How Do People Live in Deserts?

Topics: Desert, Desertification, Rain Pages: 5 (1244 words) Published: November 9, 2011
How Do People Live In The Desert?

Submitted by: Justyne Gibson

Social Studies Fair Project
Mrs. Horne – 6th Grade
November 9, 2011

Verification Page

Written By: Justyne Gibson

Typed By: Shea Gibson

Social Studies Fair Project
Mrs. Horne – 6th Grade
November 9, 2011


The purpose of this paper is to prove that people can live in the desert. I chose this topic because it was interesting.


Step 1: I chose a topic
Step 2: I did lots & lots of research
Step 3: I wrote my question
Step 4: I wrote my title page
Step 5: I wrote my purpose
Step 6: I wrote my hypothesis
Step 7: I wrote my methodology
Step 8: I wrote my research paper
Step 9: I finished the paper
Step 10: My mom typed it for me

Thesis Statement: People can survive and live in the desert.

Most people believe that people cannot live in the desert. Let’s see what a desert is to see why many people feel this way. The definition of a desert is “a dry, barren area of land, especially one covered with sand” (American Heritage Dictionary). It is usually a place that gets a very low amount of rain. This report will discuss what kind of people live in the desert and how they can live there.

Did you know that deserts cover about one fifth of the Earth’s surface? Did you also know that there are four major types of deserts? You have hot and dry deserts, semiarid deserts, coastal deserts, and cold deserts. Most deserts, like the Sahara of North Africa and the deserts of Southwestern U.S., Mexico, and Australia are at low latitudes. Cold deserts occur in basin and range areas of Utah and Nevada and in parts of western Asia.

There are four major North American hot and dry deserts. They are the Chihuahuan, Sonoran, Mojave and Great Basin. In hot and dry deserts, the seasons are generally warm during the year and very hot in the summers. The winters do not bring a lot of rainfall. There is no humidity to block the sun’s rays. Rainfall is usually very low. Sometimes rain starts to fall and evaporates before reaching the ground. The soil texture is course, shallow, rocky or like gravel. It drains well and there is no water on top of the ground. Plants are mainly low to the ground shrubs and trees are short and woody. Animals include small meat eating animals that are active only at night. The dominant animals are burrowers and kangaroo rats. There are also insects, arachnids, reptiles and birds.

The major semi-arid deserts include the sagebrush of Utah, Montana and Great Basin. The summers are moderately long and dry, and like hot deserts, the winters normally have a low amount of rainfall. Cool nights help both plants and animals. The soil can range from sandy and fine textured to loose rock fragments, gravel or sand. The plants in semi-arid deserts are spiny in nature and provide protection in a hazardous environment. During the day, insects move around twigs to stay on the shady side. Jack rabbits follow the moving shadow of a cactus or a shrub.

A good example of a coastal desert is the Atacama of Chile. The cool winters of coastal deserts are followed by kind of long and warm summers. The soil is fine-textured with a moderate salt content. It is fairly porous and it drains well. Some plants have long root systems that are close to the surface of the ground. Some animals have special homes to deal with the desert heat and lack of water. Some insects even lay eggs that do not hatch until the environmental conditions are suitable for hatching.

Cold deserts are characterized by cold winters with snowfall and high rainfall in the winter and occasionally in the summer. Cold deserts can be found in the Antarctic, Greenland and the Nearctic realm. They have short, wet, and moderately warm summers with fairly long, cold winters. The winters get a lot of snow. The heaviest rainfall of the spring is usually in April or May. The soil is heavy, silty, and salty. The plants...
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