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by The Unified Electorates of Ainslie. . 359 reads.

Secretary's Notes - A Koppen-Geiger view on RP and Canon.


The Western Isles Office of Role-Play
Secretary's Notes

A Realistic Climate: A Koppen Classification view on Roleplay and Canon

The Koppen Geiger Classification (KGC) is an incredibly valuable tool to build canon, especially in the spheres of geography and economy. It can look confusing and seem overly technical, but in this dispatch I will attempt to make it as clear as possible. I will also outline what happens in these cities and how climate could influence your nation. Let me clarify that this guide is to be used as what it says: a guide. RP is meant to be fun and a manifestation of your own creativity, not some formulaic process which is not very creative. This is in no way a textbook to tell you how you must do it, but simply a set of suggestions and explanations surrounding climate. Okay, so letís begin by looking at the different types, the conditions that create them, and how they could apply to your nation.

Dated 21st of October, 2017

What is below is a table which outlines the classifications, but Iíll go through each climate that could occur in TWI and go into increased detail about it all. Just to note, when I talk about highs and lows with tables and charts, I mean averages unless stated otherwise.


A - Tropical
Tropical is characterised by high, constant temperatures with regions under this classification often at low elevation. The major differences between the types here is through rainfall.
  • Af Tropical Rainforest Climate - where thereís 60mm of rainfall at least every month. (Think Indonesia, Singapore etc)

  • Am Tropical Monsoon Climate where thereís less than 60mm of rainfall in at least month, with the driest month having more than 4% total annual rainfall. This is in contrast to the:

  • Aw/As Tropical Wet and Dry/Savanna Climates - where the driest month is below 4% of total annual rainfall (itís drier than Am and Af, basically.)

Tropical climates are most often characterised by the constant nature of their weather over the entire year, with little differentiation between the months except for the difference in rainfall between the wet and dry seasons.

Letís take a look around how on earth Jakarta ended up with this climate.

Jakarta, Indonesia (Am) - Tropical Monsoon Climate, 7m above sea level
The major feature of tropical climates is that they are near the equator. Jakarta certainly has this, with the city sitting at around 6 degrees south of the equator.

When using the assumption that the map is in the area of the North Pacific, but not officially existing there, it can be deduced that many of the cities in the southerly portions of TWI would have some sort of A climate. Here though, we have an odd difference to the typical Af classification that dominates most of the nation Jakarta is in. So what defines Jakarta as different? The rain. If the rain significantly peaks for two to four months of the year, youíve probably got yourself a Am climate. This Am city also goes below 60mm a month for August, ruling it out of the Af category.

So, given this information - let's construct a climate of our own based off of statistics like these.

Sringarpor, Bhikkustan (EUSR) (AÖ?) - Tropical Climate, 3m above sea level
The most important idea to pull out of this climate table is the trends of it. Jakarta vaguely follows Southern Hemisphere seasons, which can be seen through the clear and defined wet season happening during the Summer. This would need to be converted to reflect Northern Hemisphere temperatures. In the winter, they have their dry season. Also note the slight differences in the range of temperatures throughout the year, indicative of the rainfall it receives and the very relaxed adherence to the seasons. Temperatures (Min/Max) differ by about 5-8 degrees every day - and often are very consistent throughout the year. Temperatures become more Ďextremeí throughout the dry season, where the rain is not there to moderate the temperatures.

From the table it is clear that temperatures are not nearly as extreme as their B and C counterparts, which I will go through in the latter parts of this dispatch. Now, letís make a climate graph from a whole new city which would adhere to a standard tropical climate

This is a relatively generic tropical city which could lie in The Western Isles. Note the minimal temperature difference and the slight expansion in temperatures over the summer period. These graphs and tables can be created through Microsoft Excel by formatting a normal spreadsheet with the data like the table for Sringarpor below.

Unless specific rainfall statistics are included, the different A types cannot necessarily be distinguished and thus this city could be Am, Af or Aw/As.

    Specific RP Ideas for A Climates?
  • Large monsoons create damage to cities

  • Climate change, which appears to affect A climates stronger in proportion to other ones

  • In specifically Af climates, habitat loss for animals could come from the rainforest being cut down for urban development.

B - Arid/Semi-Arid
Arid/Semi-arid climates can be calculated by using a formula, but essentially these areas receive significantly less rainfall than other climates, providing limited resources for vegetation (resulting in small, patchy vegetation, in these regions, generally speaking). They are generally defined as areas which lose more water than they gain. It is also generally quite/very warm in these places. Without using the formula, arid simply means that it is drier than semiarid.
  • BWh/BSh - Standard Arid Climate/Standard Semi-Arid Climates are characterised by its environment experiencing little rainfall and generally warm temperatures, with it being separated from itsí Ďkí counterparts through the temperatures being less extreme on the bottom end (That being no month has an average temperature below 0)

  • BWk/BSk - Cold Winter Arid Climate/Cold Winter Semi-Arid Climate - is similar to BWh/BSh but at least one month has an average temperature below 0. These areas will generally be on the west coasts of continents. They could also be areas which would typically prescribe to the other ĎBí climates but their altitude means they experience temperatures which do not fit the parameters of BSh or BWh climate classifications. They are not common on Earth and they are would be extremely rare in TWI.

    Bourke, Australia (BSh) - Standard Semi-Arid Climate, 106m above sea level

    Bourke is a relatively small Australian city in semi-arid New South Wales, on the western side of the range which separates the east coast from the harsher inland. Turning to climate, let me draw your eyes to winter first (June, July, August). Take a look at how cold it is. This appears to be a common misconception surrounding desert and particularly their climates. As deserts are generally flat, they are exposed to the cold almost as much as the heat. B climates can be quite extreme and the winter temperatures here are similar to their humid subtropical counterparts (most notably the Cfa climate). The precipitation is minimal and for Bourke is mainly centred around the transition of seasons, which can often bring heavy storms to the area (shown through March and November).

    Now, with such little precipitation youíre probably going to ask me why on earth people live here. In fact, this is a relatively common occurrence in Australia to have towns in these areas, predominantly to service cattle stations. So, how do they survive? Rivers and Artesian basins. These two factors are the lifeblood of Western NSW towns just like Bourke, which has a population of 2,000. You will need at least one of these two to have a reason to realistically have a relatively large city in one of these climates. So, what do people in Bourke do? Well, according to the Bourke Shireís website, their major industries are cotton, soft fruit, citrus, cattle production, irrigated wheat, wild goat, kangaroo and wool.

    However, increased desertification and climate change are creating problems for these industries and poor water management in the Murray-Darling Basin is a direct threat to this cityís economy and itís viability. Unlike many inland cities in Australia, there are no mines here, meaning that water is very important for all sectors of town life. Despite this threat of desertification, thereís been a growing industry around wild goat which is increasingly in demand worldwide. This defiance of the odds (which could be incorporated into at least the local culture of the area, let alone the nationís culture) are central ideas for Bourke and wider Australia.

    Cities in/near desert areas can be an extremely interesting role-play concept, and if i was more continental I would probably opt for more of them. Arid/Semi-Arid cities in my opinion are very underrated, although one must be careful with the realism of their cities in TWI if they choose this. Youíll (obviously) need a desert nearby for this climate to occur.

    So, you might have noticed that Menindai is around 100m higher than Bourke, but this isnít too much of a problem considering that it takes around a difference 150m for the average temperature to differ by 1C. Within 1 or 2C, many other factors could change temperature such as wind conditions and latitude. So, what are the common trends in B_h climates? Well, that would be very warm summers and somewhat mild winters. Now, let me discuss similar ideas surrounding Bourke but apply them to Menindai. Menindai originally came to fruition due to the need for Arnish-Welling trade in the 19th Century but has experienced significant decline since then.

    It currently has a population of just over 1,000 residents and the main source of employment centres on mining. Today, it acts as a centre for miners who work in the Central-Western Arid areas and their families. Despite this, Menindai gets stigma for being ďin the middle of nowhereĒ and having not much to do. Due to this idea, many miners live in Borderton and Highland Ridge instead. Their major water source is the artesian basin which covers much of the central regions of Ainslie.

    In this climate, as shown in both Menindai and Bourke, there are four well defined seasons

    Specific RP Ideas for B Climates?

    • Water Mismanagement could create massive problems

    • Droughts can occur and have far reaching impacts in these areas, severely contracting the size of some industries.

    • Generally sparse populations (As experienced by many B cities) can create issues surrounding health, education, government and law enforcement.

C - Temperate
Most cities will lie in the temperate zone, especially in TWI. It is defined as having an average temperature between -3 and 18 in its coldest month.
  • Csa - Hot-summer Mediterranean Climate is a classification I frequently have to correct people on. Let me be clear on this. If you donít have a desert in your nation where the winds can pick up the hot, dry air and send it towards your city - donít use this classification! Many Csa cities lie on west coasts where there can be rain events in winter coming from the water body which it borders. This then creates a scenario where wet, mild winters happen - moderated by these rain events, and hot, dry summers happen - due to the desert winds.

    Perth, Australia (Csa) - Hot-summer (Normal) Mediterranean Climate, 31m above sea level

    Perth is a city of over a million people, fuelled by the success of the mining industry. As with many Mediterranean climates, Perth is situated on the west coast of the continent wedged in between a desert and the ocean. It is characterised by itís wet winters and its dry summer. It is a climate which is slightly warmer than their Cfa counterparts and quite mild winters are typical for the region. Turning to climate, take a look at the temperature ranges there. It is relatively even across the board, with 10-13C differences on the average highs and lows of the day. A conclusion that can be drawn is that it is the desert which creates these dry, warm conditions. A diagram below shows how this Csa climate and the nearby Csb climates are formed in this area.

    Now with such little precipitation in summer youíre probably going to ask me why on earth people live here. In fact, this is a relatively uncommon occurrence in australia to have towns and cities in these areas with Perth being a city that has grew due to a large amount of rich mining corporations happy to give their miners a high quality of life when they arenít underground. So, how do they survive with such little water? Perth relies on the wet winters which are characteristic of the Cs_ climates. However, desalination plants are another option. So, what do people in Perth do? Well, it doesnít take long when researching to work it out. Perth is a major centre for the mining industry, although many of said mines are in fact far away from the city. Perth possesses a climate and appearance quite similar to California, which also has a Mediterranean climate.

    However, the needs of raw materials by Asian nations is decreasing, and with that Perth is being challenged by this. They are diversifying their industries though, with a major service and tourism base. When it comes to Perth, it can feel like the desert has taken over the city climatically during summer. There is minimal to no rainfall during summer but the winter is quite rainy.

    Now, letís use the statistics and conditions of Perth and apply it to a different scenario.

    Mandara, Ainslie (Csa) - Standard Hot-Summer Mediterranean Climate, 23m above sea level

    Now, looking back to that climate table - a feature that is required for a hot summer climate is pretty clear. A hot summer. Weíre talking around 30C averages all summer. The elevation is relatively the same and there is a desert, so the climate wonít be significantly different to our case study, Perth. The only difference separating Mandara and Perth is the severity of the desert that they are near them. This is why Mandara is on average cooler than Perth in summer.

    Mandara was originally based off Perth, but different geographical conditions meant that climate needed to be adjusted slightly in order for it to be as realistic as possible.

  • Csb - Warm-Summer Mediterranean Climate is a cooler variant of Csa and often is attributed to being on coasts which feature colder winds, but the dry summer/rainy winter cycle still stands. The climate is similar, except for temperatures. For that reason, I have provided a climate table below with no additional explanation.

    Albany, Australia (Csb) - Warm-Summer Mediterranean Climate, 41m above sea level

  • Csc - Cold-Summer Mediteranean Climate is a cold variant of Csa and Csb. It is very rare and occurs in high altitude climates where the temperatures are lowered due to elevation - not other factors. The Csc climate is virtually non-existent except for in parts of Oregan, high altitude Hawaii and in pockets along the Andes. The climate is similar, except for temperatures. For that reason, I have provided a climate table below with no additional explanation.

    Balmecada, Chile (Csc) - Cold-Summer Mediterranean Climate, 518m above sea level

  • Cfa - Humid Subtropical Climate are mainly found on eastern coastlines and rain typically falls consistently over the year, but with an emphasis on summer being the rainier months. Thunderstorms in the afternoon and night are common, particularly in Autumn and Spring and winters are generally mild and can be frosty. These climates typically do not have snow.

    Brisbane, Australia (Cfa) - Humid Subtropical Climate Climate, 28m above sea level
    Brisbane is a notoriously humid subtropical climate, as it is known for its oppressively humid climate mixed in with its warm summers. Temperatures are more consistent and the range between the minimum and maximum temperatures are around 10C. Cfa climates can differ though, with the other cities being warmer or colder depending on their latitude. For this climate, it is important to note that quite large variations in climates between Cfa cities can occur. Brisbane is a great example for a strongly subtropical city in this category but not all of them are like that. Temperatures here donít really fall below 10, a clear indicator of the tropical influence over the city.

    There is plenty of water for Brisbane, so rainwater tanks could be a relatively common sight. There are also rainforests near Brisbane. Cities like Brisbane who are Cfa (alongside Cfb) typically have population centres with large populations. There is desert relatively close to Brisbane, but a major mountain range blocks much of the impacts it has on the city.

    You can also have Cwa, which is essentially Cfa but influenced by tropical patterns, meaning that thereís humid and rainy summers and drier winters. It is mainly influenced by monsoons and is another option for cities bordering between tropical and subtropical.

  • Cfb - Oceanic Climate If youíre looking for a relatively grey or depressing climate, this is truly a great option. Cfb climates have cool winters and little extremes in temperature. Precipitation is evenly spread across the year and they do not have the hot summers of Cfa climates or the dry summers of Csa climates. Cfb cities along the coast are often dominated by the polar front resulting in often overcast weather. They are typically rainy or stormy due to the frequent presence of lows near the cities. They are not always along the coast, with a possibility of a Cfb climate occurring in highland areas. These highland areas would typically be subtropical or tropical forest if it were not for the elevation.

    Auckland, New Zealand (Cfb) - Oceanic Climate, 98m above sea level
    Auckland certainly fits the description of an Oceanic climate. It is often cloudy and is stretched between the two coasts of New Zealand along an isthmus, making waterways being a major feature of its climate. The temperature range is not wide, at around 4C-7C, a reflection of the cloudiness of the city.

    The extreme temperatures are also quite mild in comparison to other climates, with record highs hovering around 30C, a common occurrence in some other climates. Record lows are quite warm, especially when comparing them to the temperate and semi-arid/arid varieties of climates.

    Arborai, Ainslie (Cfb) - Oceanic Climate, 18m above sea level
    Once again elevation is not a major issue, with 80m not large enough to make significant differences in temperature. However, the windiness of Arborai will allow for the temperatures lower than our case study, Auckland. This is especially prominent in winter. Arborai does share the cloudiness of Cfb climates and generally there is little range between temperatures.

    There is a special type of climate in the Cfb category, called the subtropical highland climate. It is common along high altitude areas which would be Cfa otherwise. These climates have even rainfall throughout the year. They experience low humidity in comparison to subtropical climates. We will run through the case study of Armidale in New South Wales for this climate.

    Armidale, Australia (Highland Cfb) - Highland Subtropical Climate, 980m above sea level

    Here we can see the range of a Cfa climate, yet the temperatures of a Cfb climate. This is the confusing grey zone that Cfb highland climates sit in. Armidale is a centre for education for the wider area, although major industries include agriculture, forestry and fishing. Construction also is a large industry here, signalling possible regional development in the Armidale area. It regularly frosts in Armidale throughout the winter, although snow is somewhat rare - yet happens in most years. According to online research, thereís also a wool industry here. Yes, - this is a town known for Ned Kelly, a bushranger from Australia. It is located in a valley, trapping much of the pollution of the town which creates issues for asthmatics and people with respiratory conditions.

    So, letís take the general trends of Armidale and place it in a set of new conditions and create a climate table and graph for a different city.

    The elevation is coincidently similar BECAUSE I needed to balance the topography against proximity to the cities I wanted it to be somewhat near. However, what differs Highland Ridge from Armidale is that it is not on the highest parts of the tableland unlike Armidale. Highland Ridge is influenced by the cold air coming from the mountains and highland areas of Verdon and the Mid Border Ranges of Ainslie. Therefore Highland Ridge will need to be colder than Armidale, especially in winter.

    Highland Ridge is influenced by a large lake as well, keeping the temperatures relatively wide between each month. It can also be somewhat influenced by winds coming from the desert. The mixture of these cold northerly and warm southerly winds creates storms in Spring and Autumn in Highland Ridge. The differing degree of winds throughout winter creates large increases and decreases in temperature between different months. Highland Ridge is known for its cold Decembers, with other months of winter often feeling colder than it is due to the winds. Highland Ridge is generally more clear than most Cfb climates, indicating the slightly larger temperature gaps.

  • Cfc - Subpolar Oceanic Climate - Cfc climates are ones that possess characteristics similar to Cfb, except they are colder. Their climates reflect Cfbís lack of significant temperature range. The more maritime areas are heavily restricted on their temperatures. Temperatures above 30 are rarely recorded. The major defining factor is that the coldest monthís highs needs to be below freezing or close to it.

    Reykjavik, Iceland (Cfc) - Subpolar Oceanic Climate, 60m above sea level
    Being the most northerly capital city in the world and experiencing extremes between light and dark in the seasons, Reykjavik is heavily influenced by the conditions of the northern polar region. Thus, their climate is heavily influenced by this. If you picked up Reykjavik and put it in continental europe, it would probably become Cfb. Note the differences of 5-7C, which is classic Cfb.

    Heads up, the highest recorded temperature here is 25.7C, so donít expect it to be warm in Cfc areas. An ocean current also moderates the climate of the city, resulting in not so extreme lows - placing it in the Cfc category instead of Dfc. So, what is there to do in Reykjavik? Well, according to various sources, the major industries here are fishing, tourism and wool. There also happens to be a trend between high latitude nordic nations and drinking alcohol, but Iíll let you make your own conclusions about that.

    Specific RP Ideas for C Climates?

    • Csa: water management problems, desertification, tourism, incredibly long heatwaves, solar panel/farm installation (plenty of sun).

    • Cfa: extratropical cyclones, large storms, bushfires, humid heatwaves.

    • Cfa/Cfb: Droughts causing issues similar to Csa and more arid climates, possible ruined crops. Alcohol often produced in these climates (Especially wine). Transport networks generally large in these areas due to the climates being highly desirable for urban areas - disruptions could occur to these networks due to weather events.

    • Cfb: Flooding, landslides

    • Highland Cfb: Cold snaps creating snow, possible heavy frost. Often an agricultural climate, with crops possibly getting destroyed due to the first two weather conditions. Truffle production, cool climate wines. Car accidents on sharp turns around steep areas - roads may be not too dangerous for people to slow down, not too safe for people to be driving normally. Cliffs, a lot of them. Hiking accidents, gigantic marriages, tourism.

    • Cfc: Blizzards, flooding, hydroelectricity

D - Continental (Cold)
Continental (cold) climates are influenced by weather conditions from the poles, with winters being extremely cold and summers being quite mild. They are often found in northerly (or southerly) latitudes within significantly large landmasses. Snowfall is common in these climates. These climates often occur in the more northerly east coasts areas.
  • Dwa/Dfa/Dsa Humid continental climates - Dsa climates occur only in areas of high elevation adjacent to Csa and follow its general patterns, just at a lower average temperature. Dfa climates have long, hot summers with large temperature ranges with high humidity whereas Dfb climates have long, cool summers and lower humidity. There is also generally less of a temperature range in the Dfb climate when compared to Dfa. Their warmest month needs to be above 22C and the coldest having an average below -3.

    Toronto, Canada (Dfa) - Hot-summer Humid Continental Climate, 76m above sea level
    Reflective of itís Ďfaí climate designation, there are four distinct seasons. There is frequent snow in this city although the nearby water bodies moderate the temperatures. Toronto experiences a Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, which is where large cities are generally 2-3C warmer than their immediate surrounds. Precipitation is relatively even in its distribution throughout the year and there can be dry weather although not bad enough to have a drought.

    Note how the temperatures can still get high in summer - to the levels of Cfa climates. This can be done in Dfa climates, whose winter mainly sets them apart from Cfa climates (where water bodies tend to regulate temperature to prevent very cool temperatures). However, the conditions must be right for it. Wind conditions off of the Gulf of Mexico and from Bermuda can pull the hot air from the more arid sections of the USA and bring it to Toronto through southwesterly winds making winter warm. So, letís use the Toronto data to make a climate for a different city. Toronto is a hub for media, technological and tourism. It is the financial and commercial hub of Canada.

  • Dfc Subpolar Climates - These climates are characterised by their long, cold, harsh winters and short mild summers. They are only found on continents in areas of high latitude. They are dominated by large polar air masses which keeps the temperatures cold. Snowfall is relatively light, but the cold temperatures keep it from melting. This climate is the typical one that supports taiga forests.

    Anchorage, USA (Dfc) - Subpolar Climate, 31m above sea level
    The Dfc climate is not as extreme as its Dfa counterpart, with temperatures in the 20s in summer and in single digits throughout the 5 month long winter. So, what do people do here? It appears that oil and gas are major industries here, alongside tourism and defence. Returning to climate, it can rain frequently although it is not in copious amounts. Similar to Cfc it is often cloudy in this climate, especially in winter for Anchorage.

    Anchorageís weather is unpredictable though, with some winters being much warmer than normal, or much colder. The lack of sunshine in winter further makes the weather colder in Anchorage. The sun sits relatively low and near the horizon in the Anchorage sky over summer, limiting extremely high temperatures in that season. So, letís use Anchorageís climate and modify it to create one for a different city.

    Specific RP Ideas for D Climates?

    • Cold climate freezing water, restricting water based transport and trade

    • Heatwaves, blizzards, strong polar fronts

    • Cold temperature military training (trying to convince people with these climates to allow your troops to train there)

    • Scientific research

E - Polar
Ice cap climates are not possible in TWI, due to there not being in the latitude for them, when considering the assumption put forward by the Map of The Western Isles. However, tundra is possible, although the boundaries of realism may need to be pushed a bit (Currently we do not enforce geography, hence this is possible). This climate also occurs at very high elevations and in TWI would most likely be most prevalant in that environment.

  • ET Tundra Climate - These climates have their warmest month averaging in the single digits. They can occur at very high elevations outside of polar regions. The climate here can be as dry as the B variants or even lower. They do not experience the same levels of evaporation though and snow is the sole source of moisture in these climates.

For a list of specific ideas for E climates regarding RP, take a look at the "Specific ideas for D Climates" list. Also, snowsport and snow based tourism can occur here - and would most likely occur due to the rarity of this climate and the popularity of it for holidays in winter.

The Unified Electorates of Ainslie