Geography World - Climate

Koeppen’s Climate Classification

  • The most widely used classification of climate is the climate classification scheme propounded by V. Koeppen.

World Climate
  • Koeppen identified a close relationship between the distribution of vegetation and climate.

  • Therefore, he selected certain values of temperature and precipitation and related them with the distribution of vegetation and used the values for classifying the world climates.

  • Likewise, Koeppen’s world climate classification is based on mean annual and mean monthly temperature and precipitation data.

  • Koeppen used symbolic (alphabetic) letters (i.e. use of capital and small letters) to designate climatic groups and types.

  • Koeppen broadly categorized five major climatic groups; four of them are based on temperature and one on precipitation.

The following table describes the division of Koeppen’s climate −

Symbol Descriptions Characteristics
A Tropic Average temperature of the coldest month is 18° C or higher.
B Dry Climates Potential evaporation exceeds precipitation.
C Warm Temperate The average temperature of the coldest month of the (Mid-latitude) climates years is higher than minus 3°C but below 18°C.
D Cold Snow Forest Climates The average temperature of the coldest month is minus 3° C or below.
E Cold Climates Average temperature for all months is below 10° C.
H High Land Cold due to elevation.

The following table describes Koeppen’s World Climate Classification in details −

Group Type Letter Code Characteristics
A-Tropical Humid Climate Tropical wet Af No dry season
Tropical monsoon Am Monsoonal, short dry season
Tropical wet & dry Aw Winter dry season
B-Dry Climate Subtropical steppe BSh Low-latitude semi-arid or dry
Subtropical desert BWh Low-latitude arid or dry
Mid-latitude steppe BSk Mid-latitude semi-arid or dry
Mid-latitude desert BWk Mid-latitude arid or dry
C-Warm temperate (Midlatitude) Climates Humid subtropical Cfa No dry season, warm summer
Mediterranean Cs Dry hot summer
Marine west coast Cfb No dry season, warm and cool summer
D-Cold SnowForest Climates Humid continental Df No dry season, severe winter
Subarctic Dw Winter dry and very severe
E-Cold Climates Tundra ET No true summer
Polar ice cap EF Perennial ice
H-Highland Highland H Highland with snow cover

The following map shows the world’s climatic regions as classified by Koeppen −

Climate Classification