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Present an account of Koppen's Classification of Indian Climate. | Indian Geography | UP PCS Optional Geography Mains Paper 2 2019

Koeppen's classification of world climate is one of the most acceptable classifications of world climate. The same classification is very much suitable for the classification of the Indian Climate.
Koppen used three major variables to classify the Climatic zone, the following are variables.
  • Temperature
  • Rainfall
  • Vegetation
There is two-step to classify the Indian Climate.
First Step:
The following variable is used to classify Indian Climate 
  • A- Tropical Climate -It is founded between the tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
  • B- Dry Arid or Desert region where evaporation is greater than rainfall.
  • C- Subtropical Climate-It found near 30-degree latitudes of both hemispheres.
  • D-Continental climate with very harsh winter
  • E-Cold Climate throughout the year.
Second Step:
The following variables are incorporated into the main variable to further subcategories the claimes:

  • f: no dry month
  • s: dry summer
  • w: dry winter
  • a: temperature of warmest month is more than 22-degree centigrade
  • b: The average temperature of the warmest four-month is above 10 degrees centigrade.
  • c: The average temperature of the warmest three-month is above 10 degrees centigrade.
  • g: Gangetic 
  • m: rain forest despite the dry month
  • W: Arid or Desert climate
  • S: Semi-Arid Climate
  • h: Hot and dry
  • k: Cold and dry
  • t: tundra climate
India has nearly all types of climates classified by Koppens. As the tropic of Cancer(23.5 degrees north) passes nearly the middle of India and half of India has a tropical climate and the other half has a subtropical climate. India also has deserts in the western part and the shadow zone of western ghats. The polar-type climate also exists in India's Himalayan region.
The following map will explain the Koppen climate zone of India.

Western Ghat:

  • It lies in tropical regions, hence categorized as A. It also has tropical rain forests despite not having rainfall throughout the year, hence it is categorized as Am, not Af.

Deccan Plateaus:

  • It lies in tropical areas with dry winter, hence it is categorized as Aw.

Coromandal coast or Tamil Nadu coast:

  • The climate of this region is categorized as As, as summer is dry in this region.

Desert and Subtropical Desert.

  • The western side of Rajasthan is categorized as BWhw; here B means Arid Climate, W means dry arid, h means hot and dry, and w means winter dry.
  • The semi-arid hot desert climate is categorized as BShw, here S means semi-arid. Apart from Rajasthan, this type of climate also exists in the shadow zone of western ghats.

Ganga Brahputra Plain:

  • It lies near to tropic of cancer, hence it comes under the "C" category. Further, winter is dry it this region, and also the climate is influenced by the river Ganga, hence the Koppen climate category of this region is "CWG".

Jammu and Kashmir:

  • The cold climate throughout the year exists in this region, hence its category as "E".


  • The South-Eastern part of Ladakh has a tundra type of Climate and is categorized as "Et" and the northern part of Ladakh is categorized as an "E" climate.

Arunachal and Sikkim:

  • In this region, the Koppen category is "Dfc". As the climate has the following characteristics:
  • Fewer influences of Ocean, continentality type climate with very harsh winter (D).
  • Rainfall throughout the year(f)
  • Having an average temperature of the warmest three months is more than 10 degrees centigrade(c).
Try to solve the following questions:
  • Discuss the main features of the climatic classification system evolved by Koppen. Also, point out its anomalies. (UPSC 2005)
  • Discuss the basis of Koppen’s climatic classification. Bring out the salient characteristics of ‘Cs’ type of climate. ( UPSC 2015)
  • Examine critically the drawbacks of Koppen’s Classification of climates. Explain how Thornthwaite attempted to overcome Koppen’s limitations. (UPSC 1996)
  • Present an account of Koppen's Classification of Indian Climate. ( UPPSC, UP PCS, 2019, 15 Marks)
  • कोपेन के भारतीय जलवायु के वर्गीकरण का एक विवरण प्रस्तुत कीजिये।

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4 September 2021 at 21:20 ×

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