Applications of large deviation theory in geophysical fluid dynamics and climate science
Abstract
The climate is a complex, chaotic system with many degrees of freedom. Attaining a deeper level of understanding of climate dynamics is an urgent scientific challenge, given the evolving climate crisis. In statistical physics, manyparticle systems are studied using Large Deviation Theory (LDT). A great potential exists for applying LDT to problems in geophysical fluid dynamics and climate science. In particular, LDT allows for understanding the properties of persistent deviations of climatic fields from longterm averages and for associating them to lowfrequency, largescale patterns. Additionally, LDT can be used in conjunction with rare event algorithms to explore rarely visited regions of the phase space. These applications are of key importance to improve our understanding of highimpact weather and climate events. Furthermore, LDT provides tools for evaluating the probability of noiseinduced transitions between metastable climate states. This is, in turn, essential for understanding the global stability properties of the system. The goal of this review is manifold. First, we provide an introduction to LDT. We then present the existing literature. Finally, we propose possible lines of future investigations. We hope that this paper will prepare the ground for studies applying LDT to solve problems encountered in climate science and geophysical fluid dynamics.
 Publication:

Nuovo Cimento Rivista Serie
 Pub Date:
 June 2021
 DOI:
 10.1007/s4076602100020z
 arXiv:
 arXiv:2106.13546
 Bibcode:
 2021NCimR..44..291G
 Keywords:

 Large deviation theory;
 Climate system;
 Geophysical fluid dynamics;
 Lowfrequency variability;
 Extreme events;
 Rare event algorithms;
 Metastable states;
 Noiseinduced transitions;
 Instantons;
 Heatwaves;
 Cold Spells;
 Rogue Waves;
 Condensed Matter  Statistical Mechanics;
 Physics  Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics;
 Physics  Computational Physics;
 Physics  Data Analysis;
 Statistics and Probability;
 Physics  Fluid Dynamics
 EPrint:
 72 pages, 17 figures, Riv. Nuovo Cim. (2021)