Climate variability from weeks to years

Climate is in the eye of the beholder.

In this chapter we look at climate variability, and in particular climate variability that is associated in one way or another with the ocean. This condition is not very restrictive because nearly all forms of climate variability on timescales of months to decades are affected by, or even caused by, the ocean. Even in cases in which the underlying cause of the variability is nonoceanic, the ocean may modulate the variability and determine its tim-escale, and in many ways we can think of the ocean as the pacemaker of climate. We won't talk about climate variability on timescales of centuries to millennia and longer, for that deserves a book on its own. Rather, our focus will be on midlatitude climate variability on intraseasonal and interannual timescales, and on climate variability associated with El NiƱo. Before delving into all that, let's first discuss if and how climate is different from weather.

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