Department of Mathematics

Dynamics of climate models

Climate models range in complexity from those containing a few differential equations to huge models that require a vast amount of computational power.  The latter is used for climate projections such as those in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but they are so complex that their behaviour and biases are difficult to analyse and understand.

On the other hand, conceptual climate models are used to identify underlying mechanisms, and in recent years have provided examples of new and interesting mathematical phenomena, particularly in the area of nonsmooth dynamical systems and the theory of tipping points.


This project focuses on the development and mathematical analysis of conceptual climate models. Recent work in this area has looked at paleoclimate topics such as Snowball Earth and glacial cycles, and the associated nonsmooth dynamics and tipping points that arise e.g. when transitioning from an ice-free climate state to a completely ice-covered state.


Researchers at The University of Auckland


Other Collaborators