CR 59:1-13 (2014)  -  doi:10.3354/cr01204

Climate classification revisited: from Köppen to Trewartha

Michal Belda*, Eva Holtanová, Tomáš Halenka, Jaroslava Kalvová

Charles University in Prague, Dept. of Meteorology and Environment Protection, 18200 Prague, Czech Republic
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The analysis of climate patterns can be performed separately for each climatic variable or the data can be aggregated, for example, by using a climate classification. These classifications usually correspond to vegetation distribution, in the sense that each climate type is dominated by one vegetation zone or eco-region. Thus, climatic classifications also represent a convenient tool for the validation of climate models and for the analysis of simulated future climate changes. Basic concepts are presented by applying climate classification to the global Climate Research Unit (CRU) TS 3.1 global dataset. We focus on definitions of climate types according to the Köppen-Trewartha climate classification (KTC) with special attention given to the distinction between wet and dry climates. The distribution of KTC types is compared with the original Köppen classification (KCC) for the period 1961-1990. In addition, we provide an analysis of the time development of the distribution of KTC types throughout the 20th century. There are observable changes identified in some subtypes, especially semi-arid, savanna and tundra.


KEY WORDS: Köppen-Trewartha · Köppen · Climate classification · Observed climate change · CRU TS 3.10.01 dataset · Patton’s dryness criteria


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Cite this article as: Belda M, Holtanová E, Halenka T, Kalvová J (2014) Climate classification revisited: from Köppen to Trewartha. Clim Res 59:1-13

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