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 Bulgaria.

Country Summary

This page presents high-level information for Bulgaria'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 Bulgaria'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

Bulgaria has a total area of 111,000 square kilometers and is located in the Eastern Balkan Peninsula in South eastern Europe. The country shares boarders with Romania, Serbia, Republic of North Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey. The Black Sea is a natural eastern border while the Danube river separates the country from Romania in the North. Bulgaria is characterized by diverse topography that includes 31% lowlands (0–200 m), 41% hills (200–600 m), 25% highlands (600–1,600 m) and 3% mountains (>1,600 m). 60% of the country is covered with hills and mountains that are part of the Alpine-Himalayan chain. The Balkan Mountains drive differences between the northern, continental climate and the southern, Mediterranean climate. Bulgaria is a parliamentary democracy and as member of the European Union (joined in 2007) has undergone transformation from a highly centralized, planned economy to an open-market economy over the past three decades. 

Bulgaria submitted its Updated Nationally-Determined Contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC in 2020 as part of the European Union submission and has not submitted a country specific NDC. Bulgaria finalized its Seventh National Communication (NC7) in 2018. The country developed its National Adaptation Strategy and action plan which covers the period till 2030 and has identified agriculture and food security, forests, water resources, and soil as the sectors with highest vulnerability and need for adaptation actions. Adaptation priorities accounting for different levels of vulnerability identified water, agriculture, and tourism as ‘least resistant’ and most important sectors in regard to needed adaptation actions. The country’s Climate Adaptation Plan is focused on key sectors: agriculture, forestry, biodiversity and ecosystems, water, energy, transport, infrastructure and construction, urban environment, human health, and tourism. The government has also adopted a program to measure adaptation efforts for the forestry sector that recognizes the vulnerability of forests at low elevations. Soil erosion, flood risk and flood prevention management in the face of climate change are areas of major concern for the country.