Desert

Cassidy Provost

Location

Some deserts are located in Africa, Australia, and Asia. Deserts are sometimes located by mountains and are caused by the "rain shadow" effect. Air moves over a mountain range and it gets so cold it loses the ability to lose moister, so it rains. When the air goes down the mountain range it gets warmer, and warm air can hold a lot of moister, so it doesn't rain as much, and a desert is formed. Antarctica is a desert and the Great Basin desert in North America.

General characteristics

Deserts are lands of extremes with extreme temperatures, dryness, and flash floods. Their are hot deserts and there are cold deserts. The largest desert in the world is Antarctica. Antarctica is just one giant desert covered in ice. The dryness level for deserts is very high because they rarely get any rain.

Weather and Climate

The weather In a desert is pretty bad because it almost never rains and there are a lot of sandstorms there. The climate is dry and hot. The dryness level of a desert is very, very high in most deserts and this can cause a lot of problems for the things living there like people, plants, and animals. If it doesn't rain very much, that means there is not a lot of water, and people, plants, and animals need water to survive.

Temperature

The temperatures in deserts are both high and low I degrees. The highest point degree in a desert would probably be between 100-110 degrees, and the lowest point degree can be between 40-50 degrees. It is really hot during the day because there are no trees for shade and the sun is just striking down on you. But, because of the 10-20% amount of humidity, it gets really cold during the night. The humidity locks in the heat, but since there isn't much in the deserts, it gets cold at night.


Precipitation

The precipitation (rain, snow, etc.) in the deserts is very seldom. You almost never get any rain in a desert, but when you do, it dries up pretty quickly. They are mostly sandstorms in a desert, and some sandstorms are deadly to the animals that live there. Rain and snow doesn't happen very often in the deserts. The amount of rainfall in a dessert is between 1/2-15 inches per year.


Mountains

Some deserts are located near mountains like the great Gobi Desert. The Gobi Desert is located around the Himalayan Mountains. Mountains are sometimes a safe place for some animals like the hawk and vulture. Some plants can even survive on a mountain. A lot of deserts are located by mountains.

Canyons

The Grand Canyon Desert is in the Grand Canyon, one of the most popular canyons on Earth. It is also a national park for everyone to visit here in the United States. It is 277 miles long and a great tourist site. Many people go there as a family vacation, especially during the summer when school is out. That's the best time to go.

Bodies of Water

There are some deserts in Australia that are close to the Indian Ocean, some in Africa that are next to the Mediterranean Sea, and some in the United States that are close to the Pacific Ocean. Just because they are next to a lot of oceans does not mean that there is a lot of water there. There are other deserts in the world on other continents that aren't next to any bodies of water, but those are some of the big ones.

Animals

Very few animals can survive in this hash environment known as the desert, but the few that can survive do it pretty well. Some animals that live in the desert are the Dingo, the Fennec Fox, and the Great Jerboa. The Great Jerboa is a mouse with small front legs and long back legs and a long, furry tail. The long back legs helps it jump and catch insects out of the air. The Dingo (a species of dog) is a carnivore and can jump far and high with its back legs. The Fennec Fox is a fox with very big ears that help it hear predators when they are approaching, so they can run off in time. There are other animals like the Cactus Wren (a type of bird, the Addax (a type of deer), and the Fat Sand Rat (another type of mouse).

Plants

Not just any kind of plant can live in a desert. Only plants that can store water for a very, very long time can survive in a desert. Plants like the Saguaro Cactus (what most people think of when they hear the word cactus), the Prickly Pear, the Dragon Tree, the Desert Spoon, the Fish Hook Cactus, and the Old Man Cactus are so e examples of plants the can survive in the desert. There are a lot of cactuses in the desert because they can easily store water and only use it when they really need it.

Catastrophic Events

Because of desert sensitivity, the people who visit a desert must be really careful when they are mining or rock climbing and make sure that it is managed properly so they don't harm plant or wildlife. Deserts are great places to visit, but if the animals and plants there are harmed or ruined, it won't be that great anymore. Animals and plants are very important to the earth and if they are harmed or destroyed, it could be a big problem. So, we encourage you to be careful when you visit a desert