A desert is a landscape that has less precipitation and has a hostile condition for living organisms. The unprotected ground surface is exposed through denudation due to a lack of vegetation cover. One-third of the world’s land surface is of arid or semi-arid. This includes cold deserts or polar desert which experience little precipitation. Deserts are made through the weathering process whereby temperature variation of day and night make rocks to break into pieces. Therefore, the desert is grouped according to the amount of precipitation that falls.
Rain rarely occurs in deserts. Even though they may experience downpours that cause flash floods. Also, rain causes hot rocks to break into fragments and thus are eroded by wind. Moreover, desert plants and animals require special adaptation in order to survive in harsh conditions. Plants tend to have small leaves while animals store enough water and food. Below are fascinating things about the desert.
1. Deserts are divided into two types
Deserts are divided into cold deserts and hot deserts. Coder deserts are a result of temperate places on higher latitudes. These deserts feature cold winters and are on arid ecoregions. Furthermore, cold deserts experience strong seasons. Its mean winter temperature is featured below or at freezing. The deserts exhibit snow even though they are dry. Examples are gobi, Antarctica, great basin, Patagonian, Taklimakan, and Kyzyl Kum desert. On the contrary, hot deserts are located near the tropic of Capricorn and cancer. It experiences a hot climate during day time and temperature drops in the night. These deserts include Sahara, Kalahari and Namib, Arabian, Syrian, and the Great Victoria Desert.
2. The biggest desert is Antarctic desert
When you hear of the large desert, what crosses your mind? You may contemplate of sun, no rain, and sand. You may also think of scorpions, cactus, and camels. Antarctica has been named as the largest desert on earth and covers a total space of 13.8 million square kilometers. It receives a lot of wind, cold, and is the most left continent in the world. It is referred to as desert in view of receiving annual precipitation of below 51mm.
3. The hottest desert is the Sahara
Sahara desert is found in the continent of Africa. It is ranked as the biggest hot desert on earth. It is also the third-largest after the Antarctic, followed by arctic. Sahara has an area of 9,200,000 sq. Kilometers and is compared to the size of the United States and China. Most of the desert is occupied in the northern part of Africa, the exception of the Mediterranean Sea, Nile valley, and atlas mountains. The larger parts are Algeria, Egypt, Chad, Tunisia, Sudan, Niger, Libya, Mauritania, Western Sahara, and Mali.
4. The Antarctic has fresh water
The Antarctic consists of a long term ice sheet that has 90 percent of the world’s freshwater. The continent has an area of 2 percent that has no ice. This land is located along with the coasts and is home to living organisms. This includes bird species, seals, and penguins. The remaining 98 percent has ice that has a thickness of 1.6km.
5. Deserts have a diverse ecosystem
A desert ecosystem is described as a relationship between organisms and the environment they live in, as well as the influence of nonliving on the habitat. Deserts are able to support different varieties of animals and plants which are resilient. Examples of desert plants are various species of trees, grass, and shrubs. Desert animals include camels, Arabian oryx,m dromedary, fennec fox, and marbled polecat. It also consists of different species of birds and insects like a killer bee.