Climate Change Overview

Country Summary

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


The Netherlands is a low-lying country situated in the delta of rivers Rhine, IJssel and Meuse, with around 24% of the land below sea level. The highest point is 321 meters above sea level, at the border with Belgium and Germany, and the lowest point is 7 meters below sea level. The surface area of the land, plus inland and coastal waters, amounts to 41,543 km2. The land surface covers 33,680 km2, of which 54% is used as agricultural land. While the use of land for agricultural is decreasing, land use for settlements and infrastructure is increasing, on the other hand. Forests make up roughly 10% of the land use. The Netherlands is a densely populated country. The population amounts to over 17.4 million people (2020), with approximately 507 persons per km2 in 2017. The Netherlands ranks relatively high on the list of agricultural exporters. The climate in the Netherlands is expected to undergo significant changes over the coming decades. The most pressing consequences are increasing heat stress, increasing flood risks due to both more extreme river discharge and sea level rise, more frequent failure of vital infrastructure like electricity and IT, more frequent damage to crops or production resources, increased health burden and productivity loss, and changes in biodiversity.