Atmospheric sciences
Atmospheric sciences is an umbrella term
Umbrella term
An umbrella term is a word that provides a superset or grouping of concepts that all fall under a single common category. Umbrella term is also called a hypernym. For example, cryptology is an umbrella term that encompasses cryptography and cryptanalysis, among other fields...

 for the study of the atmosphere
Earth's atmosphere
The atmosphere of Earth is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth that is retained by Earth's gravity. The atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention , and reducing temperature extremes between day and night...

, its processes, the effects other systems have on the atmosphere, and the effects of the atmosphere on these other systems. Meteorology
Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries...

 includes atmospheric chemistry
Atmospheric chemistry
Atmospheric chemistry is a branch of atmospheric science in which the chemistry of the Earth's atmosphere and that of other planets is studied. It is a multidisciplinary field of research and draws on environmental chemistry, physics, meteorology, computer modeling, oceanography, geology and...

 and atmospheric physics
Atmospheric physics
Atmospheric physics is the application of physics to the study of the atmosphere. Atmospheric physicists attempt to model Earth's atmosphere and the atmospheres of the other planets using fluid flow equations, chemical models, radiation balancing, and energy transfer processes in the atmosphere...

 with a major focus on weather forecasting
Weather forecasting
Weather forecasting is the application of science and technology to predict the state of the atmosphere for a given location. Human beings have attempted to predict the weather informally for millennia, and formally since the nineteenth century...

. Climatology
Climatology is the study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time, and is a branch of the atmospheric sciences...

 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
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...