Types Of Deserts in the World

Deserts are a very unique part of the planet. They are all sandy, with very little water and vegetation available. But still, there is a diversity of vegetation, and creatures found there. So today, we look into the types of desserts that exist in the world. They are divided based on their climatic conditions, size, and the living organism it consists of.

1. Subtropical Desert

subtropical desert
source: pinterest

The subtropical desert is characterized by high temperatures, very low precipitation, and warm soils. The climate here is hot and dry where the temperature averages around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but can reach 90 degrees in the summer. It is mostly found right above the equator, such as the Mojave, Sonoran, Chihuahuan, Sahara, and the Great Victoria Deserts. Such deserts freeze during colder months or at night and get less than eight inches of water a year. Despite the worst climatic conditions, they are home to a variety of plants such as grasses, shrubs, succulents, and low-growing plants since they store water and live in low fertility soils.

2. Coastal Desert

coastal desert
source: world atlas

Coastal deserts, as the name suggests, are found near the coasts, where the land meets the ocean. The wind that blows in this dessert comes from the other side of the ocean, but sadly they do not bring any rain. Unlike the others, the wind here brings fog which is a thick cloud formed of tiny droplets that are very tiny to fall as rain. This fog gets accumulated, but the heat during the day makes them disappear. The Namib desert in South Africa and the Atacama desert in Chile are coastal deserts.

3. Interior Desert

interior desert
source: muench workshop

Interior deserts are the ones that are found in the heart of the continents. They are situated miles and miles away from the oceans. They exist because no moisture-laden winds are found, in this region. The air moves from coastal areas and by the time it reaches the interior parts, they lose out all their moisture. They are also known as Inland deserts. Gobi desert in China is a great example of an Interior desert.

4. Polar Desert

polar desert
source: aurora expeditions

A polar desert is a piece of land that has a mean temperature of less than 10 degrees Celsius during the warmest month and annual precipitation of no more than 250 millimeters. It can be said to be a cold desert that is characterized by cold winters with snowfall and high overall rainfall throughout the winter and occasionally during summers. The entire Antarctic and Arctic is a cold desert, which extends over parts of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. Some dominant plant species found in the polar desert are algae, lichens, and mosses.

5. Rainshadow Desert

rainshadow desert
source: national geography society

As the name suggests, a rainshadow desert is a dry region on the leeward side of the mountainous area. The mountain blocks the rain clouds causes it to shower only in a specific region, thus causing dryness on the other side. Since the clouds have lost all the moisture, they travel to the dry side without any moisture in them. Therefore the drier side turns into a desert. In simpler words, it is a patch of land that has been forced to become a desert.

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