Climatology UPSC: Comprehensive Guide for UPSC Aspirants

Hey Dosto, In this blog post we will discuss How to approach Climatology UPSC for Geography Optional. I will tell you how to start your preparation from scratch, what are important topics, booklist, syllabus with micro topic analysis, and previous year questions as well.

In our previous blog post, we have discussed almost every aspect of Geography Optional Preparation that’s why if you haven’t read that article so please read it “Geography Optional UPSC: The Ultimate Guide”

In Climatology, You have to take only one reference book and my Notes(website articles) –

  • Physical geography by Savindra Singh

Keep in mind, Don’t try to buy maximum books/resources. I will also provide some youtube videos link in my blog post for those topics which are important for UPSC.

First of all, some important points to always remember throughout your preparation-

  • Read the Syllabus thoroughly and by heart the syllabus, it will be the lighthouse of your preparation.
  • Read any topic from 2-3 sources i.e NCERT, Reference Book, our Articles, that’s all, and then revise it multiple times (at least 8 times)
  • After completing the topic from the syllabus refer to the questions from the previous years’ and try to frame answers.
  • Don’t make notes fro every topic as It will be time-consuming. Prepare self notes for only those topics which you find very difficult to comprehend. 
  • For Paper 1, do special focus on Human Geography.
  • For Paper 2, make small bullet point notes for often repeated topics from standard sources.
  • Prepare region-wise maps of India from standard books in which all aspects of a region are covered like terrain, drainage, resources, agriculture, industries, etc. Basically, this is the regional approach to study geography which can be adopted for Paper 2.
  • Always try to link the subject matter of Paper 1 and Paper 2. For example, read Climatology, Population and Settlement GeographyRegional Development and Planning etc together for both papers and use examples from one paper in the other while writing answers.
  • Practice your answer writing in “UPSC Size loose sheets”, please don’t use your resister or rough copy.
  • Always practice answer writing within the time limit as per UPSC.
  • Develop your own model answer for each previous year questions.

Topics Which You Should Read From Physical Geography By Savindra Singh

Note: Actually, All topics of Climatology are important to read for UPSC Geography Optional Aspirants, but Don’t worry I will also provide you a Micro Topic Analysis of Syllabus.

  • Chapter-32: Composition and structure of the atmosphere
  • Chapter-33: Insolation and Heat Budget
  • Chapter-34: Temperature
  • Chapter-35: Air pressure and atmospheric circulation
  • Chapter-36: Humidity and precipitation
  • Chapter-37: Air Masses
  • Chapter-38: Frontogenesis, cyclones, and anticyclones
  • Chapter-39: Classification of climates and climatic types

Climatology syllabus for UPSC Geography Optional

As per UPSC notification:-

Climatology: Temperature and pressure belts of the world; Heat budget of the earth; Atmospheric circulation; atmospheric stability and instability. Planetary and local winds; Monsoons and jet streams; Air masses and frontogenesis, Temperate and tropical cyclones; Types and distribution of precipitation; Weather and Climate; Koppen’s, Thornthwaite’s and Trewartha’s classification of world climates; Hydrological cycle; Global climatic change and role and response of man in climatic changes, Applied climatology and Urban climate.

Climatology syllabus: Micro Topic Analysis

Note: Start your Preparation from 1. (Earth Atmosphere) hereinafter 2., 3., 4., 5., and so on…

1. Earth Atmosphere

  • Overview of Atmosphere
  • Origin of Atmosphere
  • Composition of atmosphere
  • Structure of the Atmosphere
    • Troposphere
    • Stratosphere
    • Mesosphere
    • Thermosphere
    • Exosphere
  • Altitude vs Temperature

2. Temperature

  • Temperature belts of the world
    • Torrid Zone (Tropical Zone)
    • Frigid Zone
    • Temperate Zone
  • Factors affecting Temperature patterns on the globe
    • Latitude
    • Altitude
    • Effect of ocean and seas
    • Effect of local winds
    • Effect of continentality
    • Effect of slope aspect
  • The Mean Annual Temperature Distribution
  • Vertical distribution of Temperature
  • Horizontal distribution of Temperature
  • Regional distribution of Temperature
  • Temperature Inversion
    • Overview
    • Effects of Temperature Inversion
    • Types of Temperature Inversion
      • Intermontane Valley (Air Drainage Type of Inversion)
      • Ground Inversion (Surface Temperature Inversion)
      • Subsidence Inversion (Upper Surface Temperature Inversion)
      • Marine inversion
      • Frontal inversion
    • Significance of Temperature Inversion

3. Heat Budget Of Earth

  • Heat budget of the Earth
  • How it is calculated?
  • Heat Budget of Atmosphere
  • Net Radiation and Latitudinal energy balance

4. Pressure Belts

  • Pressure
  • Factors Controlling Pressure Systems
  • Pressure Gradient
  • Vertical Distribution of pressure
  • Horizontal Distribution of pressure
  • World Pressure Belts
    • Equatorial Low-Pressure Belt
    • Sub-tropical High-Pressure Belt
    • Sub-polar Low-Pressure Belt
    • Polar High-Pressure Belt
  •  Hadley Cell
  •  Ferrel Cell
  • Polar Cell

5. Wind And Wind Types

  • Wind
  • Classification of Winds
    • Permanent winds or Primary winds or Prevailing winds or Planetary
    • Secondary or Periodic Winds
    • Local winds

6. Evaporation And Condensation

  • Water Cycle
  • Evaporation
  • Humidity
    • Absolute Humidity
    • Relative Humidity
    • Specific Humidity
  • Condensation
  • Forms of Condensation
    • Dew
    • White Frost
    • Fog
    • Mist
    • Haze

7. Clouds And Its Types

  • Clouds
  • Formation of Clouds
  • Types of Clouds
    • High clouds
      • Cirrus
      • Cirrocumulus
      • Cirrostratus
    • Medium clouds
      • Altocumulus
      • Altostratus
      • Nimbostratus
    • Low clouds
      • Stratocumulus
      • Stratus
      • Cumulus
      • Cumulonimbus

8. Precipitation

  • What is precipitation?
  • Types of Precipitation
    • Rain
    • Hail
    • Sleet
    • Snow
    • Glaze
    • Drizzle
  • Kinds of precipitation
    • Orographic Precipitation
    • Convectional Precipitation
    • Cyclonic Precipitation

9. Tropical Cyclones

  • Cyclones Overview
    • Tropical Cyclones
    • Temperate Cyclones
  • Tropical Cyclones
    • Conditions for the origin of tropical cyclones
    • Origin of Tropical Cyclones
    • Structure of Tropical Cyclone
      • Vertical
      • Horizontal
    • Distribution of Tropical Cyclone
    • Environmental Impact of Tropical Cyclone

10. Airmass

  • Air Masses Overview
  • Source regions
    • Conditions for the formation of Air masses
    • Conditions for Origin of Air mass
  • Classification of Airmass
    • Nature of surface
      • Continental
      • Marine
    • Source region
      • Polar
      • Tropical
    • Temperature
      • Cold
      • Warm
    • Atmospheric conditions
      • Stable
      • Unstable

11. Fronts

  • Fronts Overview
  • Front Formation
  • Characteristics of Fronts
  • Classification of Fronts
    • Warm Front
    • Stationary Front
    • Cold Front
    • Occluded Front
  • Frontal Zones
  • Changing weather associated with fronts

12. Temperate Cyclones

  • Temperate Cyclones Overview

  • Origin of Temperate Cyclones

13. Jet Streams

  • Jet streams Overview
  • Characteristics
  • Types of jet Streams
    • Polar front jet streams
    • Subtropical Westerly Jet streams
    • Tropical easterly Jet streams
    • Polar night Jet Streams
    • Local Jet Streams
  • Index cycle of jet streams
  • Significance of jet streams
  • Influencing factors on the Jet Stream Flow
  • Jet streams and the weather

14. Climatic Regions Of World (World Climate)

After reading these chapters, you are able to use your own sense and jump on the question paper and syllabus and focus more on those topics which are coming in the UPSC exam.


Sharing is caring!