Climate Change Overview

Country Summary

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

The Republic of Kazakhstan is a landlocked country and is the ninth largest country in the world by area. Located in Central Asia, the country shares borders with Russia to the north, China to the east, and Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan to the south. The Caspian Sea forms a natural boundary to the west. Kazakhstan contains forest-steppe, steppe, semi-arid and desert climate zones and precipitation is low throughout. Kazakhstan has one of the lowest population densities in the world, with a population over 19 million (2020) spread over its 2.7 million square kilometer area.

Kazakhstan’s economy is dominated by a large minerals sector. This includes oil and gas (which accounted for 21% of GDP and 62% of exports in 2017), uranium (of which Kazakhstan is the world’s largest producer) and other metals. The service sector accounted for 55.5% of Kazakh GDP in 2019, whereas the share of agriculture in GDP was only 4.5% in 2019, having fallen sharply since the country’s independence in the early 1990s. This has allowed for strong employment growth and a significant reduction in poverty, which fell to a reported national rate of 2.6% in 2016. Nonetheless, poverty and inequality remain higher in the northern and southern regions than in the east, the west and the major cities. 

Kazakhstan identified the country’s vulnerability to climate change in the areas of agriculture (both crops and livestock), water resources, human health and social and economic development. Adaptation priorities in these areas include technical and administrative measures and technological and infrastructural improvements.