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Abstract

In Part I we examine the definitions and history of ENSO, ask why we care about it, and make a stab at the curious equatorial dynamics behind it. The goal is a tutorial which will help non-oceanographers discern relevant papers amidst the voluminous ENSO literature. In Part II (the next issue of RNJ) we will see that whatever one thinks of equatorial dynamics theory, the actual ENSO data are baffling without an idealized model to organize it. After sorting out what is going on, we look at the particular effects of ENSO on Rapa Nui.

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