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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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.