GEOG 431
Geography of Water Resources



Understanding where climate types are located is critically important for understanding the distribution patterns of freshwater on Earth. First, read through Lesson 5 and explore the listed web links, which will further your understanding of five drivers of climate. Then, review the accompanying Lecture 5.1 - Climate Types.

The Microsoft PowerPoint presentation provides a summary of the characteristics of the six major climate types, as defined by the Köppen system, with photographs to illustrate most types. From this PPT, you should learn generally where the major climate types occur, and what factors influence their locations. Refer to the Köppen map to help visualize their latitudinal positions relative to the equator. You need to grasp the general location and influence of global atmospheric and oceanic currents which, when combined with the five drivers, determine where to find these major climate types. Figures 1 and 2, and Table 1 provide supplementary information that will help you visualize how climate types are formed and where they occur.


The course text, Holden 2020, does not cover this topic, so use the following text and the listed websites to learn about the Köppen Climate System.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • explain the importance of latitude, temperature, precipitation, topography, and soil as drivers of hydrology based on Köppen climate types on Earth.
  • explain the effects of atmospheric oceanic circulation and currents, and continental features on worldwide distribution of freshwater, driven in part by Hadley Cells and the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone.

Lesson Roadmap

This lesson is one week in length. Please refer to the Course Calendar in Canvas for specific time frames and due dates. To finish this lesson, you must complete the activities listed below.

Lesson 5: Activities
Requirements Assignment Details Access/Directions
To Do Read the Overview section and work through the material of Lesson 5. You are on the overview page of the Lesson 5 online content now. Use the links at the bottom of the page or the Lessons menu to proceed to the next page.
To Watch

Watch/Read through the Lesson 5 – Climate Types PowerPoint file.

Registered students can access the PPT files under Lesson 5 in Canvas.

To Read As noted above, the course text does not cover this topic, so use the lesson text and the listed websites to learn about the Köppen Climate System.

The lesson text contains links to websites you can use to learn about the Köppen Climate System.

To Do

Discussion #2 - Water Science Communication

Submit your post and replies under Discussion #2 in Canvas


If you have any questions, please post them to our Questions? discussion forum located under Orientation and Resources in Canvas. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.


GEOG 431 Lesson 5 – Climate Systems - Authored by Jenna Thomas and Robert P. Brooks, Ph.D., Department of Geography, The Pennsylvania State University, 2014. Material adapted *Elemental Geosystems* by Robert Christopherson, and information gleaned from the websites listed.