Multistable climate regimes

Earth's climate is a highly complex, non-equilibrium and chaotic stochastic system. In this project, we attempt to classify its chaotic attractors with methods from non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, large deviation theory and manifold learning. Concretely, due to the ice albedo feedback, the climate is known to exist in two locally stable states, the current (warm) climate, and a "snowball" state, where the globe is covered in ice. Some models even suggest additional metastable climate states, such as the slushball Earth. Transitions between these climate states, and their local stability, can in principle be analyzed in light of the non-equilibrium quasipotential, characterizing the expected transition times and most likely escape paths out of the current climate state.