What is Climatology?

What Does Climatología Mean

We explain what the weather is, the variables it considers, its branches and importance. Also, differences with the weather.

Climatology studies the changes and variables of the climate in the long term.

What is climatology?

Climatology is the branch of geography that studies the climate and its variations over time . This has been one of the topics of study of geography since its inception, since the climate and the conditions of the atmosphere are linked to different aspects of human life, such as agricultural activity or the prevention of natural disasters .



The climate tends to be regular over long periods, such as geological periods. It obeys specific climatic cycles that have a decisive influence on the directions of plant and animal life in a given region .

But at the same time, the climate varies naturally, depending on various geological, hydrological and atmospheric conditions. All of them are object of study of climatology.

To do this, this science describes variations in temperature, precipitation, atmospheric pressure, winds, etc. In this way, it produces records known as climograms , with which it tracks the climatic behavior of a region and compares it with that of past eras.

Climatology should not be confused with meteorology , just as climate (long term) should not be confused with atmospheric weather (short term).

See also: Physical geography

Branches of climatology

Bioclimatology studies the relationships between the climate and living things.

Climatology has the following branches or subdivisions:

  • Physical climatology. It focuses on the study of climatic elements (wind, humidity , precipitation, etc.) from a statistical approach, as well as the causal relationships between them.
  • Regional climatology. As its name implies, it focuses its efforts on the study of the discrete or typical climatic features of a certain region.
  • Dynamic meteorology. Emerged in the late 1960s, it deals with the simulation and determination of climate change due to global warming , using fundamental equations of meteorology.
  • Bioclimatology. The study of the correlations between climate and life , that is, how both things influence each other.
  • Paleoclimatology. It is about the study of the climate in ancient geological eras, based on its evidence in the fossil record and in the composition of the rocks of the subterranean substrates.

Importance of climatology

Climate changes drastically impact our civilization. On the one hand, due to the possibility of catastrophes of climatic origin. On the other, the slow change from one climate to another supposes the greater or lesser availability of resources. For example, water disappears in desertification processes and with it the fertility of the soils and the possibility of plant life.

The study of climate offers conclusions regarding the determinants of these changes. Thus, it allows to take corrective measures in time or even understand the possible climatic futures of planet Earth , since judging by the evidence of past geological ages, our planet did not always have the same set of climates that it has today.

Climatology and meteorology

Climatology and meteorology are related but distinct sciences . Both use the same analysis parameters and in principle have the same object of study, but from very different perspectives.

On the one hand, climatology studies the climate, that is, the trend in the variation patterns of temperature , humidity and other elements of the atmosphere over long periods of about 30 years on average.

On the other hand, meteorology studies the same variables that climatology analyzes, but in a short period of time , enough to make predictions or anticipations regarding the coming climate in a specific region of the world.

More in: Meteorology

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