> John, now that we have a terminology, can you explain your statement that with their definitions only the strongest links count as links? I don’t see any normalization of the link strengths taking place.
Hmm, I had thought their cutoff $Q$ varied with time, so that the presence of strong links increased $Q$ and made weaker links no longer count as links! This seems to have been a hallucination on my part. So, I withdraw this criticism. Thanks!
Part of my confusion is this: it seems that Yamasaki, Gozolchiani and Havlin seem to think El Niños "break climate links worldwide”, while [Ludescher et al](http://forum.azimuthproject.org/discussion/1360/paper-ludescher-et-al-improved-el-nino-forecasting-by-cooperativity-detection/) predict El Niños by detecting "increased cooperativity in the El Niño basin" _before_ the El Niños.
These aren't contradictory, and of course one or both might be false.
But still, I want to get some better intuitive picture of what the authors of both papers think is going on, and see if there's a consistent reasonable-sounding story behind both accounts. Right now I don't have that.