Climatology is the science that studies climates and investigates their phenomena and causes. The discipline also referred to as climate research. A climatologist is someone who studies climatology.
The study of climatology involves weather information showing moment to moment states, seasonal changes, the long term effects of weather and how climate changes over time. The study of weather and climate has become organized around spatial scales of micrometeorology mesoscale meteorology, and global and topical processes such as boundary layers, hydrometeorology, radiative transfer, clouds and global dynamics. Climatologists link information and knowledge from several disciplines: ecology, physical chemistry, geology, and oceanography. This is because the earth's climate system is driven by solar heat and the interactions of the oceans, the atmosphere, and the resulting circulation patterns.
Climate research is made difficult by the large scale, long time periods, and complex processes which govern climate. It is generally accepted that climate is governed by differential equations based on physical laws, but what, exactly, are these equations, and what can be concluded from them, is still subject to debate. Climate is sometimes modeled as a stochastic process but this is generally accepted as a approximation to processes that are otherwise too complicated to analyze.
Early climate researchers include Edmund Halley, who published a map of the trade winds in 1686, after a voyage to the southern hemisphere. The weather map as we know it today was first published by Francis Galton in 1863. Galton also invented the term anticyclone.