by Lucas jones, Sage Fann, David Broaddus
Deserts are a vital biome, it covers a fifth of earths surface! Antarctica is the largest desert in the world while Sahara in Africa is the largest hot desert. In North America there are 4 major hot, dry deserts. Including the Mojave, and Great basin. Outside of the U.S. hot/dry deserts are found in the southern Asian realm, south and Central America, Ethiopia, and Australia. Most deserts are found 30 degrees latitude north and south (between the redlines on a map).
Weather in the deserts is not all the same. There are many hot deserts along with many cold ones. You would think of a desert being super hot and dry but actually there are super cold and dry ones as well. For a hot/dry deserts there summers are insanely hot and warm during the winter. In the winter is when this desert normally gets little precipitation. Most of the evaporation rates are faster than the rainfall rates, so they pretty much get nothing. Coastal deserts are moderately cool to warm areas. They usually have cool winters followed by fairly long warm summers. The temperature in the summer ranges between 55-75 degrees. The Antarctica is the earth’s driest desert. 1 millimeter of rain or little more falls 5 to 10 years. Cold deserts usually have short, moist, and moderately warm summers. In the winter the temperature can go between -5 and – 110 and the summer on a nice sunny day can reach 32 degrees. So far the coldest day recorded was -113!
There are all kinds of plants and animals that live in the desert. Some of the pants that live there are the Joshua tree, barrel cactus, and the Mojave aster. The thing that all these plants have in common is they have long spreading roots that are close to the surface of the ground. The roots are like that so when it rains they can get as much water as possible. But they are also very different. The Joshua tree can grow to be 15 to 40 feet. And the barrel cactus as a thick waxy skin so it can hold water. Also the Mojave aster it can grow to be 30 inches tall.
The animals that live in the desert may vary in size, from a large bobcat to a small armadillo lizard or the thorny devil. The bobcat’s diet is mainly rabbits, mice, gophers, rats and fish. Also the armadillo lizard and the thorny devil’s diet is insects/bugs. But the thorny devil and the armadillo protect them selves very differently. The thorny devil can puff itself full of air to make it self look bigger and it can change color to. But the armadillo lizard roles up in a ball and bites it tell to stay in the ball form.
As you can see people have a very big impact on deserts and other biomes around the world. Many people don’t understand this because they don’t even know how big the biome is in itself. Humans can conserve or they can destroy an environment and that could have a huge effect on the Earth. People are learning more about the desert and how people live there adapt and change the biome.
: The desert biome is very important in the world. It is one of the biggest biomes on the Earth and it covers 33% of the world’s surface. People believe that all deserts are hot but some deserts are cold as well. Antarctica is the biggest of the cold deserts on the Earth. The people who live in the biome are just as important as the biome itself.
People who live in biomes don’t usually live in one specific place because it is so hot and dry they have to move where the food is. People usually try to settle in a place called an oasis, which is just an area of vegetation in an area. There are more than one oasis’ in a desert, some being bigger than others. Oases have a water supply as well as vegetation to eat. While this is where people who do live in desert biomes try to live, you should not that the majority of the world’s population does not live in desert biomes.
Desert biomes are very hard to live in. They are very dry and hot and can get very cold at night. They don’t have a lot of diversity in them so food can be hard to come buy so people have to adapt to the environment. People in the desert sometimes wear long robes to protect from sand and other things getting into their eyes. The color of the robes matters as well. When you see people wear dark colored robes they say it is because it protects from sunburn but bright and lighter robes help ventilation since darker colors (specifically black) absorb heat. People in the desert also have tents that they use to sleep in to protect against sandstorms and so when they migrate they always have somewhere to sleep and they herd animals that can carry supplies and live off little food such as camels, sheep, and goats.
Humans have a large impact on the desert biome. Mostly because humans are trying so hard to build into new lands that the building projects are hurting the environment. Also recreational activities such as camping, hiking, dirt biking and other things put a strain on the environment in the desert.
People are trying to educate each other on why the desert biome is important and how to keep it safe. They are bringing tourist in and showing them the environment and educating them on different plants and animals in the biome. Many people are starting to understand why this biome is needed and they are joining the cause of protecting all desert biomes no matter if they are cold or if they are hot.