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Open Access Köppen's climate classification map for Brazil

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Köppen's climate classification remains the most widely used system by geographical and climatological societies across the world, with well recognized simple rules and climate symbol letters. In Brazil, climatology has been studied for more than 140 years, and among the many proposed methods Köppen's system remains as the most utilized. Considering Köppen's climate classification importance for Brazil (geography, biology, ecology, meteorology, hydrology, agronomy, forestry and environmental sciences), we developed a geographical information system to identify Köppen's climate types based on monthly temperature and rainfall data from 2,950 weather stations. Temperature maps were spatially described using multivariate equations that took into account the geographical coordinates and altitude; and the map resolution (100 m) was similar to the digital elevation model derived from Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. Patterns of rainfall were interpolated using kriging, with the same resolution of temperature maps. The final climate map obtained for Brazil (851,487,700 ha) has a high spatial resolution (1 ha) which allows to observe the climatic variations at the landscape level. The results are presented as maps, graphs, diagrams and tables, allowing users to interpret the occurrence of climate types in Brazil. The zones and climate types are referenced to the most important mountains, plateaus and depressions, geographical landmarks, rivers and watersheds and major cities across the country making the information accessible to all levels of users. The climate map not only showed that the A, B and C zones represent approximately 81%, 5% and 14% of the country but also allowed the identification of Köppen's climates types never reported before in Brazil.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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