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Climatology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences that focuses on long-term (monthly and longer) patterns of weather and atmospheric circulation, in contrast with meteorology, which focuses on understanding and predicting short-term weather phenomena. While climate is often described as the “average weather” of a place, it is better considered as the aggregation of all the statistical properties of the atmosphere, including averages as well as measures of the expected variability and persistence over time of atmospheric elements such as temperature, rainfall, or humidity. In other words, climate includes not just averages, but is the total picture of the behavior of the atmosphere for the globe or a region. Climatologists seek to understand the mechanisms within the earth system that produce spatial patterns in climate, ...

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