Climate Change Overview

Country Summary

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

Timor-Leste is a small country with a population of approximately 1.3 million in 2020 and a land area of 14,874 km2 comprises of the eastern half of Timor Island and the small enclave of Oecussi located within West Timor, situated between 8’15S - 10’30S latitude and 125’50E – 127’30E longitude. A particularly mountainous country, its central mountains rise to 3,000 m, with just under half of the country reported to have a slope of >40%, contributing to soil erosion during heavy rainfall. Coastal plains are found in the less mountainous south, The country is vulnerable to natural disasters, at high risk of cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis and heavy rainfall, all exacerbated by limited and inadequate infrastructure and social welfare. Timor-Leste has undergone significant development in recent decades due to political stability and oil revenues. It is one of the world’s most oil-dependent countries, with production beginning in 2004 and predicted to finish in 2021. Approximately 42% of its population were considered as living below the national poverty line as of 2014, a product of low productivity and limited employment opportunities. The country and its economy are primarily agrarian, with approximately 80% of the population reliant on this sector. Commodities exported include coffee, sandalwood and marble. Timor-Leste is highly vulnerable to natural disasters which are associated with droughts, floods, landslides and soil erosion. Increasing temperatures, changing precipitation patterns and increased heavy rainfall events increase impacts of climate change for the country.