Atmospheric sciences is an umbrella term for the study of the atmosphere, its processes, the effects other systems have on the atmosphere, and the effects of the atmosphere on these other systems. Meteorology includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physics with a major focus on weather forecasting. Climatology is the study of atmospheric changes (both long and short-term) that define average climates and their change over time, due to both natural and anthropogenic climate variability. Aeronomy is the study of the upper layers of the atmosphere, where dissociation and ionization are important. Atmospheric science has been extended to the field of planetary science and the study of the atmospheres of the planets of the solar system.
Experimental instruments used in atmospheric sciences include satellites, rocketsondes, radiosondes, weather balloons, and lasers.
The term aerology (from Greek ἀήρ, aēr, "air"; and -λογία, -logia) is sometimes used as an alternative term for the study of Earth's atmosphere.
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