Home Environment India's Koppen Climate Classifications and Its Importance

India’s Koppen Climate Classifications and Its Importance

Koppen climate classification system. No two places will share the exact same climate. However, some places which maybe 1000 miles apart with a differing ecosystem, may have similar climate types. That one system that classifies and categorizes global climate type keeping in mind the kind of temperature change, precipitation level and the kind of vegetation that grows in that area is the classification by KOPPEN with the map of KÖPPEN/GEIGER that became widely used due to its clarity and its wide distribution.

Researchers and enthusiasts whoever has a little knack towards knowing about the climate geography, ecological impacts and in general about the topographical conditions find it extremely difficult to find consolidated data on the same giving rise to inadequate information on this subject for those who really depend on it like those working in vegetation science. Here comes to rescue of the Koppen climate classification system. No two places will share the exact same climate. However, some places which maybe 1000 miles apart with a differing ecosystem, may have similar climate types. That one system that classifies and categorizes global climate type keeping in mind the kind of temperature change, precipitation level and the kind of vegetation that grows in that area is the classification by KOPPEN with the map of KOPPEN/GEIGER that became widely used due to its clarity and its wide distribution. 

What is the Koppen Climate Classification System?

One of the most widely used system to determine the global climatic conditions is the Koppen Climate Classification System. This was first published by Russian-German climatologist Koppen, who named this system after him. There have been several modifications made to this system so as to develop an accurate model of determining global climatic types. The Köppen system is based on the native vegetation of that place and its probably one of the best ways to determine climate as per the vegetation distribution. 

The Koppen system divides the world’s climate into various types. The system has assigned the English alphabets in a manner to allocate the various climatic conditions in a specific country or continent. Capital letters and small letters have different meanings. The Letter system can be viewed and understood from almost any handbook on climate that has the Koppen Lettering system explained which goes something like –

A   – Tropical 

B   – Desert& Semi-arid 

C   – Sub-Tropical

D  – Temperate 

E   – Polar

pic credit Earth how

Additionally, the small letter alphabets give the climate unique characteristics, such as subdivisions as to rainfall, the warmth of summer, or the winter cold. 

Importance of the System

There are various determining factors that influence climatic characteristics like wind pattern, air pressure and the most important influence is of the solar radiation which creates high- and low-pressure zones making heat, resulting in effects on the Koppen system. 

Although this model does not take into account the extremes of weather, the Koppen climate classification system serves as a general guide to the larger climate zones on the planet. Given that this system does not address the extreme weather condition, it is not a good sight for the Indian farmers or the agricultural industry. With varied nature of change in climatic conditions, floods, heatwaves, and even forest fires, India saw 2019 with the hottest summer and drastic floods. IndiaSpend reported on 31st October 2019 that India is running a risk of severe floods by 2050 wherein major cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Surat, and Kolkata would be underwater. And that is not a pretty sight. We are just about 30 years away from the predicted disaster to happen. 

How will the Koppen System help? Sadly it won’t. The system was made to analyze the constant stable pattern of temperature and precipitation, which would later help accurately to come up with data after monthly readings of the same. Nonetheless, that would have been possible if humans didn’t alter with the climate enough to forget what constant climate and weather looks like. The Koppen System was not made keeping in mind that humans will wreck the entire climatic scenario by the time it is applied to use. 

Also read : Climate change continues relentless march this year: World Meteorological Organization

Greta Thunberg is now just a subject of a meme with her unforgettable expressions made towards Donald Trump. Is it not the time of awakening yet, or are we waiting for one of the cities to drown or destroy, or a few more farmer suicides probably? This is serious. Climate change is serious and it can have an effect on the economy, jobs, and probably everything around. It is thus high time humans realize and work towards saving the world from extremes of conditions.

Anwesha Banerjee
An enthusiastic Law student from NMIMS School of Law, Mumbai, passionate about feminist lawyering and Indian cultural art forms. She is firm about her opinions and loves to express that through her writing.

4 COMMENTS

  1. It sounds to be a very extensive coverage of the area of concern presently realising the significance of such less discussed topics ,particularly during the crisis caused by Covid-19 pandemic.
    I liked the way it’s focussed by the writer on such sensitive issue of sustenance of the globe rather a wake up call before this climate change takes a toll – unimaginable. Must read.

  2. Well informing write up. Future alert and work for future climate change. Present Risk can be managed unless realised for corrective measure. All the best to the young lawyer for future articles.

  3. Nice read…..this is very informative and absorbing for those who are interested in knowing about climate change.
    Koppen system classification well explained even for the naive reader. Rightly said by author…Koppen system widely used climate classification. Koppen system is so popular that even common people uses it’s terminology in many Non-scientific talks/literature. Weather element Temperature and precipitation…. these two affects our physical environmental directly than any other weather element. These two weather element data are measured most often and in most part of the world…because of this advantage it is possible to assign a given place a particular climate sub-group.
    Author elaborated painful and growing concern of climate change. There is an urgent need to enact specific enactments which addresses climate change………existing legal framework in India lacks heavily when it comes to implementation, appropriate legislation needs to be enacted by various state government to minimize green house gases and climate change.
    But only law cannot solve the issues. .. with combined efforts of States, Judicial system, common people and civil societies, climate change issues can be tackled to a large extent and the impact it has on the people especially the marginalized can be lessened to minimum.
    Time of awakening is passing ….but better late than never….….everyone let again reaffirm our commitment in doing our bit for better tomorrow………………
    congratulating author for this article….these issues are to be raised again and again till we are not achieving our desired result…

  4. Thanks for sheding light on global warming with a new concept. Very well explained.
    Anwesha, all your articles help me understand deeper about the topics covered and I look forward for more.

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