Climate Change Overview

Country Summary

This page presents high-level information for Cambodia'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 Cambodia's country context and climate is provided following the visualizations.

Cambodia is part of mainland Southeast Asia, bordered by Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam and with a coastal region on the Gulf of Thailand. The Mekong River is a prominent geographical feature of the country, flowing from Laos in the north to the Mekong Delta of Vietnam in the south; feeding into the Tonle Sap Lake. The Tonle Sap is a vital natural resource, covering almost 10% of the nation’s surface area during the peak of the Southwest Monsoon season and constituting the nation’s primary protein source. Cambodia’s topography includes the low-lying central plains of the Mekong, which are surrounded by mountainous and highland regions. The population of Cambodia is approximately 16.5 million people (2019). While 76% of the population currently lives in rural areas, Cambodia is experiencing a rapid rate of urbanization. Cambodia’s population relies heavily on agriculture and fisheries, providing 25% of GDP and employing 49% of the country’s labor force. Industry and services form rapidly growing sectors of the economy. Cambodia faces high disaster risks from flood and drought, due both to high levels of exposure and vulnerability. The rate of undernourishment in Cambodia remains high, at around 15%, as does the national poverty rate. Natural resource dependence is also high, and the changes in the dynamics of the Mekong River, expected due to the largescale damming which is ongoing in most of the Mekong countries, may have negative ramifications for precarious livelihoods in Cambodia. Cambodia remains highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to its high dependency on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water resources, forestry, fisheries, tourism, etc., which form the critical foundation of its economic growth and support the livelihoods of a great significant majority of its population.