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desert : arid land with usually sparse vegetation
especially : such land having a very warm climate and receiving less than 25 centimeters (10 inches) of sporadic rainfall annually — Webster
Desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and consequently living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of denudation. About one third of the land surface of the world is arid or semi-arid. This includes much of the polar regions where little precipitation occurs and which are sometimes called polar deserts or “cold deserts”. Deserts can be classified by the amount of precipitation that falls, by the temperature that prevails, by the causes of desertification or by their geographical location. — Wikipedia
Desert climate, also known as an arid climate, is a climate in which precipitation is too low to sustain any vegetation at all, or at most a very scanty shrub, and does not meet the criteria to be classified as a polar climate.
An area that features this climate usually experiences from 25 to 200 mm (7.87 inches) per year of precipitation and in some years may experience no precipitation at all. Averages may be even less such as in Arica, Chile, where precipitation normals annually stand at around 1 mm per year. In some instances, an area may experience more than 200 mm of precipitation annually, but is considered a desert climate because the region loses more water via evapotranspiration than falls as precipitation (Tucson, Arizona, and Alice Springs, Northern Territory, are examples of this). — Wikipedia
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Mathematics as weapon against desertification
on October 22, 2018 at 2:10 pm
Ph.D. student Robbin Bastiaansen applies mathematics to get insight in practical problems. By comparing mathematical models with developments in existing ecosystems, he hopes to demystify the process of desertification. His research has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a rare achievement for a mathematician. […]
Indigenous fire practice protecting the Gibson...
on October 10, 2018 at 1:20 pm
Traditional Indigenous burning practices are protecting plant biodiversity in Australia's Gibson Desert, according to University of Queensland research. […]
Rapid, widespread changes may be coming to...
on October 9, 2018 at 5:43 pm
Antarctica's sandy polar desert, the McMurdo Dry Valleys, has undergone changes over the past decade and the recent discovery of thawing permafrost, thinning glaciers and melting ground ice by a Portland State University-led research team are signs that rapid and widespread change could be on the horizon. […]
Researching mercury and Saharan dust levels in...
on October 3, 2018 at 2:20 pm
Mercury – the famously liquid, famously toxic metal – is a contaminant with a worldwide scope. Of course, the beauty of studying global contaminants is that you get to see the globe. If you had asked me a year ago if I wanted to go to the Canary Islands, my answer would have been a deep sigh, a murmured "yes," and a wistful gaze at the horizon. Imagine my delight on discovering there are legitimate scientific reasons to travel to spectacular tropical locales. […]
Cobra cannibalism more prevalent than previously...
on October 2, 2018 at 3:19 pm
Last spring, researchers in South Africa's Kalahari Desert found a large male cape cobra devouring another smaller male of the same species. Surprised by the thought-to-be-rare event, they decided to investigate how common and widespread cannibalism was in cobras. […]