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 Switzerland.

Country Summary

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

Switzerland, located in the center of Europe, extends from 45°49’ to 47°48’ N and from 5°57’ to 10°30’ E. It covers an area of 41,285 km2, comprising 31.3% forests and grove, 35.9% utilized agricultural area, 7.5% built-up and 25.3% unproductive surface. While the built-up area is relatively small, it increased by 23% between 1985 and 2009, and continues to expand mainly at the expense of utilized agricultural area. Switzerland has a population of approximately 8.6 million (2020) people, of which 78% live in urban areas. Switzerland has a prosperous open economy dominated by the services sector. Switzerland is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change from increasing temperature, resulting in retreating of the glaciers in the Alps at an accelerated pace. If the warming continues, only a fraction of the current glacier cover will be left by the end of the 21st century with large impacts on the seasonal availability of water for drinking water, agriculture, and power generation.