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 Palau.

Country Summary

This page presents high-level information for Palau's climate zones and its seasonal cycle for mean temperature and precipitation for the latest climatology, 1991-2020. Climate zone classifications in the map below use observed, historical data (sourced from the Climate Research Unit [CRU]) and are derived by applying the Köppen-Geiger climate classification methodology. This classification divides climate into five primary climate groups, which are divided based on seasonal precipitation and temperature patterns. The five primary 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). It is important to understand the different climate contexts that exist within a country as well as the surrounding region when analyzing current climates and projected change. Climate classifications are identified by hovering your mouse over the legend. A narrative overview of Palau'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

Palau is a microstate consisting of an archipelago of 586 islands located in the Western Pacific Ocean. The main archipelago stretches across a 200 kilometers (km) range in roughly a north-south orientation, starting from the Ngeruangel atoll in the north, down to the Angaur in the south. In 2019, its population was estimated as over 18,000 people, with most of the population located in the south of the main island of Babelthuap. Palau’s economy is based on tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing, and the country relies heavily on US Aid in the form of the Compact of Free Association. Tourism has seen a boost in recent years, in part due to rise of air travel in the Pacific and increased prosperity in East Asia. The country’s GDP is $321 million, with GDP per capita at $16,700. Palau is a biologically rich island group, home to the largest rainforests in the Micronesia region, as well as mangrove forests, seagrass beds and barrier reefs. Climate change poses several threats to the country, including coral bleaching, intense rainfall, sea-level rise, droughts and increased storm activity.