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Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 2016, Article ID 3536183, 10 pages
Review Article

A Review of the Detection Methods for Climate Regime Shifts

Qunqun Liu,1,2,3 Shiquan Wan,4 and Bin Gu1,2,3

1College of Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
2Institute of Space Weather, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
3The Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of CMA-NUIST, Nanjing 210044, China
4Yangzhou Meteorological Office, Yangzhou 225009, China

Received 5 November 2015; Accepted 28 December 2015

Academic Editor: Yong-Ping Wu

Copyright © 2016 Qunqun Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An abrupt climate change means that the climate system shifts from a steady state to another steady state. Study on the phenomenon and theory of the abrupt climate change is a new research field of modern climatology, and it is of great significance for the prediction of future climate change. The climate regime shift is one of the most common forms of abrupt climate change, which mainly refers to the statistical significant changes on the variable of climate system at one time scale. These detection methods can be roughly divided into five categories based on different types of abrupt changes, namely, abrupt mean value change, abrupt variance change, abrupt frequency change, abrupt probability density change, and the multivariable analysis. The main research progress of abrupt climate change detection methods is reviewed. What is more, some actual applications of those methods in observational data are provided. With the development of nonlinear science, many new methods have been presented for detecting an abrupt dynamic change in recent years, which is useful supplement for the abrupt change detection methods.