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 Kiribati.

Country Summary

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

Kiribati is a nation of 32 coral atolls and one raised limestone island, located in the central Pacific Ocean. The country contains three major island groups: the Gilbert group in the west, the central Phoenix group, and the Line group in the east. These islands have a total land area of 811 square kilometers (km2), and occupy a vast economic exclusion zone of approximately 3.6 million square kilometers. Kiribati’s coral atolls are very low-lying, with a maximum elevation of 3 to 4 meters (m) above sea level. The country straddles the equator, with an average annual temperature of 27.5°C. Kiribati had an estimated population of 110,000 in 2015, of which approximately 51% lived on the island of South Tarawa, where the capital Tarawa is located. As of 2018, the country was classified as a Least Developed Country economically and in 2016 over 90% of its exports consisted of fish products.

Kiribati is amongst the most vulnerable nations to climate change on Earth. As an extremely isolated and very low-lying island nation, Kiribati faces considerable risk from climate variability and sea-level rise. The potential risk of permanent inundation, and land and marine ecosystem degradation link climate change intrinsically with development. Kiribati has ratified the Paris Climate Change Agreement (2016), submitted its Second National Communication to the UNFCCC in 2013 and its Nationally Determined Contributions (2016). The Kiribati Joint Implementation Plan on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management (2019) estimates the cost of climate change adaptation over the period 2014–2023 at around $75 million (approximately 4–5% of GDP per year).