Desertification-1 - Today 1. What is a desert? 2. Types of...

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Today 1. What is a desert? 2. Types of deserts 3. Desertification – what is it?
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Deserts: Definitions and classifications A desert = an area where evaporation exceeds precipitation. Precipitation < 250 millimeters (10 inches) a year and is often scattered unevenly throughout a year In other words, it’s a dry/arid land
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Desert Over 1/5 of the Earth’s land surface Found on every continent Large diurnal and seasonal temperature range High daytime temperature Low nighttime temperature (extremely low humidity) Summer (113° F or higher) and winter (32° F or lower) Often composed of sand and rocky surface
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Large deserts Rank Desert Area (mi 2 ) 1 Antarctic Desert 5,339,573 2 Arctic 5,300,000+ 3 Sahara (Africa) 3,320,000+ 4 Arabian Desert (Middle East) 900,000 5 Gobi Desert (Asia) 500,000 6 Kalahari Desert (Africa) 360,000 7 Patagonian Desert (South America) 260,000 8 Great Victoria Desert (Australia) 250,000 9 Syrian Desert (Middle East) 200,000 10 Great Basin Desert (North America) 190,000
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David Attenborough on the World's Deserts http://youtu.be/fJhZ3YmBDpQ
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Desert Characteristics Scarce water Sparse vegetation Evaporation exceeding precipitation Precipitation often comes mostly from fog condensation Organic contents of the soil are limited Reflected on the vegetation cover
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Biodiversity However, deserts are biologically rich habitats Vast array of animals and plants that have adapted to the harsh conditions Some deserts are among the planet's last remaining areas of total wilderness.
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Desertification-1 - Today 1. What is a desert? 2. Types of...

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