Anomaly Detection in Paleoclimate Records using Permutation Entropy

Joshua Garland, Tyler R. Jones, Michael Neuder, Valerie Morris, James W. C. White, Elizabeth Bradley

Permutation entropy techniques can be useful in identifying anomalies in paleoclimate data records, including noise, outliers, and post-processing issues. We demonstrate this using weighted and unweighted permutation entropy of water-isotope records in a deep polar ice core. In one region of these isotope records, our previous calculations revealed an abrupt change in the complexity of the traces: specifically, in the amount of new information that appeared at every time step. We conjectured that this effect was due to noise introduced by an older laboratory instrument. In this paper, we validate that conjecture by re-analyzing a section of the ice core using a more-advanced version of the laboratory instrument. The anomalous noise levels are absent from the permutation entropy traces of the new data. In other sections of the core, we show that permutation entropy techniques can be used to identify anomalies in the raw data that are not associated with climatic or glaciological processes, but rather effects occurring during field work, laboratory analysis, or data post-processing. These examples make it clear that permutation entropy is a useful forensic tool for identifying sections of data that require targeted re-analysis---and can even be useful in guiding that analysis.

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