A desert is a type of climate that receives less than 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain per year. The word “desert” comes from the Latin word for arid. Deserts are found in many places all over the world, including Australia, Africa, Asia, and North, and South America. But what defines a desert?
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A desert is defined by its low rainfall, not the temperature
A desert is defined by its low rainfall, not the temperature. The temperature can vary a lot in deserts. It can be very cold in deserts. It also can be very hot in deserts.
Cold deserts can exist
Cold deserts exist in Antarctica and Greenland, at high altitudes. They have a temperature of 0 degrees C or below, but they’re not cold because it’s winter; they’re called “cold” because they are colder than the surrounding environment. The coldest desert in the world is Antarctica’s Dry Valleys region, where temperatures can drop to -80°C (-112°F).
Deserts aren’t just about sand
You might think that deserts are just sand, but they’re not. Deserts can also be made up of rock, stone, and soil — and not just sand. Deserts can be cold or hot, dry or wet. Some deserts have been so dry that they’ve turned into rock, stone, and soil without any water at all!
Many deserts have lots of vegetation
Many deserts have lots of vegetation. Deserts can be found all over the world, and they have many different types of plants and animals living in them. Many deserts are indeed dry and hot, but some are cold or wet too.
Plants in the desert need special ways to survive the weather conditions there—and there are many different kinds of plant growth strategies for surviving droughts or floods! Some plants grow underground so that most days their roots don’t dry out at all; they only need to be watered once every few years when rain falls on top of them (like cacti).
Other plants spread seeds close by so they don’t need big areas where water is scarce; these seeds can germinate in just a few inches (centimeters) deep underground (like tumbleweeds). There are also desert plants that grow tall because they use less water than those closer up toward ground level; these include trees like Joshua Trees which stretch out as far as possible while still having access to cool air currents coming off nearby mountainsides…
Rainfall can be unpredictable in the desert
Rainfall can be unpredictable in the desert. The desert is hot and dry, but that’s not its defining characteristic.
Most deserts don’t have a great life-supporting ecosystem
Deserts are not the best places for life to flourish. Many deserts don’t have a great life-supporting ecosystem at all. Think about this for a moment: the Sahara is a desert, but it also has rain and snow occasionally. So why does it still count as a dessert? It’s because of how dry and hot it gets there; even though there is precipitation in some form, it isn’t enough to support most plants and animals that need water.
This means that even if you find yourself living in one of these environments—as humans did until around 10,000 years ago—you’ll have a hard time surviving without being able to grow your food or store up enough water to last through long periods of drought or heat waves (heatwaves happen when temperatures stay above 90°F(32°C) for several days).
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Deserts are often very hot and dry places, but that’s not their defining characteristic
A desert is a dry place, it’s true. The climate of deserts is arid or semi-arid, meaning they get little rain and are very hot during the day. But that’s not their defining characteristic: even if you live in a cold desert like Antarctica, it still qualifies as one because it has very low precipitation levels and temperatures that can drop below freezing for months at a time. Deserts are found on every continent except Antarctica!