Wladimir Köppen

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Köppen, Wladimir


(also Vladimir Petrovich Keppen). Born Sept. 26 (Oct. 8), 1846, in St. Petersburg; died June 22, 1940, in Graz, Austria. Meteorologist and climatologist. Son of P. I. Keppen.

Köppen studied at St. Petersburg University. He worked at the Main Physics Observatory in St. Petersburg from 1872 to 1875 and at the German Naval Observatory in Hamburg from 1875 to 1919. He lived in Graz from 1919 to the end of his life. Köppen’s principal works are devoted to climatology, general and synoptic meteorology, and marine meteorology. He was also a pioneer in aerological research. He studied the climatic conditions of many regions of the earth, particularly the oceans, the frequency and movement of cyclones and anticyclones, the effect of solar activity on weather and climate, and climates of the past. Köppen is especially well known for his classification of the world’s climates, on which he worked from 1900 to 1920. Along with the Russian climatologist A. I. Voeikov and the Austrian meteorologist J. Hann, Köppen exerted a determining influence on the development of climatology at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.


Die Klimate der geologischen Vorzeit. Berlin, 1924.
Das geographische System der Klimate. Berlin, 1936. (Handbuch der Klimatologie, vol. 1, part C.)
In Russian translation: Klimatovedenie: Obshchee uchenie o klimate. St. Petersburg, 1912.
Osnovy klimatologii (Klimaty zemnogo shara). Moscow, 1938.


Berg, L. “Pamiati V. P. Keppena (1846–1940).” Izv. Vsesoiuznogo geograficheskogo obshchestva, 1941, vol. 73, issue 2.
Khromov, S. “Vladimir Keppen, 1846–1940.” Meteorologiia i gidrologiia, 1940, no. 11.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.