A desert is a barren region of the landscape where there is little precipitation, and hence living conditions are hostile to plant and animal life. It is categorized as hot deserts or cold deserts. High temperatures associated with little rainfall complicate desert life for humans, plants, and animals.
Classification of desert
Desert is an arid region with exceptionally high or low temperatures and scarce vegetation. There could be hot deserts or cold deserts, based on the climate condition.
- Sahara is an example of a hot desert. It is the vastest desert in the world. It has an approximate area of 8.54 million sq. Km.
- Sahara is a desert of Subtropical nature. It includes 11 countries – Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Tunisia, Sudan, and Western Sahara.
- The climate in the Sahara desert is extreme, hot scorching and dry parched. It has a short rainy season. The sky is cloudless and clear. Temperatures will rise as high as 50 ° C during the day, heating the sand and the bare rocks, which in turn radiates heat making it all hot. The nights can be cold, with temperatures below zero degrees.
- In the Sahara, desert vegetation includes cactus, date palms and acacia. In some places, there are oasis – green islands with date palms surrounding them. Camels, hyenas, jackals, foxes, scorpions, many varieties of snakes and lizards are the prominent animal species living there.
- The Sahara desert has been inhabited by various groups of people who pursue different activities. Among them are the Bedouins and Tuaregs who are nomadic tribes rearing livestock such as goats, sheep, camels and horses.
- Ladakh is a cold desert lying in the Great Himalayas, on the eastern side of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Several rivers flow through Ladakh, and among them, Indus is the most important. Several glaciers are found in Ladakh, for example, the Gangri glacier.
- The altitude in Ladakh varies from about 3000m in Kargil to more than 8,000m in the Karakoram. Due to its high altitude, the climate remains extremely cold and dry.
- The day temperatures in summer are just above zero degrees and the night temperatures well below –30°C.
- In Ladakh, there are scanty patches of grasses and shrubs for animals to graze. Groves of willows and poplars are seen in the valleys.
- People of Ladakh are either Muslims or Buddhists.