Azerbaijan’s climate is highly varied, with different areas of the country containing examples of nine of the world’s eleven climate zones. This includes semi-arid, temperate, warm-temperate, cold and tundra zones, meaning that there are marked variations in average annual temperate and precipitation in different regions. In general, more mountainous parts of Azerbaijan receive higher levels of precipitation and lower average temperatures than the central lowlands and Caspian Sea coast, where the climate is drier and hotter.
- The Third National Communication to the UNFCCC (Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, 2015) reports an increase in temperatures across Azerbaijan of 1.3°C in 2010, relative to the normal average annual temperatures observed in the period 1961-1990.
- In Baku, the capital, temperatures during the summer months of June, July and August 2010 were 2.9-3.2°C higher than the 1961-1990 baseline (Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, 2015). In the summer of 2010, Baku experienced 44 days on which temperatures reached 35°C or higher, leading to elevated rates of sunstroke and hospitalization.
- This increase in annual average temperatures was more acute in areas of higher altitude (>1,000 meters), where 2010 temperatures were 1.9°C above their 1961-1990 levels (Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, 2015).
- Glacial loss over the period 1906-2006 in Azerbaijan was approximately 50% (World Bank, 2012).
- Trends in precipitation in Azerbaijan are less clear than trends in temperature, with annual average levels varying around the trend (1961-1990) level from year to year. Precipitation trends are similarly unclear at different levels of altitude across the country (Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, 2015).
- The country experiences frequent flooding. The parts of Azerbaijan at greatest risk of floods are in the central and south-eastern regions (GFDRR, 2016).