Climate Change Overview

Country Summary

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

The Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan) is a landlocked country located in Central Asia between two major mountain systems, the Tien Shan and the Pamirs. The Kyrgyz Republic is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest, and China to the east. Approximately 94% of the country is above 1,000 meters (m) elevation, and 40% is above 3,000 m. Over 80% of the country is within the Tian Shan mountain chain and 4% is permanently under ice and snow. The Kyrgyz Republic had a population of 6 million in 2020. Most of this population live in the foothills of the mountains, and is centered around two urban conurbations, the capital Bishkek in the north, and between Osh and Jalal-Abad in the west.

The socio-economic context in the Kyrgyz Republic is complex. In terms of GDP per capita (PPP) the Kyrgyz Republic ranks among the poorest countries in the world. This position is reflected in the high national poverty rate of 25.4% but less so in the rate of undernourishment (6.4%) where the country performs comparatively better. A recent feature of Kyrgyz society has been the high rate of outmigration, with an estimated 0.5% of the population leaving the country every year between 2010–2015. Linked to this has been the rise in household reliance on remittances for income, with remittance income estimated to be equivalent to 28.5% of GDP in 2019.

The Kyrgyz Republic’s national economy has rapidly transitioned away from agriculture, constituting 14.6% of GDP in 2017 compared with 54.2% from the service sector. However, a large proportion of the population remain dependent on agriculture for subsistence and this remains a major employer. A wide variety of natural hazards also affect the Kyrgyz Republic. Earthquakes are common and have led to loss of life and significant damage to infrastructure and livelihoods, typically occurring every 5–10 years. Climate-related hazards are also common and diverse. These include drought, land and mudslides, flash floods, and glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFs), all of which contribute to significant levels of disaster risk. In the context of high social vulnerability and hazard exposure the emerging impacts of climate change are of potential significance. The Kyrgyz Republic has identified climate change impacts as a significant challenge to its development goals and has identified its water, energy, agriculture and infrastructure sectors as the most vulnerable to climate change.