Saudi Arabia

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 Saudi Arabia.

Country Summary

This page presents high-level information for Saudi Arabia'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 Saudi Arabia'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 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia constitutes the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. The country is arid, and the sand desert renders several regions susceptible to flooding and desertification. Saudi Arabia’s economy is heavily dependent on oil, and with 25% of the world’s oil reserves, the country is the world’s largest petroleum exporter. The oil sector alone contributes up to 80% of the country’s budget revenues and 88% of foreign income is from oil exports. Gross domestic product per capita is highly variable and the economy suffers greatly from the instability in world oil prices. Attempts to diversify the economy are being undertaken in such sectors as telecommunications, power generation and natural gas exploration. The agricultural sector struggles due to the country’s unsuitable environmental conditions, though considerable nomadic and semi-nomadic pastoralist farming exists in some regions. Saudi Arabia lacks permanent water resources and, therefore, must depend on groundwater and seawater desalination to meet its water demands.

Saudi Arabia does not have a single nodal ministry for climate change but different ministries (water, electricity, and agriculture) look at climate change issues within their own impact areas. In 2016, Saudi Arabia ratified the Paris Agreement and submitted its first Nationally Determined Contribution, which aims to achieve avoidance of up to 130 million tons of CO2eq by 2030 annually through economic diversification and adaptation.