Climate Change Overview

Country Summary

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

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is located in central sub-Saharan Africa, within the Congo Basin. The DRC’s territory straddles the Equator, with one-third of its land area to the north and two-thirds to the south. It is the second largest country in Africa, with a total land area of 2,345,408 km2. The DRC shares borders with the Republic of Congo to the northwest, the Central African Republic to the north, South Sudan to the northeast, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania (Lake Tanganyika) to the east, Zambia to the southeast and Angola to the west. The DRC has a largely equatorial climate; however, this varies across the country’s extensive land area. Generally, the country is hot and humid in the north and west, an area located within a significant portion of the Congo River Basin. The southern, central and eastern areas are generally cooler and drier. The DRC is home to an exceptionally high degree of diversity biomes, ecosystems, and habitats, notably dry rainforests (Muhulu), open woodland forests (Miombo), savannahs, as well as cloud and gallery forests. A large network of protected areas, safeguarding this diversity, covers approximately 8% of the national territory. The majority of the land area of the DRC is within the world’s second largest area of tropical rainforest, which is documented to store 8% of global forest carbon stocks. It is also characterized by mountain terraces, plateaus, savannahs, grasslands and mountains. The DRC has over 80 million hectares of arable land and over 1,100 listed minerals and precious metals. The country has a significant natural resource base of timber, energy, minerals and gemstones.

The DRC submitted its Nationally-Determined Contribution to the UNFCCC in 2016, which outlines the country’s environmental goals and its sustainable development agenda. It published its Third National Communication to the UNFCCC in 2015. With respect to anticipated climate change impacts, the DRC’s primary adaptation efforts are focused on the country’s most vulnerable sectors: water resources, agriculture, land use and forestry, sanitation, health, and energy.