Original paper

Köppen's climate classification map for Brazil

Alvares, Clayton Alcarde; Stape, José Luiz; Sentelhas, Paulo Cesar; de Moraes Gonçalves, José Leonardo; Sparovek, Gerd

Meteorologische Zeitschrift Vol. 22 No. 6 (2013), p. 711 - 728

published: Dec 1, 2013

DOI: 10.1127/0941-2948/2013/0507

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Köppen's climate classification remains the most widely used system by geographical and climatological societies across the world, with well recognized simple rules and climate symbol letters. In Brazil, climatology has been studied for more than 140 years, and among the many proposed methods Köppen's system remains as the most utilized. Considering Köppen's climate classification importance for Brazil (geography, biology, ecology, meteorology, hydrology, agronomy, forestry and environmental sciences), we developed a geographical information system to identify Köppen's climate types based on monthly temperature and rainfall data from 2,950 weather stations. Temperature maps were spatially described using multivariate equations that took into account the geographical coordinates and altitude; and the map resolution (100 m) was similar to the digital elevation model derived from Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. Patterns of rainfall were interpolated using kriging, with the same resolution of temperature maps. The final climate map obtained for Brazil (851,487,700 ha) has a high spatial resolution (1 ha) which allows to observe the climatic variations at the landscape level. The results are presented as maps, graphs, diagrams and tables, allowing users to interpret the occurrence of climate types in Brazil. The zones and climate types are referenced to the most important mountains, plateaus and depressions, geographical landmarks, rivers and watersheds and major cities across the country making the information accessible to all levels of users. The climate map not only showed that the A, B and C zones represent approximately 81%, 5% and 14% of the country but also allowed the identification of Köppen's climates types never reported before in Brazil.


koppen climate classification map for brazil