The Köppen climate classification system is a chart which describes different climates throughout the world. The chart, named after Russian-born climatologist, Wladimir Köppen, was developed in 1918. He kept refining the chart until his death in 1936, the year Köppen chart would be published.
The latest Köppen classification system has five major groups that are all in capitalized letters. ‘A’ is for tropical humid climates, ‘B’ stands for dry climates, ‘C’ is the mild mid-latitude climates, ‘D’ severe mid-latitude climates, and ‘E’ for Polar climates. There is another letter, which is ‘H’ for highlands and other mountainous regions, but generally temperature and precipitation can vary greatly, depending on altitude. Except for climate B, the rest of the climate zones have normal temperatures and precipitation mostly due to latitude and ocean influence.
♦ Climate A
Climate A is found along the Equator, and there is plenty of moisture that supports heavy rain virtually all year long. All seasons are warm or hot. The Amazon rain forests are located here, and there’s always high humidity in place. The climate A areas that have brief dry seasons are either tropical savanna or tropical monsoon.
♦ Climate B
This particular climate zone stands to have some of the world’s driest areas. One example is the subtropical desert, which is found across the Sahara Desert in Africa, and is very hot and dry. A steppe is similar to a desert, but generally receives slightly more precipitation. Its winters may be cold and summers can turn out to be hot.
♦ Climate C
Places that fall into this category can expect to have mild winters and warm to hot summers. In the United States, Seattle experiences frequent cloudiness and precipitation during the winter. But summers there can be rather pleasant, with more sunshine and less precipitation. The climate in Los Angeles is similar, but is warmer and drier, with summers being virtually rainless.
♦ Climate D
The severe mid-latitude climate is characterized by cold winters, and cool to hot summers. It is found in the continental areas where no big ocean breezes influence the temperature variance. Precipitation falls evenly throughout the year, with summer often being the rainiest season. Winters are sometimes severe with snowstorms and sudden bursts of very cold air. Parts of North America and Eurasia are in the climate D zone.
♦ Climate E
There are two climate types for climate E; tundra and ice cap. Tundra is very cold during the winter, and summers are cool as well. There is limited vegetation since permafrost remains on the ground for nearly the entire year. Ice cap, found in central Greenland and throughout Antarctica, is always below freezing, with very little precipitation.
According to the Koppen climate chart, earth has six main climate types. Somewhere in the world, the sun virtually shines; another place is cloudy and rainy all the time.
Hess, Darrel – McKnight’s Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation, 10th Edition (2011).