Ecophysiological climate classification

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The ecophysiological climate classification is the first integrative climate classification and combines both genetic elements of the climate ( genetic climate classification ) and effective elements such as the current land cover ( effective climate classification ). It is the first quantified climate classification since the classification by Wladimir Köppen (1900). The quantification of the four line elements ( climatic zones , isothermoms , continental levels , isochiomens ) distinguishes them from all previous classifications.

This climate classification is of particular importance for climate modeling and global warming , insofar as future changes in the “climate-earth-surface-vegetation” system can be predicted by shifting boundaries.

Initial problem of existing classifications

The problem with all existing classifications is that they do not use quantitative parameters in relation to vegetation; Even the classifications based on mean climatology do not meet today's requirements (Lauer 2002). The specialty is the quantification of the border lines.

In contrast to the newer Köppen-Geiger classification with 30 climate types, the Lauer classification with 72 climate types in 4 climate zones is much more differentiated.

Empirical measurement data as a basis

The ecophysiological climate classification is based on empirical data (climate station data) and real vegetation as a reference basis. The aim of this integrated climate classification developed by Wilhelm Lauer , Peter Frankenberg and M. Daud Rafiqpoor is to analyze the interactions of the system "climate-plants-soil" caused by anthropogenic influences or natural processes (clearing, reforestation, pollutant emissions, greenhouse effect, forest death, etc.) "to quantify the reaction of the plant cover to the climate with empirical data.

Methodological basics

The radiation zones of the earth form the overriding principle of structuring climate zoning. Further elements are determined and calculated quantities of the heat and water balance.

"The heat balance was taken into account as the monthly duration of the thermal vegetation period through the ecophysiological demands of the real vegetation and cultivated plants. The water balance was expressed in the monthly duration of the hygric vegetation period, calculated on the basis of the potential landscape evaporation as a physically based water balance . Through the mutual influence The parameters of the heat and water balance result in a framework of qualitatively determined climatic types . For the more detailed identification of the climatic types of the extra tropics, maritime / continental climates and the duration of the months with potential snow cover were used as further criteria. The climates of the high mountains were, in contrast to the previous classifications, integrated in their three-dimensional arrangement into the computationally designed classification system (Lauer 2002). "

Climate types

The climatic zones are differentiated into tropics , subtropics , middle latitudes and polar regions . The types of climate are divided into the thermal classes oligothermal (very short), microthermal (short), mesothermal (medium), macrothermal (long) and megatherm (very long) according to the "duration of the thermal vegetation period" . The "duration of the hygric growing season" is subdivided into the classes prearid , arid , semiarid , subhumid , humid , perhumid and semihumid . There are a total of 72 types of climate.

Literature and maps

  • W. Lauer, P. Frankenberg: Climate classification of the earth. In: Geographische Rundschau 40, Westermann Verlag, Braunschweig 1988.
  • W. Lauer: climatology. Braunschweig 1995
  • W. Lauer: Map - The climates of the earth on an ecophysiological basis. Bonn 2000.
  • W. Lauer: The climates of the earth: a classification on the basis of the ecophysiological characteristics of the real vegetation. With 16 text tables, 3 enclosures, table appendix, by Wilhelm Lauer and M. Daud Rafiqpoor, Stuttgart 2002.