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Teleconnections

  • By: Jill S. M. Coleman
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Teleconnections are hemispheric-scale statistical relationships that result from the spatial interdependencies between the atmosphere and the ocean. In other words, teleconnections describe how atmospheric or oceanic circulation changes occurring at one location are linked to changes at other locations that are widely separated geographically. On the order of weeks to years, these global associations are recognized by an atmospheric circulation disturbance occurring at select locations or “centers of action,” thereby producing oscillations affecting weather patterns downstream. These action centers identify the climatological positions of low- and high-pressure areas associated with particular atmospheric teleconnection patterns or cold and warm sea surface temperature regions with oceanic teleconnection patterns. Frequently, atmospheric oscillations are strongly linked or coupled with oceanic changes. Locations in the vicinity of the action centers ...

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