Deserts

Deserts, Oases, Steppes,

A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Most deserts have an average annual precipitation of less than 400 millimetres (16 in). A common definition distinguishes between true deserts, which receive less than 250 millimetres (10 in) of average annual precipitation, and semideserts or steppes, which receive between 250 millimetres (10 in) and 400 to 500 millimetres (16 to 20 in). Deserts can also be described as areas where more water is lost by evapotranspiration than falls as precipitation. In the Köppen climate classification system, deserts are classed as BWh (hot desert) or BWk (temperate desert). In the Thornthwaite climate classification system, deserts would be classified as arid megathermal climates.

Deserts are sometimes classified as “hot” and “cold” deserts. Cold deserts can be covered in snow or ice; frozen water unavailable to plant life. These are more commonly referred to as tundra if a short season of above-freezing temperatures is experienced, or as an ice cap if the temperature remains below freezing year-round, rendering the land almost completely lifeless.

The ten largest deserts Rank Desert Area (km²) Area (mi²)
1 Antarctic Desert (Antarctica) 13,829,430 5,339,573
2 Arctic Desert (Arctic) 13,726,937 1,003,600+
3 Sahara Desert (Africa) 9,100,000+ 3,320,000+
4 Arabian Desert (Middle East) 2,330,000 900,000
5 Gobi Desert (Asia) 1,300,000 500,000
6 Kalahari Desert (Africa) 900,000 360,000
7 Patagonian Desert (South America) 670,000 260,000
8 Great Victoria Desert (Australia) 647,000 250,000
9 Syrian Desert (Middle East) 520,000 200,000
10 Great Basin Desert (North America) 492,000 190,000

Deserts Links

Desert Link 1
List of DESERTS by area
List of Deserts in

Photos Deserts
Photos Tundra
Photos Ice Cap
List of Ice Cap
List of Tundra
Photos of Ice Cap Animals
Photos of Tundra Animals
Desert Amazing Photos

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