A nonlinear time series model of El Niño

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Journal Article
Environmental Modelling and Software, 2001, 16 (2), pp. 139 - 146
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A smooth transition autoregressive model is estimated for the Southern Oscillation Index, an index commonly used as a measure of El Niño events. Using standard measures there is no indication of nonstationarity in the index. A logistic smooth transition autoregressive model describes the most turbulent periods in the data (these correspond to El Niño events) better than a linear autoregressive model. The estimated nonlinear model passes a battery of diagnostic tests. A generalised impulse response function indicates local instability, but as deterministic extrapolation from the estimated model converges, the nonlinear model may still be useful for forecasting the El Niño Southern Oscillation a few months ahead. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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