Low‐latitude volcanic eruptions and the El Niño/Southern Oscillation: A reply

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The Handler‐Andsager hypothesis that low‐latitude eruptions are the “only cause” of El NiñMo events is tested by examining El NiñMo events and low‐latitude eruptions case‐by‐case. This examination confirms that low‐latitude eruptions are not the only cause, or probably even a cause of El NiñMo events. The Handler‐Andsager hypothesis can, at best, account for about one quarter of the El NiñMo events of the past fifty years, and none of the strong events. There is conclusive evidence from stratospheric data that at least some El NiñMo events were not caused by low‐latitude eruptions. Some of the eruptions composited by Handler and Andsager occurred after the start of El NiñMo events and could not, therefore, be the cause of these events. The case‐by‐case examination reveals the dangers of uncritical acceptance of composites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-429
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • composites
  • El NiñMo
  • ENSO
  • volcanoes

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