Classification of Climate [NCERT Geography Notes for UPSC, SSC, Railways Exam]

Classification of Climate [NCERT Geography Notes for UPSC, SSC, Railways Exam]
Posted on 18-03-2022

Climate classification

  • The average atmospheric conditions of a region for a long period of 30-35 years are called climate. Now in this, from the average atmospheric conditions to the specific conditions and possibilities are being discussed.
  • Therefore, defining 'climate' can be said that it is the sum of the changes in the weather. Weather refers to the temperature, pressure, wind, humidity, and rainfall directions of the atmosphere at a particular point in a place.
  • In other words, the weather is the short-term wind conditions of a particular place. In the mid-latitudes, the weather varies the most and most rapidly. The variability of the weather is considered unreliable.
  • The first classification of climate was done by Greek geographers. He divided the world into three heat zones on the basis of temperature - torrid, frigid, and temperate.
  • The area between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn is called the zone of warm climate, because here the vertical rays of the Sun fall more than other areas, due to high temperatures.
  • The areas from the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn to the poles (up to the Arctic Line and the Antarctic Line, respectively) were considered to be regions of temperate climate, where there is neither too much heat nor too much winter because here the rays of the Sun do not fall vertically but the rays fall. does.
  • The areas between the two poles are called the region of cold climate because of the extreme slant rays of the sun falling here due to extreme cold throughout the year.
  • Later, in 1928, German climatologist Vladimir Köppen presented a classification of climate on the basis of temperature as well as rainfall and vegetation, which became common.

Thornthwaite classified the climate as follows:

  • Thornthwaite classified the climate on the basis of the influence of rainfall and its chronological distribution, but this classification is very complex (there are 23 classes and about 100 subclasses).

Warm equatorial climate

  • It meets between 10° north and south latitudes from the equator. The climate is similar in the Amazon Basin in South America, the Zaire Basin in Africa, and Indonesia-Malaysia (S.C. Asia) in Asia.
  • This climate has a uniform high temperature (27 °C) throughout the year and heavy rainfall (250 cm) throughout the year.
  • The annual temperature difference is less than 5°C. The rain is torrential, and uniform every day in the afternoon. In this warm climate, thick deciduous forests grow which are called 'selvas'.

Warm monsoon climate/or Indian type of climate

  • Its extension is found between 5° to 10° latitudes both north and south of the equator. Mainly it is found in India and its adjacent S.E. It is found in the Asian countries, northern Australia, and the Guinea coast of Africa.
  • In this, change in season and with it change in wind direction and amount of rainfall is found. It rains in summer. The amount of rainfall varies from 40 to 200 cm. There is a dry wind period in winter.
  • Summer temperature ranges from 25°C to 40°C and winter temperature ranges from 10°C to 25°C. A developed area of ​​low air pressure is formed in the land area in summer and high air pressure in winter, so the direction of trade winds changes.
  • The characteristic of the monsoon is reflected in the change of wind. Summer cyclones also have an effect. In areas of high rainfall, evergreen forests, and in dry areas shrubs and thorn forests are found.

Sudanese hot savanna climate

  • This equatorial climate is found in both the northern and southern hemispheres adjacent to the region.
  • This climate is found in Sudan and Weld Plateau in Africa, the Llanos Plateau in South America, the Guyana Highlands and Campos in Brazil, and in the northern part of Australia (up to Queensland).
  • It has a year-round high temperature (over 23°C) and an annual temperature difference of up to 10°C. Rainfall in summer and only 25 cm of rainfall. 100 cm from Happens till then.
  • It is characterized by winter aridity and summer floods, an increase in temperature in increasing latitude, and a decrease in rainfall. The main vegetation growing in this climate is tall and hard grass which dries up in summer and turns yellow. The grassland is called 'savanna'.


Warm and subtropical desert climate

  • It is found in the western part of the continents between 15° to 30° latitudes. This climate is found in the Sahara, Arabia, Thar, Southern California, Arizona, Colorado, Atacama, Kalahari, Namib, and Western Australia. It has two seasons, winter and summer (temperatures from 10 0 C to 38 ° C).
  • In the absence of rain, the sky remains cloudless, so solar radiation is received very much during the day and ground radiation is very fast at night.
  • In this, not only the daily temperature difference is highest, but also the hottest places in the world, such as Algizia (59 ° C), Dead Valley (58 ° C), Jacobabad (52 ° C) are found. The vegetation here is thorny bushes.

warm and subtropical steppe climate

  • This climate is found in the southern interior of Eurasia and North America, with an average temperature of 30 cm. There is annual rainfall. The average temperature is 21 °C (temperature 13 °C). Convectional/vehicular rainfall occurs in summer.
  • Being away from oceanic influence, rainfall is less. Small soft grass is the vegetation here.
  • The grasslands are called 'steppe', especially in Eurasia. These plains are in limited areas in the southern continents.

Mid-latitude desert climate

  • This climate is found in those interior parts of the continents (in the temperate zone) which are spread like a saucer. The climate of the Gobi, Tarim Basin, Afghanistan-Baluchistan, and Central Iran in Asia is similar.
  • This climate is also found in the Great Basin region of North America. The temperature in summer is high (above 35 °C) but is found to be less than the freezing point in winter. Being surrounded by mountains, rainfall is scanty. It snows in winter. There is a lack of vegetation here.

Mid-latitude steppe climate

  • This climate is found in the interior of the continents in the temperate zone (north in the northern hemisphere and south in the southern hemisphere). In North America, the northern prairie region and the. The southern Pampas in America are the major regions of this climate.
  • The temperature in this climate is lower than that of the tropical and sub-tropical steppe. It snows in winter. Rainfall occurs in the spring (convective type) and its rainfall is only 25 to 30 cm. it occurs.
  • Agriculture and animal husbandry have been developed in this climate. There is an abundance of cattle and sheep and mechanized cultivation of wheat-maize has been adopted.

Mediterranean climate

  • It is found between 30° to 45° latitudes, in both the hemispheres, in the western coastal areas. Its area is widely found on the western coasts of the Mediterranean Sea and continents.
  • Its other regions are- Central California, Central Chile, The. The fifth note of the musical scale. Africa, South of Australia, and SW. Part and North Island of New Zealand. It gives 4°c to 10°c temperature in winter and 20°c to 27°c in summer.
  • Due to the seasonal shifting of the pressure belts, 40 to 60 cm from the 'westerly' winds in winter. It rains, but due to the influence of easterlies in summer, it does not rain. Rainfall is cyclonic.
  • The vegetation is grapevines and orange, olive trees and shrubs, etc. It is world-famous for grape production.

Humid subtropical climate

  • It has been called a China-like climate because its maximum extent is found in China. Korea, d. Japan, S.C. The United States, d. Brazil, Uruguay, and S.E.C. Australia have other regions of this climate. This climate is found mainly in the east coastal areas between 30° to 45° latitudes.
  • The average annual temperature in this climate is 20 °C (temperature 17 °C). Most of the rainfall occurs in summer (from trade winds). There is cyclonic rain in winter. Annual rainfall 75 cm. 150 cm from Happens till

West European climate

  • It is found on the western coasts of continents between 40° to 65° latitudes. Its wide area is Western Europe. Its other areas are – Southern Chile, the South Island of New Zealand, the U.P. The United States, and British Columbia.
  • Due to the permanent westerly winds blowing from the sea, rain falls in the form of light showers throughout the year (60 to 100 cm on average).
  • Rainfall is of mountainous and cyclonic type. The sky is always covered with clouds. The average temperature is 10°C and the temperature is low. The vegetation is a temperate deciduous forest.

Humid continental climate (hot summers)

  • This climate is found in the temperate zone, in the eastern part of the northern continents, which is located on the coast. North China, Korea, and the north-eastern seaside areas of North America are the major regions of this climate. The westerly winds always blow in these areas, hence the rainfall is less.
  • 75 cm from the cyclone in summer. Till it rains. The amount of rainfall is variable. Snowfall occurs in winter while the temperature remains below freezing point. The temperature in January in Verkhoyansk is -50 °C.
  • In summer the temperature rises to 20°C. In this way, the annual temperature difference is very high. The vegetation is temperate deciduous forest and grass.

Humid continental climate (cool summers)

  • This climate is also found in the eastern part of the northern continents (in the temperate zone).
  • It is found in relatively high latitudes where the temperature drops during summers and a cooler climate is experienced.
  • The summer season is short (short), but the rainfall is high in this season. In winter, due to the icy wind blowing from the west, there is a snowfall. The winter rains are cyclonic. The vegetation is angular forests.
  • Northern Japan, Manchuria, the Canadian Ocean Region, and the northeastern states of the United States all fall under this climate.

subpolar climate

  • This climate is found only in the northern hemisphere. The extension of this climatic region is seen in the form of a long narrow belt at the end of the tree growing towards the pole.
  • 10°c this climate forms the northern boundary of the region. It is a heterogeneous climate with a long winter season. It has a harsh winter, rainfall is 25-30 cm in summer. The vegetation is angular forest.

Tundra climate

  • It is found only in the north polar circle. It is also found on the coasts of Iceland and Greenland.
  • The summer season is for two months and the winter season is for 10 months. The land remains snow-covered due to the temperature being found below freezing point in winter.
  • The lowest temperature of the world is found in this climate. Trees do not grow in such a cold climate. Lichens are the main vegetation. This vegetation gets destroyed as soon as it cools down.
  • In summer the land remains swampy. This climate is not conducive for the growth of organisms due to the long winters and extremely cold seasons.

Polar Glacier Climate

  • It is a polar climate in which the temperature is always below freezing point, as a result, no vegetation grows. It is extremely harsh because of the climate of a permanent region of snow.
  • This climate is found in the continent of Antarctica and most of Greenland. It is also found on some islands near the North Pole.

High regional climate

  • This climate is found mainly on the Central Asian highlands, where the old mountain ranges are located. The mountainous regions of the Rockies and the Andes also fall under this climate. There is less rainfall in the higher parts than in the lower parts.


Climatic type



leading position

equatorial climate
  • High temperature and high rainfall remain uniform throughout the year and are found to be evenly distributed. There is no season in this, but the rainfall is highest in March, April, and September, October.
  • Amazon Basin, Congo Basin Malaysia, and East Indies
  • Kuala Lumpur (low equatorial climate) Quito (high equatorial climate)
tropical monsoon climate
  • Wet rainy season and dry winter season. In the rainy season, the winds bring rain coming towards the coast (offshore), while in summer and autumn the winds are offshore.
  • Best developed in the Indian subcontinent. Also East Asia, The. Developed in China and Northern Australia
  • Mumbai, Cairns (Australia)
tropical maritime climate
  • Eastern coast of tropical parts. Rainfall throughout the year by gusty winds at most places.
  • Eastern Brazil, parts of East Africa (Malagasy), Philippines, North-Eastern Australia, Central America, and Cuba
  • Durban (South Africa), Wayana (Cuba), and Manila
tropical continental (like Sudan) climate
  • The transition climatic belt between the equatorial evergreen and the tropical desert. There is a hot rainy season and a dry winter season with only moderate rainfall.
  • Best developed in Sudan. Other regions are East Africa South Africa north of the Tropic of Capricorn, Llanos in the Orinoco Basin, Kampos in the highlands of Brazil, and the southern part of Australia's monsoon region.
  • Kano (Nigeria), Salisbury (Zimbabwe)
tropical desert climate
  • Very little rainfall, mainly due to high pressure, air subsidence, and wind diffusion. Due to this, the winds move from the continental parts to the coastal parts. Such desert areas are mainly between 15 to 30 latitudes and are located on the western edge of the continents. The temperate tropical deserts are located in the rain shadow of the mountains.
  • Mozabe, Sonorum (California and Mexico), Atacama (D. America), Sahara, Kalahari, Namibia (Africa), Arabia, Iran, Thar (Asia), Greater Australian desert.
  • Insalaha Azizia (Libyan Sahara) (Africa)
Mediterranean climate (temperate western coastal climate)
  • Dry and hot summers and moist and cool autumns. In summer, under the influence of gusty winds, due to which the winds are offshore. Rain is due to the effect of westerly winds in winter when the winds are offshore. This change in summer and autumn is due to the transfer of the thermal equator.
  • Best developed around the Mediterranean. Also Central California, Central Chile The. The fifth note of the musical scale. Developed in Africa and South Australia.
  • Rome, San Francisco Santiago, Path
warm temperate continental climate (steppe climate)
  • Location in the interior of the continents, where the annual temperature difference is found to be very high.
  • Best grown in interior North America and Eurasia. In the southern hemisphere, it is best developed in Argentina-Uruguay, but the climatic conditions are to a lesser extent continental due to the narrowing of the continents.
  • Winnipeg, Moscow, Pretoria
Warm temperate east coast (China equivalent) climate
  • Humid hot summers and cool dry autumns. More rainfall than in the Mediterranean climate.
  • South Eastern United States, Central China, Eastern part of the Pampas, South East Africa, and South-Eastern Australia.
  • Miami, Nanking, Buenos Aires, Sydney
Cold temperate west coast climate (British equivalent or British Columbia equivalent)
  • The main area is under the influence of westerly winds and cyclonic conditions throughout the year. Autumn is not very harsh and the summer temperature is not high. Four different seasons.
  • Best grown in British Columbia, Northwest Europe, coastal southern Chile, Tasmania, and the South Island of New Zealand.
  • Bangkok, London, Hobart (Tasmania)
Siberian climate or temperate continental climate
  • Autumn is very hot, summer short, and little rainfall. Developed only in the northern hemisphere.
  • Best developed in the interior of North America and Eurasia, especially between 35°N and 60°N latitudes.
  • Moscow
Temperate East Coast (Larencia Equivalent) Climate
  • Autumn-dry and cool, Summer-humid and moist. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year.
  • Best grown in northeastern North America, especially the Canadian Maritime region and New England in the Americas. Additionally developed in northern China, Manchuria, Korea, and northern Japan.
  • Montreal (Canada), New York (United States), Beijing (China)
Arctic and tundra climate
  • Autumn - 9 to 10 months of extreme cold, and short cool summers with little rainfall.
  • Deserted areas of northern Canada and Alaska, the coast of Greenland, and the coast of Eurasia.
  • Barrow Point

Global climate change

  • After the existence of the earth, when the climatic conditions suitable for the life of animals and animals arose on it, then the plants grew, then the creatures who took those plants as food appeared. Evolving first aquatic animals and then terrestrial animals.
  • Evidence of dense forests has been found on Earth in the Carboniferous era, 350 million years ago. There is also evidence of the existence of giant dinosaur dinosaurs in the Jurassic era, some 180 million years ago. Today they are neither forests nor giant creatures.
  • They disappeared due to climate change. They are available as fossils (from North America to Eurasia). Human beings have not even completed one crore years on earth, only a few lakh years have been spoken.
  • Climate change has also been taking place during this period. Due to climate change, many ice ages came, which are mentioned in our ancient texts.
  • time-shifting. Climate also changes with time, the climate will change in the future also. The whole creation is changeable. Climate change in the past can be inferred from the fact that coal is becoming available in Siberia, which is very cold today.
  • It is clear that there were dense forests there earlier. In Africa and India (in the Narmada Valley) where it is very hot, glacial deposits have been found which are reminiscent of the cold climate of the past.
  • Gobi and Thar are today dry deserts due to lack of rain, but the land here was once green and people were full of wealth and food.
  • The Pleistocene epoch is called the Ice Age. At that time the northern parts of North America and Eurasia became glaciated.
  • As the temperature increased, the snow there melted. Today the lake region of North America and the countries of Europe, England, Poland, Germany, etc. are free from snow cover.
  • The climatic conditions have changed in the last thousand-two thousand years and its evidence has been received from different parts of the earth.
  • Aridity increased in Central Asia and frequent famines occurred. People moved south where the climate was humid. Now, these wetlands are also becoming dry. The climate is getting warmer.
  • The amount of rainfall has started decreasing. Now severe storms have started rising here and sometimes due to severe floods due to cyclonic rains, life becomes disturbed. It is natural for agriculture and livestock to be harmed by the increase of heat and aridity.
  • The problem of water supply became so acute that a city like Bangalore had to decide (in May 2003) to supply water twice a week.
  • In North America, the groundwater level is falling and agricultural fields are moving north. In Antarctica, giant icebergs the size of the metropolis are breaking apart.
  • Scientists say that ice is melting on such a large scale for the first time since the last ice age that ended 12,000 years ago.
  • This will disturb the global ecology. It is feared that if the ice cover of the whole of Antarctica melts, then the water level of the world's oceans can rise by five meters, and then Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, and hundreds of seaside cities of the world will be submerged.
  • The increase in global temperature is believed to be responsible for this climate change. By the middle of the 21st century, the deteriorating environmental conditions of the world as a result of climate change can make the world deserted.
  • Signs of climate change have started to become apparent after the 1980s. In 1990, the average temperature of the earth was estimated at 14.4 °C, which has now increased further.
  • The temperature over the oceans is also increasing at a rate of 0.11 ° C, which will have a direct effect on the weather and catastrophic scenes may be present.

Main causes of climate change

  • The main causes of climate change are as follows-

astronomical causes

  • The number of solar stigmas varies. When their numbers start increasing, the weather on the earth starts cooling, along with the humidity starts increasing.
  • The intensity of storms also increases. All these things affect the climate. When the number of sunspots starts decreasing, the temperature on the earth starts increasing, along the dryness also increases.
  • According to the 'Milankovitch oscillation' theory, changes in the Earth's axial tilt can cause changes in climate. As a result, there is a difference in insolation.

mortal cause

  • When a volcanic eruption occurs, a large number of aerosols are covered in the atmosphere and block the solar radiation from reaching the earth. As a result, the temperature on Earth decreases. It has an effect on the climate.
  • The continuous increase of carbon dioxide and contaminant gases in the atmosphere is threatening global warming and is capable of causing climate change. Today this reason is being given the most importance.

Greenhouse effect and global warming

  • The theory of the greenhouse effect came to light in 1827. This theory states that the circle of the Earth's atmosphere acts like transparent glass (glass-made cover) of a greenhouse.
  • Sunlight consists of rays of different wavelengths. The unit of measurement of their length is nanometer (nm = 10 -9 m). The vision is known by the waves of 400 nm to 800 nm. Increasing wavelength gives knowledge of purple, blue, sky, green, yellow, orange, and red colors respectively.
  • The only rays of wavelength less than 400 nm are ultraviolet (UV) rays which are extremely lethal. But, the ozone gas present in the upper surface of the atmosphere absorbs these rays and does not allow them to come to the earth, that is, it is the protective shield of the organisms of the earth.
  • Similarly, rays of wavelength more than 800 nm are called infrared (IR). Heat is experienced by them, as the wavelength increases, the value of heat also increases.
  • A special property is found in glass, carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, methane, or many other substances. They absorb the rays of a wavelength and their energy gets stored in them and changes into heat, due to which their temperature keeps on increasing.
  • At a particular temperature, they emit stored energy, but this emission is only in the form of rays of longer wavelength, that is, heat is released from their emission. The intensity of heat emitted by different substances is different.
  • In the cold regions, the temperature is very low even during the winter, due to which the vegetation gets lost.
  • Therefore, to grow fruits, flowers, and vegetables there, houses are built with glass walls above the ground. Rainwater or hail does not reach them, but sunlight does reach them. However, it cannot reach heat by itself.
  • The glass walls continue to heat up by absorbing its energy, and when the temperature rises, naturally rays of longer wavelengths start being emitted from them. Since these are heatwaves.
  • Therefore, the temperature inside the house increases due to which flowers and vegetable plants grow well. These glasshouses are called 'greenhouses'. Because they preserve greenery (flowers and vegetable plants).
  • Carbon dioxide and some other gases present in the atmosphere act in a similar way. The earth absorbs some of the sunlight that reaches the earth.
  • This energy is the source of energy on earth. At the same time, some part of the energy gets reflected from the earth's surface and goes into space. This energy is not needed by the earth, but carbon dioxide and other gases present in the atmosphere also absorb this reflected energy and heat it, and start emitting heat at a particular temperature.
  • The heat reflected from the earth also comes back to the earth and raises the temperature unnecessarily which is a terrible disaster for the living world.
  • The lower part of the troposphere remains warm due to the interruption of the loss of heat near the Earth's surface. From there the complete immersion of the insolation is not possible.
  • This is called the greenhouse effect. Scientists say that humans are increasing this effect with their reactions, due to which the global temperature is increasing.
  • NASA scientists say that the rate of increase in temperature has increased the most in the last 30 years. In the last decades, the temperature has increased all over the world and it is continuing.
  • Some climatologists call it the result of the climatic cycle, but some consider it to be the result of human activities.
  • Population growth, development of factories with industries and more and more use of electricity for amenities _ all these reasons have increased and diversified human activities, as a result, the natural environment has been polluted and nature has become enraged.
  • Coal, mineral oil (petroleum), and natural gases have become the main means of obtaining energy, due to which the amount of gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxide, ozone, chloro-fluorocarbon, etc. is continuously increasing in the atmosphere. These gases are known to increase the greenhouse effect, so global warming is natural.
  • Before the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was low (0-003 percent), but it has increased by more than 22 percent in the last 150-200 years. On an estimated basis, its quantity is increasing by 4 percent every year.
  • This means that the amount of carbon dioxide will double in the next 25 years. Even if the use of traditional sources of energy is reduced, the amount of carbon dioxide will almost certainly double in 50 years.
  • This appalling situation is going to create a global crisis. Seeing the growth of factories, it is difficult to estimate how much polluted and harmful gases will fill the atmosphere.

Major causes of global warming-

  • But, those plants are now becoming victims of self-exploitation and are getting dead and sitting on the ocean floor. This means that the increasing carbon dioxide gas is becoming fatal even to the plants.
  • Moving towards development, the number of cities on this earth is increasing continuously. Due to the rapid increase in population and limited land, the construction of multi-story buildings is also increasing.
  • For this, vacant or cultivable land is being used. Trees and plants are also being cut as per the need, thus, today's modern cities are turning into concrete jungles.
  • Also, there are Alkatraputi roads here. During the day these buildings and roads get hot like sand. Only heat is emitted in them at night. Air pollutant gases and dust particles obstruct the surface to receive insolation on the one hand and on the other hand reflect the solar radiation and spread it into the atmosphere.
  • The hole in the ozonosphere and its increase are also a factor in the increase in temperature. In this way, global warming is becoming an indicator of human genocide.
  • It is necessary to curb the rise in temperature by launching the 'Save The Earth' movement.

Following are some effective tips/measures to reduce the rising temperature-

  1. To increase the understanding of people to maintain environmental balance.
  2. People should be made aware to stop the excessive growth of the population.
  3. Unconventional sources should be used more and more in energy production.
  4. More and more trees should be planted, as well as the emphasis should be given to forest conservation.
  5. Environment-protection policy should be adopted for setting up new cities and building houses.
  6. Factories should be established away from dense population and care should be taken in energy use.
  7. The nuclear explosions should be stopped.
  8. An alternative should be found by banning the production of chloro-fluorocarbons.
  9. The use of fossil fuels should be reduced.
  10. Every effort should be made to stop air pollution.
  • If the rising temperature is not stopped, then it can have dire consequences, such as the melting of glaciers and glaciers will intensify and the sea level can be raised by one to five to six meters, as a result, many beaches will be submerged and Mumbai, Chennai Coastal cities like Kolkata will be submerged in water.
  • The physical water level will go down, the wells will dry up. The problem of drinking water will intensify. Somewhere there will be floods due to excessive rain, and somewhere the earth will become deserted due to lack of rain. The expansion of the desert will increase and the population will decrease due to lack of water and food grains.
  • Changes in the regional climate will begin to be seen. There will be a change in the world's ecology and ecosystem and there will be climate change. The outbreak of various diseases and diseases will increase. Everywhere the scenes of the holocaust will start appearing.


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