Climatology

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Climatology (from Greek κλίμα, klima, "region, zone"; and -λογία, -logia) is the study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time,[1] and is a branch of the atmospheric sciences. Basic knowledge of climate can be used within shorter term weather forecasting using analog techniques such as the El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Northern Annualar Mode (NAM), the Arctic oscillation (AO), the Northern Pacific (NP) Index, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO). Climate models are used for a variety of purposes from study of the dynamics of the weather and climate system to projections of future climate.

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History

The earliest person to hypothesize the concept of climate change may have been the medieval Chinese scientist Shen Kuo (1031-1095 AD). Shen Kuo theorized that climates naturally shifted over an enormous span of time, after observing petrified bamboos found underground near Yanzhou (modern day Yan'an, Shaanxi province), a dry climate area unsuitable for the growth of bamboo.

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