Monthly Archives: September, 2018

What’s cool about the desert?

Desert Biome description, plant and animal adaptations

by Eleanor Burke, originally posted July 2011

Desert biome covers about one-fifth 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; if more, the rain occurs seasonally or unpredictably. The largest of the world’s hot/dry deserts occur fairly symmetrically above and below the equator, at or near the subtropical latitudes, approximately 30-35˚ N or S of the equator. Both are high-pressure zones of dry descending air masses. Seasonality varies with local geography, such as the leeward “rain shadow” of a mountain range, or its specific continental placement. Continue reading →