Climate Change Overview

Country Summary

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

Turkmenistan is in the southwestern part of Central Asia, covering an area of 488,100 kilometers square (km2). The country is bordered to the north by Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, to the southeast by Afghanistan and to the south by Iran, with the 1,748 km Caspian Sea coastline forming a natural boundary to its west. Turkmenistan’s climate is extremely dry and a large proportion of the territory is desert. Consequently, the country has a very low population density of just 12.5 people per square kilometer (and total population of 5.9 million in 2019). 

Turkmenistan’s economy has seen a very high rate of growth, with GDP increasing by 12.3% on average between 1998 and 2016 due to a significant expansion in the export of natural gas, oil and related products, which accounted for the bulk of its exports over this period. Although the economy remains dependent on hydrocarbons, cotton is the country’s next most important export, accounting for the bulk of textile exports, which in turn constituted 6.2% of all exports in 2017. The nation has a similar position on the Human Development Index to its Central Asian neighbors, ranked 108th. However, inequality in income and opportunity are believed to be higher than most countries with a comparable rank. These social issues, combined with the climate extremes experienced, mean that Turkmenistan has significant vulnerability to climate change.