Geography – Hot Deserts Essay Example
Geography – Hot Deserts Essay Example

Geography – Hot Deserts Essay Example

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  • Pages: 2 (512 words)
  • Published: April 13, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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The text discusses the climatic characteristics of hot deserts. These deserts are typically located between 15° and 30°, north and south of the equator, and are generally positioned within the trade wind belts, with the Sahara being the only exception. The temperatures in these deserts can be extremely hot as well as cold. The tropical desert, in particular, has the highest average yearly temperature out of all climates on Earth.

The extremely high temperatures are a consequence of the high sun angles that occur consistently throughout the year. This climate boasts the highest percentage of sunshine compared to any other climate. Not a single month experiences an average temperature below 18oC, with many locations consistently reaching average monthly temperatures in the mid 30os Celsius (90oF). In the low-lying desert areas further inland, daytime temperatures can


even reach up to 50oC. Due to the subsiding air of prevailing high pressure systems, the tropical desert region remains cloud-free, allowing for copious amounts of solar radiation to penetrate through the atmosphere.

The absence of clouds allows insolation to enter during the daytime, but it also allows a significant amount of heat to escape at night. Due to the lack of clouds, long wave radiation emitted by the Earth easily dissipates into space, causing the desert air to become chilly during nighttime. This combination of high energy input during the day and substantial heat loss at night leads to a considerably wide daily temperature range, which is commonly known as the diurnal range. In tropical deserts, rainfall is sporadic and unpredictable. Deserts located in low latitudes receive an average annual precipitation of less than 25 inches.

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worth of rain may fall in one downpour. The continental location of many tropical deserts places them far from a source of moisture, the ocean. Combine this continentality with the strong subsidence of the subtropical high and you have one of the driest places on earth. When air subsides from the subtropical high, it undergoes adiabatic warming and reduces the relative humidity. The relative humidity can drop to 10% or less. This extremely low relative humidity leads to the evaporation of whatever little surface water exists.

The Arica desert, characterized by an arid climate, experiences a lack of rainfall due to the subsiding air and atmospheric stability. This climate is influenced by the proximity of cold ocean currents, resulting in a monthly temperature of 22°C. Despite the limited precipitation, the desert is not completely devoid of water. According to climatologists, an arid climate is defined by an annual precipitation that is less than half of the annual potential evapotranspiration.

In the tropical desert, an oasis is the primary source of surface water aside from exotic streams. This oasis is formed when the groundwater table is close to the surface. Based on the previous explanation, it is evident that the desert is an extreme climate characterized by lethal temperatures. Rainfall is irregular, and there are even years in which no measurable precipitation occurs. The extremely dry conditions of deserts are caused by the continuous effects of subtropical high pressure and continentality.

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