What is the Koppen Climate Classification System?

Turkey's Mount Ararat experiences an ice cap climate.
Turkey's Mount Ararat experiences an ice cap climate.

The most commonly used climate grouping method is the Koppen Climate Classification which was first printed in 1884 by Wladimir Koppen. The system received several modifications, but a German climatologist Rudolf Geiger worked together with Koppen and made alterations. Thus it is sometimes referred to as Koppen-Geiger Climate Classification. Numerous efforts to categorize the climates of the world into climatic sections have been made, for instance, Aristotle's Temperate, Torrid, and Frigid Zones. Nevertheless, Koppen-Geiger climate classification remains to be the most famous system in use.

The Koppen grouping is centered on the monthly and yearly averages of precipitation and temperatures. There are five major climatic classifications with sub-divisions, making it easy to understand the system. For example, states of the US situated along the Mexican Gulf have a "Cfa" label. The “C” signifies mild mid-latitude while “f” represents moist, and “a” shows that the mean temperature of the warmest month is over 22°C. The Koppen grouping system received adjustments from the COMIS weather platform with the consent of Peter Schild. The five main classifications are the tropical, dry, mild mid-latitude, cold mid-latitude, and polar climates.

5. Tropical

According to the Koppen classification, the Tropical climate is a non-arid type of weather whereby the whole year experiences a mean temperature of about 18°C. It is known to have constant temperatures all over the year which are free of frost. It also contains two seasons, the wet and the dry seasons. The tropical climate comprises of tropical savanna, tropical monsoon, and the tropical rainforest climates. These types of weather have been grouped depending on their forms of precipitation.

Tropical Rainforest Climate

The tropical rainforest climate usually occurs within ten degrees latitude of the equator, and the whole year receives regular rainfall of approximately sixty millimeters. This type of weather is subjected to the sluggish minimal pressure scheme that occurs throughout the twelve months of a year. The capitals that experience this type of climate include Apia in Samoa, Balikpapan in Indonesia, Davao in Philippines, Georgetown in Guyana, Kampala in Uganda, and Kisumu in Kenya, just to mention a few. There are places with the tropical rainforest climate that are consistently and predictably wet all through like Andagoya in Colombia.

Tropical Monsoon Climate

The tropical monsoon type of weather is an outcome of the monsoon winds which alter route depending on the time of the year. The monsoon climate has a month that is the most dried up, and its precipitation is less than sixty millimeters. The cities that experience the tropical monsoon climate include Doula in Cameroon, Chittagong in Bangladesh, Conakry in Guinea, Coatzacoalcos in Mexico, and Cairns in Australia among others.

Tropical Savanna Climate

The tropical savanna is a wet and dry climate. It has a rough desiccated season with the driest month having a minimum amount of rainfall of fewer than 60 millimeters. Towns with tropical savanna climate include Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire, Accra in Ghana, Bangkok in Thailand, Banjul in Gambia, and Brasilia in Brazil. Places with this type of climate are present on the outside border of the tropical zone within the mid-20s latitudes.

4. Dry

The dry type of weather is categorized by the fact that it receives little rainfall compared to its prospective evapotranspiration. Desert regions along the west coast of landmasses at tropical sites are classified by unruffled temperatures. Apart from these regions being dry because they receive limited rainfall, their summers are also scorching. There are two divisions of the dry climate which include the Desert Biome and the Steppe.

Dry Tropical Climate

The Desert Biome, which is also known as Dry Tropical Climate, is found in low-latitude deserts. They have temperatures ranging between 16°C and yearly precipitation of 0.25 cm. This type of climate is present in Southwestern United States, Northern Mexico and Central part of Australia.

Dry Mid-latitude Climate

The Steppe, which is also known as Dry Mid-latitude Climate, is recognized for its grasslands and is said to have a semi-arid type of climate. The temperature range of the Steppe climate is 24°C and receives yearly precipitation of 10cm. This type of weather is present in the internal regions of Eurasian and North American continents.

3. Mild Mid-Latitude

The Mild Mid-Latitude is classified by its moist and warm summers with winters that are mild. It ranges from thirty to fifty degrees of latitude mostly bordering continents on the east and west. During summer thunderstorms take over and winter there is a mid-latitude tornado. During mild winters there is rainfall brought about by the existence of continuous mid-latitude hurricanes, a climate that is present in Southeastern US.

2. Cold Mid-Latitude

Cold Mid-Latitude type of weather exhibit moist to cool summers and cold winters. The mean temperature of the warmest month is above 10°C while the frostiest month is below -3°C. Snowstorms, harsh cold, and stout winds are experienced during the winter from the continental Arctic. The cold mild-latitude is encountered on the higher east coast and inside continents usually above 40 degrees north. The cold mid-latitude climate is utterly uncommon because of smaller continents in the central latitudes and nearly complete lack of land at forty to sixty degrees south.

1. Polar

The polar climate which is said to bear the warmest temperature of below 10°C every month. The polar type of weather is classified into Tundra and Ice cap Climates.

Tundra Climate

Under Tundra climate, the warmest month is said to have a mean temperature of 0°C to 10°C. This climate takes place on the northern boundaries of Eurasia and North American continents. It is evident in Mount Rainer in the US, Crozet Island, Ushuaia in Argentina, and Macquarie Island in Australia. Some regions have features of icecap type of weather but can experience average temperatures above 0°C every month. They include Nnortalik in Greenland, Esperanza Base in the Antarctic, Mount Fuji in Japan, and Nord in Greenland.

Ice Cap Climate

The ice cap climate is prevailing in Inner Greenland and Antarctica, but it also arises at tremendously high altitudes on mountains higher than tundra. At no time have the temperatures surpassed 0°C. Areas with Ice cap type of climate include Summit Camp in Greenland, Mount Ararat in Turkey, Mount Everest in China/Nepal, and Byrd Station in Antarctica.


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