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Thread: The Köppen–Geiger climate classification made simpler (I hope so)

  1. #31
      Pixie is offline
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    Well, if it is a script, a script it is. I might google for a "how-to" later on. But first need to work on that table..

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    I did a small correction to my last table. Apparently I used the average to calculate the boundaries of each categories...
    here I used the min/max, it's more logical
    good numbers are in parenthesis

    cold 0-70 (0-140)
    cool 70-240 (140-340)
    mild 240-420 (340-500)
    warm 420-540 (500-580)
    hot 540-640 (580-700)
    very hot 640-770 (700-840)
    super hot 770-900 (840-940+)
    Last edited by Azelor; 08-08-2014 at 09:45 PM.
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  3. #33
      Azelor is offline
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    Hey Pixie I got an idea

    the classification your trying to make have 4 parameters right? Otherwise 2 parameters are useful only if you take in account the yearly temperature and precipitation. But we have 2 seasons so we need 4.

    I think we could do that with colors. Every combination would have it's own resulting ''color''.
    For that, we won't be using the RGB system but the CMYK.

    more or less:
    Cyan-summer temperature
    Magenta- winter temperature
    Yellow-summer precipitation
    Key (black)- winter precipitation


    Temperature: My classification has 10 levels of temperature:
    Cyan and Magenta in percentages:

    Severely hot: 100 %
    Very hot: 90 %
    Hot: 80 %
    Warm: 70 %
    Mild: 60 %
    Cool: 50%
    Cold: 40 %
    Very cold: 30 %
    Severely cold: 20 %
    Deadly cold: 10%

    Precipitations: I still need to decide the categories but I'M going to use this as an example:
    Yellow and black in percentages

    0-20 mm: 20 %
    20-40 mm: 40 %
    40-80 mm : 60 %
    80-160 mm: 80 %
    more than 160 mm: 100%

    example:

    Milan, Italy (Cfa)
    Temperature in summer: over 22 = hot
    C= 80 %
    Temperature in winter: below 10= cool
    M= 50 %
    Precipitation in summer: 40-80 mm
    Y= 40 %
    Precipitation in winter: 40-80 mm
    K= 40 %

    Milan
    color=#1e3c37

    Attachment 66420

    I don't know what you think about this but the precipitation part is useless without good categories. But when you have the precipitation level you know what are the minimum rain requirement for each temperature categories. In Milan case, it's humid all the time since the average is 78 mm per month. Another place with same temperature but a drier winter would have a different resulting color. The percentage of Y or K would indicate what's dry depending on the rest of the combination.

    I'll try to make a table.

  4. #34
      Azelor is offline
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    all possible combinations !
    also include some very unlikely possibilities. According to my previous excel document, only 39 of the 100 temperature combinations are possible. Those that are not are inside the gray border.
    So it's something like 975 and probably less because some temperature and precipitation combos are impossible. Such as very cold with a lot of rain.

    Have fun !

    Attachment 66421

  5. #35
      Azelor is offline
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    I'm going to bring some corrections because ,

    Problem 1: when the blacks are too strong, Photoshop cannot separate the different colors. The square appear black but the level of CMY are not always the same. So I lowered the black : 90%,80%,70%,60% and 50%.
    He is still mixing the colors in some rare cases where the borders are not 100% accurate but otherwise it look fine.

    Problem 2: the magic wand is not good enough. I have to use another selection tool : SELECTION/COLOR RANGE
    the result are much more accurate

    Problem 3: I'm not sure I can use Jpeg (or another normal image file) for this because the colors need to stay the same. There is room for slight alterations but not so much.


    Now the good part !:
    less possibilities!

    if I take the bottom of the temperature graphic, what i call thermal possibilities. Out of the 100 possibilities, only about 37 (before it was 39) of them exist on Earth. For the precipitation I'm pretty sure that all the 25 combinations are possible, with a grand total of 925.
    But then you combine the temperature and precipitation. Some combinations are again, not possible. (Or extremely unlikely)
    I do admit that in a fantasy world it is possible to have a deadly cold summer with an even colder winter but this means that the temperature rarely go over -38. No one can live there and the precipitation pattern is identical to severely cold.

    Severely cold summers only have 2 possibilities in winter: severely cold and deadly cold. That is the eternal snow and ice climate. It's a desert so they only have the driest precipitation possibility for both seasons (between 0 and 20mm in this example)
    so they only have 1 of the 25 precipitation possibilities. So the total possibilities for them are not 2*25=50 but 2*1=2

    Very cold summer is in the same situation but the precipitations in summer could be a little higher (I'm not sure) but the only place to have very cold summer is again the ice caps. Very cold winters could have higher precipitations but it's another case. possibilities are: 2*1=2 (same as above)

    Cold summer: I made a mistake: tundra can't have a cold summer. So again we are stuck with just the ice cap. as above, only 2 possibilities


    With these 3, I just eliminated 144 possibilities with 781 to go.
    Ok they are the most extreme but I will see if I can get this to be useful.

  6. #36
      Pixie is offline
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    I like your idea.

    We would need to have a key "color to climate type", wouldn't we?

    I'm off on holidays in a couple of hours, but will get back to this in September. That is, if you didn't fully solve the problem by then.

  7. #37
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    yes some color key. You see, I already have ET and EF done. They have their specific colors, 6 each that are unique to them. But other climates are generally more complicated.
    What I did was to look at the temperature combos and place the climate zones in the graphic. I did the same thing for the precipitation but now I need to association each temperature combo with the possible rain pattern. Or something like that.
    I have been able to find some BWh that have a unique termal color but most of them are in the sames categories as other climates. They usually have different rain patterns so we can split them with that criteria but it is not always the case. So, it the end you have some climates that have the same temperature and same rain pattern. In some cases, it's not possible to associate a specific temperature with a specific rain pattern. So even if I try to clean it up, some climates will get stuck together.

    Most of the mixes are not so bad such as having the Dc and Db on the same temperature spot. The second letter (fsw) will change but the limit between the b and c zones need to be established by the mapper. The lower half is b and the rest is c.
    But it is also possible that some climate are not well categorized...

    Setting apart the humid, steppe and desert is easy if you go with each temperature combo alone. To make this, I will probably need to do a smaller version on the graphic for each of these possible temperature combos.




    Have a nice holiday!

  8. #38
      Azelor is offline
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    This is what the simplified color table look like right now, and it's not finished. There is around 350 possibilities. Climates that are possible on Earth but other combination are possible, I will ignore these for now.
    Apparently, 4 of the 25 rain pattern do not exist with any climates. This is probably due to the fact that humid climates (f) are located in the central axe, winter dry is above and summer dry is under. Since dry season do not have a lot of precipitation, no suitable climates are found in these categories. I guess it's not really a problem.

    White squares: they could exist but they are generally more extreme than Siberian climates. If you have a very large continent not too far from the pole (larger than Asia) or have a bigger planet tilt, you might encounter these climates.
    Magenta (pink): thta is too hot: the temperature rarely drop below 30 degrees.
    Too cold: colder than Antarctica: temperature rarely go above -38.
    Grey: while they do not seems to exist (or maybe I just lack of informations) I think they are plausible. With cold (but not extreme) temperature but a small annual variation. Maybe at high latitudes close to the sea or on high tropical mountains.

    This grid is temporary so the colors you see are probably wrong. I can't use JPEG because the file is not in RGB. The forum automatically change the colors to RGB when I upload it. But this is not the final edition.
    every climate will have his own colors in time, but some could share the same color. I will try to limit this number to 2.

    Attachment 66468

    I see several problems:
    1- it is possible to make some area colder in the summer that winter (by mistake) this should not happen
    2- it is possible to get a combinations that is not in the table, when all other areas are categorized, I guess it's easy to take care are these. But the mapper will have to figure it out.
    3- some climates fall exactly in the sames categories. Like Dsc and Dsd, but their temperature are supposed to be different. The system got rid of that difference so my solution is to try to find a balance. Climates thta are a little colder will be categorized Dsd and hotter ones will be Dsc. I will do the same thing with precipitations.
    4- some climates are considered humid even when they are in the lowest precipitation square. I'm not sure what to think about this because it could end up having a lot of climates there.
    5- Aw and Am look exactly the same, I'm thinking about fusing them together. One of them receive slightly more rain but the impact is small.

    I'll stop there because I'm probably speaking to myself...

    The Köppen–Geiger climate classification made simpler (I hope so)-climat-couleur-cmjn-.jpg

    And that is the result so far with 1/7 left to classify.

  9. #39
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    update: some progress

    Most of the climates make sense now except the steppes. I don't know where to place them.
    Each block of blocks represent 1 rain pattern. Generally, the top left is hot and the bottom left is cold. So, if all receive the same precipitations the driest should be in the top left...

    in order to keep the steppes in these areas I need to move them to the top left but if I do so, they usually fall in a place too hot for them. So either:

    The top left become a desert, middle is the steppe and bottom right= humid
    or I just get rid of the steppe, maybe it's not possible to have that there.

    The Köppen–Geiger climate classification made simpler (I hope so)-climat-couleur-cmjn-copie.jpg

  10. #40
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    I got the color key, but I haven't tested it yet. I will do it very soon.

    Climate tutorial version 1:

    color reference file:

    The Köppen–Geiger climate classification made simpler (I hope so)-color-reference-2.pdf


    Several assumptions about climates to make thing simpler:


    1- July is always the hottest month is the north and the coldest month in the south.
    2- January is always the coldest in the north and the hottest month in the south.
    3- Some places close to the equator might have a summer temperature colder than their winter temperature. It’s possible if the difference is small. If you encounter this elsewhere, it’s not normal unless you have a very particular microclimate. The color scheme won’t tell you about this issue.
    4- I assumed that the temperature variation was constant throughout the year. So if some place has an average temperature of 6 during the coldest month and 12 for the hottest month, the monthly temperature variation is 1.
    5- Precipitations map represent the precipitation for a specific month. Yearly precipitations are estimated as follow:
    a. If July and January are inside the same precipitation category or only one category apart, the area is considered to receive the same amount of precipitation all year long. Letter f.
    b. If the difference between the precipitations of July and January is more than one category apart, the area is considered to have one dry season. If the dry season is the hottest; the letter is s, if the dry season is the coldest; the letter is w.
    c. Take note that these 3 letters: s,f,w; doesn’t tell you if the climate is either humid, semi-arid (steppe) or arid (desert). It’s just about the precipitation pattern.

    Also, I used 10 levels of temperature, it’s more than Pixie. I use 10 because they are necessary to differentiate some climates. If you don’t have 10, it might cause problem.


    Info about color key

    You need to work in CMYK for the scheme to function properly. You don’t need the whole map to be in this mode, just the relevant layers. I tried to make it in RGB mode but I could not get a good combination. Most of the time, several climates had the same color, rendering it useless. The ‘’color key’’ is obtained by combining the Cyan (hottest month temperature), Majenta (coldest month temperature), Yellow (hottest month precipitation) and black (coldest month precipitation).

    Before starting, you need several layers. You should already have them if you followed Pixie’s tutorial.

    1- July temperature map (Summer of the northern hemisphere, winter in the south)
    2- January temperature map
    3- July precipitation map
    4- January precipitation map


    0- Create a new file by selecting CMYK as the color mode. Or you can also use the file containing the other layers as long as you make sure that the file is in CMYK, very important. Import the file named ‘’color reference’’.
    a. Take the table I made and put it in the same file. You need to make sure that the elements of the table do not overlap with your landmasses otherwise you will miss these parts. So either put the table over an empty spot, at the poles or the ocean, or aside from the map.


    1- First thing you need to do is to make sure your precipitation maps only have 5 levels of rain possible so you need to fuse the highest levels of rain. To do that, select the first 4 categories with the magic wand and use inversion. This should select everything that is not inside the 4 first categories. Paint it in the same color as the very wet category.
    Why? Past a certain amount, the precipitation stops to have an impact on the climate. This is according to the Koppen classification, because the tourist agency could think otherwise.


    2- Temperature maps: You can use the maps you already have. You will need to change the colors.
    a. July temperature layer should be paint using Cyan only. Use the colors from the table.
    b. January temperature map uses Magenta only. The exact values are as follow for cyan and magenta. To make these two maps, you need to paint the temperatures using the specified colors. One in cyan and the other in magenta. Make sure you only use one of the four colors per layer.

    Severely hot: 100, Very hot: 90, Hot: 80, Warm: 70, Mild: 60, Cool: 50, Cold: 40
    Very cold: 30, Severely cold: 20, Deadly cold: 10


    3- Precipitation maps: Use the values of the table.

    Sadly, you will need to make 2 versions of both precipitation maps. One version of the maps is for the north and the other is for the south. The reason you need to do it separately is that the impact of the precipitations on the environment depend if they fall during the cold or the hot season. You need more to keep the area wet if it falls mostly during the hot season.

    To make the map, start with the north, with the July precipitation map. Change the previous colors to the appropriate colors in yellow. Do the same process with the January precipitation map but using the blacks. You will need to stop at the equator.

    For the south, you will need to use black for July since it’s the cold season in the south. And use the yellow for the January precipitation map. Make sure the north and south layers don’t overlap past the equator. So in the end, you have the July precipitation with yellow in the north and black in the south and the January map with black in the north and yellow in the south.

    If it’s easier, you can also use different layers for north and south with a total of 4 layers. It the end you still need to merge them.

    a. Summer precipitation: paint in yellow. Here are the values.
    Very wet: 95, Wet: 73, Moderate: 51, Low: 29, Dry: 7
    b. Winter precipitation: Paint in black. Here are the values. The last one is different from the Yellow one. It’s because the magic wand could not select the last category correctly. It was too pale.
    Very wet: 95, Wet: 73, Moderate: 51, Low: 29, Dry: 18

    ***This part might need adjustments, since it might give weird results)


    4- Now take you 2 sets of precipitation maps. Set one under the other (doesn’t matter which one) and the other above set to multiply mode. Now you should duplicate these layers and merge them. By doing so, make sure that it keeps the same colors (just to be sure). This will get you the precipitation pattern map.


    5- Now, you won’t keep all the categories. Some precipitation patterns contain the same climate zones. It makes no differences if we ignore them and it lessens the possible combinations. So you will merge some of them. Look at the table at step 5 and follow the arrows. Select these colors from the precipitation pattern map and paint it into the new color. This will give you the final precipitation pattern map.


    6- Layer placement to get the color key:
    a. The precipitation pattern map is placed at the bottom in normal mode
    b. Then, the magenta layer set in multiply mode
    c. Finally, on top of all, the cyan layer is in exclusion mode

    Now I would recommend that you duplicate these layers and merge them into one layer. Make sure you keep the same colors. Name it ‘’color key map’’.
    This should produce a color key with 1000 combinations. Well not really, in fact, it’s more than 1000 but we can simplify it. You see, for the coldest temperatures, the precipitations are irrelevant so:


    7- Create a new layer for the climates. I recommend putting all the different climates on a different layer each.

    a. Using only the temperature layer paint the ice caps and tundra climates, see their colors at the top of the reference file. tO DO THAT YOU NEED TO HAVE ONE OF THE TWO LAYER IN MULTIPLY MODE AND SELECT MORE THAN ONE LAYER WITH THE MAGIC WAND.
    Using the magic wand, only keep useful layers visible. Set the wand to be able the select all the layers and to be able to select multiple object one after the other (add to selection). Make one climate at a time and select all the corresponding colors on the table. This will also select the colors of the color key map at the same time. After each color are selected for one climate, paint it in the climate layer.

    Start with the ice caps by making only the temperature layer visible (not the precipitation layers). And do the tundra after that. When they are done, make the precipitation map visible. You can proceed with the other climates.

    Each climate has a certain number of colors. Some have more than other but it does not mean they are more frequent. Some also have the + next to them, especially the coldest D climates. D climates are already extreme, but this is even more extreme. Some have 80 Celsius in difference between the mean temperature of the coldest and hottest month. The maximum on Earth is closer to 60 Celsius. These climates are not impossible but very unlikely. They are usually found far from the ocean at high latitudes like Siberia but the conditions are more extreme. To have these, the planet probably needs to have a bigger axial tilt and since this tutorial is mostly about Earth-like climates, I consider them unlikely to happen. They can be ignore or left out for later to save some clicking.

    Note TO MYSELF: use 300 DPI
    when changing RGB to CMYK, don't merge layers. The colors will change, it's normal and it can take some time if the file is large.
    Last yellow is 29 but should be 7, need an update
    Magic wand tolerance: 10 not lisse (not fuzzy ?)
    Paint tool fuziness to 255
    Part 3: 2 layers in total
    start with july, select the north, to do that choose select all in the selection menu and modify the selection to only 50% of the file's height and select on squares at the top left that is in the top layer before clicking ok.
    the ideal is to make a temporary layer with this selection, covering the top half with one flashy color. Put the dummy layer over the south to beging then move it north
    do the same for the south but paint it in black, and make sure that all the layer is either black or yellow. If you forget something , you will miss some climates.
    After this, do it for january with yellow in bottom and black on top.
    Step 5: when selecting rain pattern reduce the tolerance of the magic wand to 0 or 1

    That is all for now. I will update the tutorial later.
    Last edited by Azelor; 09-02-2014 at 09:05 PM.

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