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How Volatile is ENSO for Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Global Economy?


  • Lan-Fen Chu

    (National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Taiwan)

  • Michael McAleer

    (Econometric Institute, Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam.)

  • Chi-Chung Chen

    (Department of Applied Economics National Chung Hsing University Taiwan.)


This paper analyzes two indexes in order to capture the volatility inherent in El Niños Southern Oscillations (ENSO), develops the relationship between the strength of ENSO and greenhouse gas emissions, which increase as the economy grows, with carbon dioxide being the major greenhouse gas, and examines how these gases affect the frequency and strength of El Niño on the global economy. The empirical results show that both the ARMA(1,1)-GARCH(1,1) and ARMA(3,2)-GJR(1,1) models are suitable for modelling ENSO volatility accurately, and that 1998 is a turning point, which indicates that the ENSO strength has increased since 1998. Moreover, the increasing ENSO strength is due to the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The ENSO strengths for Sea Surface Temperature (SST) are predicted for the year 2030 to increase from 29.62% to 81.5% if global CO2 emissions increase by 40% to 110%, respectively. This indicates that we will be faced with even stronger El Nino or La Nina effects in the future if global greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase unabated.

Suggested Citation

  • Lan-Fen Chu & Michael McAleer & Chi-Chung Chen, 2012. "How Volatile is ENSO for Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Global Economy?," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 2012-20, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico, revised Sep 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucm:doicae:1220 Note: The second author is grateful for the financial support of the Australian Research Council, National Science Council, Taiwan, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    El Niños Southern Oscillations (ENSO); Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Global Economy; Southern Oscillation Index (SOI); Sea Surface Temperature (SST); Volatility.;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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