Country

Iceland

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Iceland.

Country Summary

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


Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification, 1991-2020
  • Af
  • Am
  • As/Aw
  • BWh
  • BWk
  • BSh
  • BSk
  • Csa
  • Csb
  • Csc
  • Cwa
  • Cwb
  • Cwc
  • Cfa
  • Cfb
  • Cfc
  • Dsa
  • Dsb
  • Dsc
  • Dsd
  • Dwa
  • Dwb
  • Dwc
  • Dwd
  • Dfa
  • Dfb
  • Dfc
  • Dfd
  • ET
  • EF

Iceland is located in the North Atlantic between Norway, Scotland and Greenland. It is the second largest island in Europe and the third largest in the Atlantic Ocean, with a land area of some 103,000 km2, a coastline of 4,970 km and a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. Iceland is endowed with natural resources that include the fishing grounds around the island as well as hydroelectric and geothermal energy resources. The Icelandic economy displays the characteristics of an advanced economy, with high income levels and a relatively large services sector. Its distinguishing features are its large marine and energy sectors based on ample resources, a growing tourism sector, and a high labor participation rate. It is one of the least densely populated countries in Europe.

Iceland enjoys a warmer climate than its northerly location would indicate because a part of the Gulf Stream flows around the southern and western coasts of the country. The weather is also affected by polar currents from East Greenland that travel southeast towards the coastline of the northern and eastern part of Iceland. In its Seventh National Communication, Iceland recognizes soil erosion and desertification as a main problem, noting that more than half of the country’s vegetation cover is estimated to have disappeared because of erosion since the settlement period. Reforestation projects have been numerous in the last decades. Iceland submitted its first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC in 2015.