Cold Desert

Topics: Antarctica, Ice sheet, Ice shelf Pages: 44 (16171 words) Published: October 9, 2011
Because Antarctica is a "polar" region, there is little precipitation, it has no lakes or rivers and is in fact the driest continent. The interior of Antarctica is considered the world's driest desert because the extreme cold freezes water vapour out of the air. Annual snowfall on the polar plateau is equivalent to less than 5 cm of rain. A desert is defined as an area of low and irregular rainfall, no permanent surface water and no substantial vegetation. Yes, because there is very little rainfall or moisture in the air, because most of the water stays frozen.

Almost the whole continent is Desert, the largest contiguous desert on earth, and one of the dryest. Terain ranges from ice plains to dry valleys of rock and shale. From high mountains to the coast this unbroken desert covers almost the entirety of the worlds 5th largest continent. The interior of the continent of Antarctica is the world's largest desertBecause Antarctica is a "polar" region, there is no precipitation, it has no lakes or rivers and is in fact the driest continent.

Antarctica is the world's largest desertDesert not always mean a hot place. A desert is a place where rainfall (or the equivalent in snow) is less than 10 inches (250 mm) per year. rainfall is not these much in antarctica.

That's why antarctica is a desert

This is a question I got from Children in Room 133 at Talahi Community School:

“We are studying deserts this week. We heard that Antarctica might be considered a desert! Can you tell us about this?”

Antarctica is indeed a desert, in fact it is the largest desert (about 14.2 million square kilometers in size) on planet Earth. Specifically it is a cold desert. This may surprise many people, because people usually think of deserts as being hot, like the Sahara Desert (just over 9 million square kilometers), but that does not have to be the case. Deserts are defined as regions that have less than 254 mm (10 inches) of precipitation per year. Precipitation means water that can fall as rain, sleet, hail or snow.

Another definition of a desert is ‘an area where there is a greater rate of evaporation than precipitation (rain, hail or snow)’. Because the average temperature in Antarctica is typically below zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit), combined with the fact that cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air, it is usually too cold for precipitation to occur. The Antarctic Desert is a region in the eastern portion of Antarctica, on the Indian Ocean side of the continent. It chiefly occupies the Victoria, Wright, and Taylor valleys near the McMurdo Sound. It is almost entirely located in the Eastern Hemisphere, except for a very small portion. It is also referred to as Maudlandia, or the Maudlandia Antartic Desert The south pole of earth lies in the continent of Antarctica. It goes without saying that Antarctica is the coldest region of our planet. Over ninety eight percent of the continent is covered with ice. There is life on this planet, but there are almost no humans there, except for some adventure enthusiasts. The animal species on Antarctica are also very less. That is because only some animals can survive the dry and cold climate of this continent. The lowest temperature that Antarctica has experienced is -128.6 degree Fahrenheit. Although, there are no humans or not much vegetation on Antarctica, it is not a useless piece of land. Many scientists consider it as the best laboratory of the world. The FAQs below will give you a lot of interesting facts about Antarctica for kids. Keep reading.

Antarctica Facts for Kids

The Antarctica facts have been presented in a FAQ format just so that it is easier for kids to digest and fun to read. So lets get started with facts about Antarctica for kids.

What is the Size of Antarctica?
Antarctica is the fifth largest continent in the world. It spans around 14.2 million square kilometers and is about half the size of America. The land span mentioned...
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