Variance in Climate by Country

The Country Similarity Index attempts to quantify how similar countries are to each other relative to other countries. The index is a statistically-based way to measure this. 20% of the index is based on geography. 20% of a country’s geography score (4% of the overall Country Similarity Index score) is allocated for the country’s climate. The following are the factors that were included:

Average Temperature

One major factor contributing to a country’s climate is its average temperature. The hottest country is Burkina Faso, but several other countries in the Sahara Desert are also extremely hot. By far the two coldest countries on average are Canada and Russia, since much of their land is above the Arctic Circle, although it is largely uninhabited.

Wikipedia is the source of the data:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_average_yearly_temperature

Countries were categorized into the following average temperatures in celsius:
(-)8-(-)4, (-4)-0, 0-4, 4-8, 8-12, 12-16, 16-20, 20-24, 24-28, 28-32

Average Precipitation

The other major factor contributing to a country’s climate is its average precipitation. Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands get some of the highest average rainfall totals. There are quite a few countries that get less than 100 mm of rainfall per year. The are all located in either the Arabian or Sahara Desert.

Nation Master is the source of the data:
https://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Geography/Average-rainfall-in-depth/Mm-per-year

Countries were categorized into the following average rainfall totals in mm per year:
0-300, 300-600, 600-900, 900-1200, 1200-1500, 1500-1800, 1800-2100, 2100-2400, 2400-2700, 2700-3000, 3000-3300

Köppen climate classification

Climate is classified primarily on the temperature and precipitation in a given area. Köppen is one of the most widely used systems of climate classification. There are five main groups: tropical, dry, temperate, continental, and polar. In addition each main group has several subgroups. These subgroups are further refined by the rainfall, temperature of a place, and its seasonality. The Country Similarity Index takes into account both the main group and the subgroup. Oftentimes, countries have more than one climate type. In these cases, the country’s overall climate is divided into the percentages of each respective climate type.

The Portland State University is the main source of the data:
https://www.pdx.edu/economics/country-geography-data

Trewartha climate classification

Trewartha is another widely used system of climate classification. It was created to address the fact that Köppen classification does not quite match the vegetation in certain regions. There are seven main groups: tropical, subtropical, dry, temperate, boreal, highland, and polar. In addition each main group has several subgroups. Like Köppen classification, these subgroups are further refined by the rainfall, temperature of a place, and its seasonality. The Country Similarity Index takes into account both the main group and the subgroup. Oftentimes, countries have more than one climate type. In these cases, the country’s overall climate is divided into the percentages of each respective climate type.

Gujarat University is the main source of the data:
https://www.examrace.com/State-SET/WB-SET/WB-SET-Free-Study-Material/Geography/Climatology/Climatic-Classification-YouTube-Lecture-Handouts.html

Obviously there is no one clear way to determine how similar one country is to another. How would you quantify how similar one country is to another?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.

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