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 in the map below use observed, historical data (sourced from the Climate Research Unit [CRU]) and are derived by applying the Köppen-Geiger climate classification methodology. This classification divides climate into five primary climate groups, which are divided based on seasonal precipitation and temperature patterns. The five primary 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). It is important to understand the different climate contexts that exist within a country as well as the surrounding region when analyzing current climates and projected change. 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
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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 thousand square kilometers, a coastline of 4,970 kilometers and a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone extending over 758 thousand square kilometers in the surrounding waters. 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. In Reykjavík the average temperature is nearly 11°C in July and just below zero in January. 

The population of Iceland was over 350,000 as of 2020. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe with a population density of three inhabitants per square kilometre. Settlement in Iceland is primarily along the coast. Around 63% of the nation lives in the capital area.