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Climatology is the study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time. This modern field of study is regarded as a branch of the atmospheric sciences and a subfield of physical geography, which is one of the Earth sciences. Climatology now includes aspects of oceanography and biogeochemistry. Basic knowledge of climate can be used within shorter term weather forecasting using analog techniques such as the El Niño – Southern Oscillation, the Madden-Julian Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Northern Annualar Mode which is also known as the Arctic oscillation, the Northern Pacific Index, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation. 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. (via Freebase)