A desert is a barren area where little precipitation occurs. As for every living being, water is an absolute necessity so life in deserts have special survival skills. Deserts cover approximately one fifth of the Earth’s land. Any area is called desert if it receives precipitation of less than 10 inches per year. Precipitation is a product of any water that falls on earth due to gravity main forms of precipitation are rain, sleet, snow, drizzle, graupel and hail.
How are deserts formed?
Deserts are mainly formed due to lack of rain. As rain is the most important form of precipitation less rain means less water, which will ultimately result in the formation of the desert. Less rain in an Area occurs due to many factors most important of them are winds due to Oceans, effect of the mountains and extremely low temperatures of an area. As ocean winds directly affect the cloud formation so they can contribute to rain over the certain area while leaving some other area very dry. Mountains are mega structures of earth they can block the flow of air and can change its characteristic resulting in low rains over some areas. And extreme low-temperature Area doesn’t let water evaporation due to which rains will not come in that area and they make cold deserts.
Types of Deserts
Deserts are classified into four main types
Hot deserts have high temperatures in summer and have greater evaporation than precipitation. They have low humidity and sudden temperature changes between day and night. Hot deserts have very hot days and cold nights. Arabian and Australian deserts are examples of the hot desert.
A semi-arid desert has much more rainfall than arid desert. They usually have more vegetation and higher humidity. Semi arid deserts have semi-arid climate and are less extreme than regular desserts. They usually receive more precipitation than dry deserts. The examples of Semi deserts can be seen in the Tabernas Desert and some portions of South America.
When cold currents approach the land Coastal deserts are formed. They are usually longer and narrower deserts and have low-temperature averages as compare to other desserts. The main form of precipitation on the coastal desert is in the form of fog and dew. Examples of coastal deserts are found in Namibia, Chile and southern California.
Cold deserts are formed at the high altitudes due to the dryness of the air. Dry air doesn’t have sufficient moisture in it to cause rains which will result in less precipitation. Antartica is a cold desert it has long winters and very brief summers. Antartica is also the largest desert of our world. Most people think Sahara as the largest desert but Shaara is largest hot desert while it is smaller than Antarctica and Arctic.