Climate Change Overview

Country Summary

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

The Republic of Djibouti is located in the Horn of Africa along the Gulf of Aden, at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. Djibouti is one of the smallest countries in Africa and shares borders with Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia and covers a land area of more than 23,000 square kilometers (km2), with a coastline of 372 km. Djibouti is a highly arid country with little arable soil; nearly 90% of the country is classified as desert, with approximately 9% considered as pasture and about 1% forest. The terrain is comprised of arid lands scattered with shrubs throughout the country’s plateaus, plains, volcanic formations and mountain ranges, some reaching 2,000 meters (m) in height. Across the country, altitude varies from 155 m below sea level at Lake Assal to over 2,000 m at Mount Moussa Ali. The eastern region is dominated by high ridges and relatively deep ravines. Western zones are comprised of regularly deepening plains and depressions marked by fracturing. The coastal plains, in the north of the country, include cliffs falling directly to the sea and pebble and sandy beaches. Djibouti is considered as resource scarce and is prone to natural disasters which can be further exacerbated by water scarcity, adverse water management and adverse land-use planning.

The country experiences little precipitation and is largely unsuitable for agriculture and as a result, Djibouti imports nearly all of its food. Djibouti is considered a lower-middle income country and has some economic strength given its strategic location and serving as a bridge between Africa and the Middle East. The country’s port complex, among the most sophisticated in the world, is the economic driver for the country. Djibouti has a population of nearly 988,000 people (2020) and is projected to reach 1.1 million people by 2030 and 1.3 million people by 2050. An estimated 78% of the current population resides in urban areas, which is expected to reach 85% in 2050. Djibouti is considered highly vulnerable to climate change and is expected to experience adverse impacts from increased temperatures, increased aridity, reduced precipitation, and rising sea levels. Socio-economic and environmental implications will particularly affect water resources, agricultural and livestock, coastal zones, health, and tourism sectors.

Djibouti submitted its Nationally-Determined Contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC in 2016, in support of the country’s efforts to achieve its economic development goals, reduce its vulnerability to drought, protect the country against rising sea levels, improve water access, protect biodiversity and reinforce the resilience of rural populations. Djibouti’s NDC is consistent with the country’s overall goals of increasing its development, reducing its vulnerability and achieving long-term sustainable, economic development. Key focus is on the sustainability of the environment, water resources, infrastructure, agriculture sectors and costal zones. Djibouti published its Second National Communication (NC2) to the UNFCCC in 2014.