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 Zambia.

Country Summary

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

Zambia is a land-locked country located in the tropics in central-southern Africa. Zambia’s population has been on the rise, from 8 million in 1994 to 12.6 million in 2008-10 and projections point to 22 million by 2030. Two thirds of the country’s inhabitants live in rural areas, of which about 80% live under United Nations defined levels of poverty. The Zambian economy is predominantly dependent on exploitation of its natural resources, particularly through mining and forestry. Zambia’s climate is highly variable and over the last few decades has experienced a series of climatic extremes, e.g. droughts, seasonal floods and flash floods, extreme temperatures and dry spells, many of these with increased frequency, intensity and magnitude. Their impacts on the country are evident in climate-induced changes to physical and biological systems which increasingly exert considerable stress on the country’s vulnerable sectors, especially agriculture. The adverse impact climate change on food and water security, water quality, energy and the sustainable livelihoods of rural communities coupled with poverty also limit economic development.

The National Climate Change Response Strategy was developed in 2010 to facilitate a coordinated response to climate change even as sectoral strategies and policies did the same for their respective sectors. Sectoral policies include the National Agriculture Policy of 2014, National Strategy for REDD+ 2015 and the National Energy Policy 2008. The country has also submitted a National Adaptation Plan of Action on Climate Change  and plans to develop a National Adaptation Strategy. Zambia ratified the Paris Agreement on December 9, 2016 and its Nationally Determined Contribution can be found here.