Climate Change Overview

Country Summary

This page presents high-level information for Jamaica'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 Jamaica'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

 

Jamaica is a Small Island Developing State and the largest island in the English-speaking Caribbean, and the most populated with 2.93 million people. It is highly dependent on natural resources. Like its neighbors, Jamaica is vulnerable to natural disasters – such as hurricanes and flooding – and the effects of climate change especially along coastal sectors and livelihood activities. It is an upper middle-income economy that is nevertheless struggling due to low growth, high public debt, and exposure to external shocks. Food production from the agricultural sector currently contributes about 7% to the country’ GDP and employs close to 18% of the labor workforce. Major export commodities include sugar, banana, coffee, and cocoa. Other local produces are important for the domestic food market, primarily vegetables, cassava, poultry, and livestock. Similarly, the fisheries sector also contributes to local seafood security, has been an important protein source, and is well integrated with tourism livelihoods in some regions. Fisheries also contribute tremendously to foreign earnings. Both fisheries and agriculture account for the majority of rural livelihoods.

Jamaica faces very serious threats from hotter temperatures, droughts and floods linked to climate change, and an existential threat due to sea level rise.