Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Australia.

Country Summary

This page presents high-level information for Australia's climate zones and its seasonal cycle for mean temperature and precipitation for the latest climatology, 1991-2020. Climate zone classifications in the map below use observed, historical data (sourced from the Climate Research Unit [CRU]) and are derived by applying the Köppen-Geiger climate classification methodology. This classification divides climate into five primary climate groups, which are divided based on seasonal precipitation and temperature patterns. The five primary groups are A (tropical), B (dry), C (temperate), D (continental), and E (polar). All climates, except for those in the E group are assigned a seasonal precipitation sub-group (second letter). It is important to understand the different climate contexts that exist within a country as well as the surrounding region when analyzing current climates and projected change. Climate classifications are identified by hovering your mouse over the legend. A narrative overview of Australia's country context and climate is provided following the visualizations.

Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification, 1991-2020
  • Af
  • Am
  • As/Aw
  • BWh
  • BWk
  • BSh
  • BSk
  • Csa
  • Csb
  • Csc
  • Cwa
  • Cwb
  • Cwc
  • Cfa
  • Cfb
  • Cfc
  • Dsa
  • Dsb
  • Dsc
  • Dsd
  • Dwa
  • Dwb
  • Dwc
  • Dwd
  • Dfa
  • Dfb
  • Dfc
  • Dfd
  • ET
  • EF

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world, with a land area of 7.7 million km2 and the third largest marine jurisdiction. Australia’s population is 25.7 million people (2020). Most people live in urban areas along the eastern and western coastal regions. Over 85% of Australians live within 50 km of the coastline. Australia has a strong and open economy that has grown continuously for over 25 consecutive years. GDP per capita was approximately $51,812 in 2020. Australia has a service-based economy with services accounting for 66% GDP (2020). The country is an exporter of natural resources, energy and food. 

The Australian continent covers a large range of climate zones, from the tropics in the north to the arid interior and temperate regions in the south. Overall, Australia is the driest of all inhabited continents, with considerable rainfall and temperature variability both across the country and from year to year. Australia’s geography, coastal population concentrations and biodiversity render it particularly vulnerable to small variations in climate. Australia submitted its updated Nationally Determined Contribution to the UNFCCC in 2020, and its Seventh National Communication in 2018.