SO262, Fall 2013

Koppen Climate In Class Exercise

This exercise can either be done in MICRODEM or with Google Earth.


  • Perform a complete install
  • Replace the EXE and help files, and insure you are running a version dated 2012.10.3 or later
  • Follow directions in the help file.  You want "Climates lab", under Tutorials and labs, Physical Geography.
  • If you filter the database, you can display just the climate category you want.  CLASS=D* will show all the D's.
  • If you right click on a map or the graph, you can copy it to the clipboard and then straight into PowerPoint.


Google Earth

Download the following data sets:

  • If you do not have Google Earth, perform a Google Earth download and install the program on your computer.  If you have done this, clicking on the links below will download the files from the internet and open then in Google Earth.
  • Download data files, either of the following:
    • Climate_stations.kmz: This has 2482 climate stations from "National Climatic Data Center and World Meteorological Organization, 1998, 1961-1990 global climate normals CD-ROM, Version 1.0".  For each station, we have computed the Koppen classification.  The KMZ file has the station data, and a climograph.  The are voids in countries that do not share their data, and in regions where recording data has not been a priority.  With this version you can turn on/off individual categories.
    • KOPPEN_GRID.kmz: this is a by grid with the Koppen climate class at each point on land, for the time period 1976 to 2000. This will be a point data file, and you can see the individual points as you zoom in. You can turn on/off individual categories.  Data originally from the University of Vienna.:

Google Earth hints:

  • On startup, it is a good idea to clean out any extraneous layers which will be in "My places" or "Temporary Places".  You can right click on either an individual layer, or the highest level "My places" or "Temporary Places" and then select either "Delete" or "Delete contents".
  • In Layers, there is an option for photos.  This will let you get pictures nearly anywhere on earth, and many are very appropriate for physical geography. 
  • Use the checkboxes in the table of contents to hide and show layers.  You might want to limit what appears from Layers, since it is easy to clutter the map and not be able to see what you want.  You can also show just a single climate category.
  • Extracting graphics:  To copy the current map on screen in Google Earth, go to Edit, Copy image.
  • To copy a climograph, click on the colored square marking the station to bring up its data table and climograph, and then right click on the climograph and pick "copy image".


We will break the class into groups, each of which will prepare a Power Point discussion of a single climate category in the Koppen classification.  Your presentation will include:

  1. A map showing the location of the category in the world.  You might need separate views of two hemispheres.
  2. One  representative climograph from  North America, showing what conditions are like, and additional climographs from both the northern and southern hemispheres (unless that category does not occur there).
  3. A representative picture of the landscape with the climate.
  4. A listing of the rules that determine this category.  You might get this from either the textbook appendix or Wikipedia.
  5. A discussion of why this climate occurs where it does, and what it means for those areas.
  Section 1001 Number Students
A climates (3 categories) 2  
B climates (4 categories) 2  
Cf climates (3 categories) 2  
Cs and Cw climates (4 categories) 2  
Df climates (4 categories)  2  
Ds and Dw climates (5 categories) 3  
E climates (2 categories)    

Ultimate learning goal:, upon which you will be tested on both the next test and the final exam:

You will turn in the PPT next Friday.  The presentation will run a maximum of 3 minutes; and someone else might present it, so insure there is enough on the slides for a reasonable person to do the presentation instead of you (or for you classmates to view the show on their own, and learn enough for what will be on the exam and final).