Climate Change Overview

Country Summary

This page presents high-level information for Barbados's climate zones and its seasonal cycle for mean temperature and precipitation for the latest climatology, 1991-2020. Climate zone classifications are derived from the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system, which divides climates into five main climate groups divided based on seasonal precipitation and temperature patterns. The five main 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).  Climate classifications are identified by hovering your mouse over the legend. A narrative overview of Barbados's country context and climate is provided following the visualizations.

Barbados is a small island developing state in the eastern most part of the Caribbean Archipelago. The island’s terrain is largely comprised of relatively flat land comprised of limestone rock. Barbados’ coastline is approximately 97 km in length with the majority of the island’s extensive coral life located in marine protected areas on the western coast. The population of Barbados is approximately 287,371 (2020) with 25% of the population living in coastal areas. The country was one of the main cultivators of sugarcane but has shifted its economy towards tourism and financial services. As an island state, Barbados is highly vulnerable to hurricanes and other natural hazards, and is particularly susceptible to the potential impacts of climate change, including coastal inundation and sea level rise, an increase in tidal and storm surge levels, coastal erosion, rising temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns, drought and more frequent and intense tropical cyclones.

The Ministry of Environment and Drainage is the focal point of all climate action for Barbados and seeks to address issues relevant to climate change mitigation and adaptation through inter-sector coordination. Notably, Barbados was the first Caribbean country to create a special body charged with coastal zone management, the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU).  The country submitted its Second National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2018 and its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in 2020. Barbados created a National Climate Change Policy in 2012 and ratified the Paris Agreement on April 22, 2016.