Monthly Archives: July, 2011

What’s cool about the desert?

Desert Biome description, plant and animal adaptations

by Eleanor Burke, July 2011

Desert biome covers about 1/5 of the Earth’s land surface. Deserts range from very hot and dry to very cold and dry (Antarctica can be considered a desert) with dryness being the defining characteristic. Most sources define the average annual rainfall at 15-20cm or less, or if more, it occurs seasonally or unpredictably. The largest of the world’s hot/dry deserts occur at or near the subtropical latitudes, approximately 30-35˚ N or S of the equator, high-pressure zones of dry descending air masses. Seasonality varies, depending upon local geography, such as the “rain shadow” of a windward side mountain range, or west/east continental placement. Continue reading →