Coping with Dating Errors in Causality Estimation

Dmitri A. Smirnov, Norbert Marwan, Sebastian Breitenbach, Georg Feulner, Franziska A. Lechleitner, Jürgen Kurths

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We consider the problem of estimating causal influences between observed processes
from time series possibly corrupted by errors in the time variable (dating errors) which are typical in palaeoclimatology, planetary science and astrophysics. “Causality ratio” based on the Wiener-Granger causality is proposed and studied for a paradigmatic class of model systems to reveal conditions under which it correctly indicates directionality of unidirectional coupling. It is argued that in the case of a priori known directionality, the causality ratio allows a characterization of dating errors and observational noise. Finally, we apply the developed approach to palaeoclimatic data and quantify the influence of solar activity on tropical Atlantic climate dynamics over the last two millennia. A stronger solar influence in the first millennium A.D. is inferred. The results also suggest a dating error of about 20 years in the solar proxy time series over the same period.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10004
JournalEurophysics Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


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