southern oscillation


noun

a low-latitude fluctuation of atmospheric pressure closely linked with El Niño events, specifically the periods of El Niño warming and La Niña cooling.

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Origin of southern oscillation

First recorded in 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Scientific definitions for southern oscillation

southern oscillation

The cyclic variation of atmospheric pressure at sea level between the eastern and western regions of the southern Pacific Ocean as a result of the periodic cooling and warming of surface water known as La Niña and El Niño. It has an average period of 2.33 years.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.