability in Power Grids

In Power Grids, strong, nonlocal Perturbations may lead to non-trivial transient phenomena where the nonlinear effects have to be considered. Basin Stabilty demonstrates how sampling-based metrics can be used to account for such effects. Extension have been developed: Survivability considering boundaries in the phase space that should not be transgressed, and Timing of Transient including the time information to approach the attractor.

3:15 pm | Globe Room, Elvey Bldg.

Tim Kittel is a PhD candidate in Physics within the DFG funded IRTG 1740 “Dynamical Phenomena in Complex Networks: Fundamentals and Applications” in the research group of Prof. Kurths at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and at Humboldt University Berlin.

His focus is developing mathematical tools to analyze the transient phase within complex, dynamical systems. Strong perturbations or imminent transitions, e.g. in Power Grids, Energy Transition, Sustainability Science, demand a better understanding of a trajectory’s transient and his tools are designed to evaluate them from a quantitative and qualitative point of view.

4:15 pm | Globe Room, Elvey Bldg.
Energy Researcher TBA

Theme: Climate

Critical phenomena and downscaling criticality in tipping elements in the Earth system

Tipping elements (TE) are large-scale components of the Earth System. A rapid and often irreversible qualitative change its state might have dramatic consequences on the system as a whole. Despite recent advances in developing the early warning indicators, which show that transition is coming, they are unable to predict when it will happen in advance. Hence, predicting the future abrupt transitions remains an outstanding scientific challenge.

In our study, we make a step forward in this direction by proposing a new method of downscaling criticality.  In particular, it allows identifying local-scale TEs in the large-scale tipping element. We use the critical phenomena as precursors of impending transition. In contrast to traditional approaches, which use precursors for prediction of the time of the critical transition (which in fact work retrospectively only), we discovered how to use precursors in a new way – to find regions where the critical conditions for a transition originate. We use the phenomenon of critical growth of fluctuations to detect such regions. Then we reveal a teleconnection between the TEs that allows as predicting the timing of the upcoming critical transition.

We show that the downscaling criticality might lead to improving predictability of impending abrupt transitions. The proposed approach is applicable for systems of different nature, thereby offers a general framework for predicting critical transitions in spatial-temporal systems.

3:15 | Elvey Aud., Elvey Bldg.
Elena Surovyatkina, Acadamy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Bio: Elena Surovyatkina is a visiting Professor at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, and a Leading Researcher at Space Research Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia. Her research connects theoretical insights of bifurcations to puzzles in our current understanding of the properties of spatially organized critical transitions in climate.

Theme: Ecosystems

Part I: Competition induced starvation drives large scale population cycles in Antarctic Krill

Description coming soon

3:15 pm | Elvey Aud., Elvey Bldg.
Bernd Blasius, University of Oldenburg, Germany

4:15 pm | Elvey Aud., Elvey Bldg.
TBA Biologist

Theme: Extreme Power Grids

Tipping Elements Approach for Long-Term Seasonal Prediction: Observational Evidence

Seasonal variability implies two aspects: first, the seasons do not begin at fixed dates but must be determined by observation and are known only after the fact; and second, a new season begins at different dates in different parts of the country and over the world. Seasonal variability strongly affects different aspects of human life such as agricultural productivity and food security, economic growth and political stability. Numerical Weather Prediction has a limit to forecast the weather for up to approximately 10 days in the future. Other long-term prediction numerical models provide the statistical summary only such as whether the temperature averaged over the next summer will be warmer or colder than average over some number of years before. Hence, the seasonal prediction is a considerable scientific challenge with great importance for society.

In our study of the Indian monsoon season, we have found the evidence in observational data that we can consider the onset of monsoon as a critical transition – a sudden transition to the monsoon when critical thresholds (in particular, in near-surface air temperature, relative humidity) are reached. This finding allows us using the critical transition theory for developing the Tipping elements approach for prediction of onset and withdrawal dates of the summer monsoon.

Our prediction relies on observations of near-surface air temperature and relative humidity from both the ERA-40 and NCEP/NCAR reanalyzes. Our results show that our method allows predicting the monsoon not only retrospectively (over the period 1951-2015) but also in the future. In 2016 we successfully predicted of the onset and withdrawal dates of the Southwest monsoon over the central part of India for 40 and 70 days in advance respectively. In 2017 our prediction the onset date was successful as well. Currently, we are waiting for confirmation of our prediction of withdrawal between 7th and 17th October 2017. Hence, in 2016 and 2017 we proved that such early prediction of season timing is possible.

Proposed approach is applicable for different kind of season, which exhibits properties of critical transition. Our prediction is based on observational data only when the model cannot accurately anticipate the transition or does not exist yet.

 

[1] Stolbova, V., E. Surovyatkina, B. Bookhagen, and J. Kurths (2016): Tipping elements of the Indian monsoon: Prediction of onset and withdrawal. GRL 43, 1–9 [doi:10.1002/2016GL068392]
[2] https://www.pik-potsdam.de/services/infodesk/forecasting-indian-monsoon

3:15 pm | Elvey Aud., Elvey Bldg.
Elena Surovyatkina, Acadamy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Bio: Elena Surovyatkina is a visiting Professor at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, and a Leading Researcher at Space Research Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia. Her research connects theoretical insights of bifurcations to puzzles in our current understanding of the properties of spatially organized critical transitions in climate.

4:15 pm | Elvey Aud., Elvey Bldg.
Rapid “Atlantification” of the eastern Arctic Ocean
Igor Polyakov, IARC/CNSM

Theme: Ecosystems

Marine bioinvasion and the global shipping network

Description coming soon

4 pm | Elvey Aud., Elvey Bldg. 
Bernd Blasius, University of Oldenburg, Germany

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