I would like to reproduce the hex maps used in the IPCC AR6 report.

Is there a publicly available lookup table to match country codes with WGI reference regions?

This isn't available through the IPCC interactive atlas - as far as I can tell.

  • I don't think they map neatly to countries. I think the hexes correspond to the irregular regions in the interactive atlas.
    – Spacedman
    Oct 29, 2021 at 15:04
  • @Spacedman. Thanks. After posting I found Iturbide et al., 2020. The polygons are available in multiple formats here: github.com/SantanderMetGroup/ATLAS/tree/main/reference-regions
    – Simon
    Oct 29, 2021 at 15:09
  • I think we've been following the same trail and I found a zipped shapefile of the geographic regions about ten seconds ago... Is there a hexagon map there? I think it would have to be hand-crafted otherwise...
    – Spacedman
    Oct 29, 2021 at 15:12
  • I'd create a hexagon in QGIS in a planar projection and then copy-paste it, snapping to the edges where needed, and offsetting "islands" nicely as per the published figure. Could even load the figure in as an image in the background for better alignment, adding notation and labelling to another layer etc...
    – Spacedman
    Oct 29, 2021 at 16:17
  • 1
    First link is broken.
    – PolyGeo
    Jan 28 at 6:37

1 Answer 1


I've now created a simple hex map of the zones with the zone label as attributes. You'll find the geopackage here:


enter image description here

Geographically its in a nonsense location in EPSG:3857 projection but its a non-geographic map so I'm not bothered by that.

The hexes now have long names from the geoJSON data (except for PAC which does not appear there) and the geopackage includes lines for the regional grouping. There is also a QGIS project with labels. The whole things has been moved to the (0,0) location on the globe.

This was made by:

  • Creating a large hexagonal grid in QGIS using the "Create Grid" process.
  • That produces hexagons with the flat side up, so I had to rotate the features and the ensemble of hexagons until they were pointy-bit up.
  • Enable editing on the hexagon grid, and manually select 45-ish hexagons in the pattern of the IPCC report maps. Cut the non-selected hexagons to leave 45 hexagons in the right pattern.
  • Open the QGIS attribute table, add a "label" field.
  • Select each row in turn so it is highlighted on the map and add the appropriate label to the label field by reference to the IPCC maps.
  • Use the "Move feature" tool to shift GIC and NZ closer to the main land masses.
  • Save as GeoPackage.
  • I've left Madagascar off...
    – Spacedman
    Oct 29, 2021 at 16:46
  • v2 has madagascar and adjusted the "islands" as per the maps in the report.
    – Spacedman
    Oct 29, 2021 at 16:53
  • 1
    If you add the link to the Iturbide et al., 2020 vector layer, then that will make it easy for others to join acronym with region names. For example, using the sf package in r would be st_read('https://raw.githubusercontent.com/SantanderMetGroup/ATLAS/main/reference-regions/IPCC-WGI-reference-regions-v4.geojson')
    – Simon
    Oct 29, 2021 at 18:27
  • Nicely done. Even got the offsets.
    – Simon
    Oct 29, 2021 at 18:28
  • 1
    workflow detailed...
    – Spacedman
    Oct 29, 2021 at 18:47

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