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date: 26 September 2023

Historical and New Insights Into Atmospheric Teleconnectionlocked

Historical and New Insights Into Atmospheric Teleconnectionlocked

  • Pinhas AlpertPinhas AlpertTel Aviv University
  •  and Hadas SaaroniHadas SaaroniTel Aviv University


The term “teleconnection” in climate studies was defined primarily for widely separated regions. This stems from the basic idea that a physical process, such as an advection or a particular synoptic system, cannot simply explain a relation or a correlation in large distances. Also, in modern times, models more often fail in predicting these remote patterns, particularly with regional models. Even with a clear physical process of advection and for a short horizontal scale, teleconnection is often not well understood if the physical mechanism involved is complex, such as in the subsynoptic scales of aerosol–rainfall interaction or megacities and their potential effects on precipitation. Thus, in a broader view of the horizontal scale of teleconnection, the word “tele” still represents the word “far,” as in its Greek origin, but it also includes the limitation in understanding complex atmospheric relations in various distances. Furthermore, the hidden assumption that ancients were not able to observe teleconnections is contradicted by an example from approximately 1,800 years ago. In this example, a claim was made in the Talmud that the Euphrates flow is strongly related to the rainfall over the greater Israel region, located approximately 700–900 km westward. However, the understanding of this ancient teleconnection was only possible in the second half of the 19th century when the role of synoptic systems in weather emerged.


  • History of Climate Science

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