Climate Change Overview

Country Summary

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

Located 500 km off the west coast of Africa, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) is an archipelago of ten islands. The country has an estimated population of 520,500 spread across nine islands that are scattered within a large water area, which constitutes a major constraint to growth and development. Only 10% of its territory is classified as arable land, and the country possesses limited mineral resources. Cabo Verde’s economy is driven by tourism grounded in year-round attractive weather, beautiful beaches, stable democracy, limited security risks and proximity to Europe. Its limited economies of scale create significant connectivity issues, as well as challenges for service delivery including energy, water, education, and health.

The country is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The lack of arable soil (only 10% of the soil is arable) results in high dependency on imports to meet its food needs (80 – 90%). In addition, the country’s coastlines are very vulnerable to rising sea levels and erosion where approximately 80% of the population resides. The coastal areas are also important in promoting and supporting the local tourism industry which is a main driving force behind the country’s service-oriented economy.