• Sunday August 7,2022

Desert

We explain what the desert is and the different climates that predominate in this biome. In addition, the flora and fauna that it can host.

The `` deserts '' occupy almost a third of the surface of the planet Earth.
  1. What is the desert?

It is understood as `` deserted '' a bioclimatic landscape (or biome) characterized by low levels of rainfall and indices of precipitation . (rains) y therefore m rgenes muy rights of moisture, which translates in dry climates, extreme temperatures and soil laughs

Traditionally, they have been thought of as places devoid of life, even if this is not necessarily as : there is a flora (xer fila) and a fauna (and also n human populations) which has adapted to these harsh living conditions.

At present, the deserts occupy almost a third of the surface of our planet, which represents a total area of ​​less than 50 million of km2, of which 53% correspond to as the Antarctic).

They are distributed throughout the five continents, the most well-known regions being those in northern Africa, northern Mexico, the tundra de Rusia, the gulf plains of Greenland and Alaska, as well as north of Chile and south of Argentina.

In the deserts of the erosive wind (wind) and solar radiation are usually very intense, so the soil is usually sandy, stony or rocky ; y in the case of the polar deserts of the Antarctic, is constituted by a dense layer of frozen soil (permafrost). Many desert characteristics will depend on these factors, such as the type of sand formed or the climatic dynamics it presents.

See also: Prairie.

  1. Desicoric climate

Deserts with a dry climate have annual rainfalls of between 25 and 250 mm.

It is possible to recognize three different climatic types in the deserts, taking into account their annual rainfall average, which in any case is usually lower than in the rest of the regions of the planet. Can we talk about:

  • Climate s emiárid or s (estepari or s) . They have an average of 250 to 500 mm of rain per year and constitute 15% of the Earth's surface. They are usually found only at the outer edges of the deserts proper.
  • Climes a rid o s . With annual rainfall between 25 and 250 mm (maximum), they cover 16% of the planet's surface and are found in the bulk of known deserts.
  • Climate h iperárid or s . The drought in these regions is such that it does not usually rain for years. Luckily, they constitute only 4% of the planetary surface, and are limited to polar deserts (too cold for liquid water) or to the very heart of large hot deserts.

Desert temperatures tend to be extreme, with huge thermal variation between day and night. In the hot deserts a maximum of more than 40 degrees Celsius can be recorded during the day and at night descend below zero .

If we refer to polar deserts, the temperature always remains very low (around -40 ° C) and depending on the stationary cycle it can rise during the summer to almost 0 ° C.

  1. Desert plants

The flora of the deserts is very particular, and in principle scarce, due to the very low humidity indices: without water it is impossible to perform photosynthesis.

However, life has adapted to such adverse conditions: xerophilous vegetation has a predominance of spiny, fleshy and resistant plants, similar to the cactus (cactus), with a large storage capacity of the water received. From the rest weed weeds and, at best, shrubs of short stature.

In the eventual oases, on the other hand, the enriched water allows a greater proliferation of plant life, and it is possible to observe palm trees and bushes of greater height, including fruit trees such as dates or coconut.

  1. Desert animals

Camels have a very high resistance to drought.

Contrary to what one used to think, there are animals in the desert, adapted to the environment and concentrated in the preservation of their body moisture.

In the hot deserts, reptiles (snakes, lizards), insects (ants, beetles) and arachnids (scorpions, spiders) abound. There are also numerous desert rodents, which take refuge in burrows to get away from the daytime sun, from which they emerge only at night when everything cools. They feed on birds of prey and scavengers. Finally, it is possible to find camelids (camels, dromedaries) of very high resistance to drought.

Frosted deserts, on the other hand, are less generous with life, and apart from mosses and bacterial life, there are usually not too many animals. In the outermost regions of the same, on the other hand, it is possible to find polar fauna: bears, seals and other mammals with insulated skin and a lot of stored fat, killer whales and whales, and fish, plankton and penguins that make them food.

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