Areas covered by Koeppen classes

 

Jrgen Grieser, Ren Gommes, Stephen Cofield, Michele Bernardi

The Agromet Group, SDRN

FAO of the UN, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy

Juergen.grieser@fao.org

 

July 2006

 

 

The area of land surface covered by Koeppen classes can easily be calculated from the global rasterized Koeppen classification data of the worlds land surface. More details are provided here.

 

Table 1 shows the area estimates for the major Koeppen classes using the whole 50 year period and 3 datasets. It can be seen that on the global scale the results are rather similar. Tables with more detailed results can be downloaded in csv format.

 

Table 1: Area covered by Koeppen climate classes in million square kilometers based on the 50-year period 1951 2000. The links point to the detailed tables in csv format. Greenland and Antarctica are excluded because of lack of data.

Precipitation data source /Koeppen Class

 

CRU

 

GPCC Fulldata

 

GPCC VASClimO

A

29.375

29.525

29.615

B

36.457

36.364

36.231

C

21.917

22.057

22.068

D

33.015

32.818

32.851

E

7.253

7.253

7.253

 

 

Table 2: Transitions in area coverage (in million square kilometers) of major Koeppen classes between the periods 1951-1975 and 1976-2000 for CRU temperatures and GPCC VASClimO precipitation.

Transition

Matrix

From

A

B

C

D

E

Sum

 

 

 

To

A

29.012

0.219

0.507

0

0

29.738

B

0.556

35.066

0.672

0.164

0.015

36.473

C

0.064

0.486

20.764

0.726

0.034

22.075

D

0

0.096

0.074

31.987

0.55

32.708

E

0

0.01

0.009

0.061

6.943

7.023

Sum

29.632

35.877

22.027

32.938

7.543

128.017

 

 

Table 2 shows the extent of areas that were in a certain Koeppen class in the first period 1951-1975 and shifted to another one in the period 1976-2000.

 

While Table 1 provides information on the structural uncertainty of the estimates of Koeppen classes with respect to the data sources, Table 2 provides information on the differences of the covered area of different periods. Comparing Table 1 and Table 2 reveals that considerable transitions happened between the two periods. The fluxes are mainly of the kind E D, D C, C A, (manifesting global warming) and C B, A B (revealing an enlarged area covered by dry climate). These transitions cover more than 500,000 km2 each[1]. This is considerably larger than the uncertainties provided in Table 1.

 

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[1] This is about the area of Spain