Climatic cycle

From Glossary of Meteorology

climatic cycle

(Also called climatic oscillation.) A slowly varying change of climate about a mean that recurs with some regularity but is not necessarily periodic.

The term "cycle" is used in climatology more loosely than in other physical sciences. It implies quasiperiodic behavior without any real precision in the recurrence of events. It usually indicates only that the event is more probable at the peak of the cycle than at the trough. The existence of numerous cycles has been postulated, ranging from those with timescales of geological length down to a few years.

Copyright 2022 American Meteorological Society (AMS). For permission to reuse any portion of this work, please contact Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 U.S. Code § 107) or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S.Copyright Act (17 USC § 108) does not require AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a website or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, require written permission or a license from AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy statement.