Climate Change Overview

Country Summary

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

Ecuador is an Andean country in the northwest corner of South America, with a total land area of 256,370 kilometers square. It is bordered by Colombia to the north, Peru to the east, with the Pacific Ocean along its western coastline. Ecuador is a topographically diverse country traversed by the Andes Mountains, and is comprised of a double mountain chain, which divides the continental territory into three different regions: Coast, Sierra, and Amazon, each with its own distinct characteristics of climate, soils, landscapes and biodiversity. Ecuador is recognized as a mega-diverse country due to its wide variety of climates, microclimates and terrestrial and marine biodiversity.

With its wide range of climate zones, Ecuador has an extraordinary array of geographical systems, which range from high altitude glaciers to tropical rain forests in the Amazon upper tributaries to dry tropical forest on the Pacific Coast, as well as an insular outpost in the Pacific with the Galapagos Islands. Many of Ecuador’s systems are highly vulnerable and already have shown great sensitivity to climate variability and long-term change. Ecuador’s ecosystems provide a range of environmental services that are critical to rural livelihoods and urban welfare. As these systems come under pressure from altered climate patters as well as other direct and indirect factors (i.e., deforestation, agricultural and livestock practices), it is likely they will deteriorate due and the quality of environmental goods and services will also decrease.

Ecuador is a small but populous country, with an estimated 17.3 million people in 2020 with projections suggesting the country’s population could reach nearly 23 million people by 2050 . Approximately 64% of Ecuadorians live in urban areas and this is expected to reach 67% and 75% by the 2030s and 2050s, respectively. Ecuador is considered a middle-income country, however, approximately a fifth of the population lives below the national poverty line.

The Ministry of the Environment (MAE) is the national institution leads efforts regarding the development and implementation of climate change policies. The National Climate Change Strategy 2012-2025 was also formulated to achieve adaptation and mitigation outcomes. Ecuador submitted its Nationally-Determined Contributions to the UNFCCC in 2019 and its Third National Communication the UNFCCC in 2017, in support of the country’s efforts to achieve its development goals and increase its adaptation and mitigation efforts in response to climate variability and change by enhancing mitigation and adaptation implementation efforts. The Ecuadorian territory is highly vulnerable to extreme events, particularly flooding due to increased rainfall in El Niño phenomenon and increased aridity during La Niña phases.