How Many Coldest Deserts Are There in the World?

Are you curious about the coldest deserts in the world? You might be surprised to learn that there are more than one! These deserts may not have the same extreme temperatures as Antarctica, but they still have some of the coldest temperatures on Earth. From the Gobi Desert to the Atacama Desert, each of these cold deserts has its own unique characteristics and challenges. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of the coldest deserts.

Quick Answer:
There are two coldest deserts in the world: Antarctica and the Arctic Desert. Antarctica is the coldest desert in terms of average temperature, with temperatures rarely rising above freezing. The Arctic Desert, also known as the Polar Desert, is located in the Arctic region and is the second coldest desert in the world. Both deserts experience extremely low temperatures, strong winds, and limited precipitation, making them some of the most inhospitable environments on Earth.

What are Deserts?

Definition

Deserts are arid regions of the world that receive an average annual precipitation of less than 250 millimeters (9.8 inches). These regions are characterized by a lack of vegetation and water, and the presence of extreme temperatures, both hot and cold.

In general, deserts are defined by their extreme aridity, which is caused by a variety of factors, including high evaporation rates, low precipitation, and the presence of physical barriers that prevent the movement of moisture-laden air.

Deserts can be classified into several different types, including sandy deserts, rocky deserts, and coastal deserts, each with their own unique characteristics and features. The coldest deserts in the world are typically found in high-altitude regions, where temperatures can drop below freezing and the air is extremely dry.

Types of Deserts

Deserts are dry regions with limited water resources and vegetation. They can be classified into different types based on their formation, climate, and topography. In this section, we will discuss the various types of deserts, including the coldest deserts.

Coldest Deserts

The coldest deserts are characterized by extremely low temperatures, strong winds, and heavy snowfall. These deserts are located in high-altitude regions and are covered with ice and snow for most of the year. Some of the coldest deserts in the world include:

  • Antarctic Desert: Located in Antarctica, it is the coldest desert in the world, with temperatures that can drop as low as -89.2°C. The desert is mostly covered with ice and snow, and the strong winds that blow across the continent create massive snowdrifts.
  • McMurdo Dry Valleys: Located in the Transantarctic Mountains, these valleys are one of the driest places on Earth, with an average rainfall of only 10 mm per year. The valleys are characterized by their barren, rocky landscape and strong winds.
  • Dry Valleys of East Antarctica: These valleys are located in the interior of East Antarctica and are the largest cold desert in the world. They are characterized by their rocky, windswept landscape and the absence of any permanent snow or ice.
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Other Types of Deserts

Apart from the coldest deserts, there are several other types of deserts, including:

  • Hot Deserts: These deserts are characterized by high temperatures and low humidity. They are located near the equator and in the Western Hemisphere. Examples include the Sahara Desert in Africa and the Mojave Desert in the United States.
  • Coastal Deserts: These deserts are located along the coast and are characterized by their high evaporation rates and strong winds. Examples include the Atacama Desert in Chile and the Namib Desert in Africa.
  • Inland Deserts: These deserts are located in the interior of continents and are characterized by their dry climate and limited water resources. Examples include the Gobi Desert in Asia and the Great Basin Desert in the United States.

Each type of desert has its unique characteristics and is formed under different geological and climatic conditions.

Location of Deserts

Global distribution of deserts

Deserts are found on every continent, except for Antarctica. They are most prevalent in the hot deserts of North America, and in the arid regions of Australia. The largest hot desert in the world is the Antarctic Desert, which covers most of the continent. In the Southern Hemisphere, the coldest deserts are found in the region between South America and Africa.

Map of deserts

The world’s coldest deserts are found in the high-altitude regions of the world, including the Himalayas, the Andes, and the Rocky Mountains. These deserts are known as “cold deserts” because of their high altitude and low temperature. The cold deserts are also home to a unique variety of plants and animals, including cacti, yucca, and pronghorn antelope. The map of deserts can be found on various online maps and atlases, and can help to identify the location of the world’s coldest deserts.

Coldest Deserts in the World

Antarctic Desert

The Antarctic Desert is one of the coldest deserts in the world, located in the southernmost part of the Earth. It covers an area of around 5,500,000 square miles and is mostly made up of ice and snow. The climate of the Antarctic Desert is extremely cold, with temperatures that can drop as low as -89.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The average temperature in the desert is around -49.2 degrees Fahrenheit, making it one of the coldest places on Earth.

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The Antarctic Desert is home to a unique and diverse range of flora and fauna. Despite the harsh climate, there are several species of algae, lichens, and mosses that are able to survive in the extreme conditions. The desert is also home to a variety of birds, including penguins, seals, and whales, as well as a number of fish species.

In terms of human exploration, the Antarctic Desert is one of the least explored regions of the world. However, in recent years, there has been an increase in tourism and scientific research in the area, as the desert holds many secrets and wonders that are yet to be discovered.

Arctic Desert

The Arctic Desert is one of the coldest deserts in the world, characterized by its extreme cold temperatures and lack of precipitation. It is located in the northernmost part of the world, covering an area of around 14 million square kilometers. The climate of the Arctic Desert is severely cold, with average temperatures ranging from -20°C to -30°C in the winter months, and -5°C to -10°C in the summer months. The Arctic Desert is home to a unique and diverse range of flora and fauna, including polar bears, arctic foxes, and various species of plants that are adapted to survive in the harsh conditions. Despite its remote location and harsh environment, the Arctic Desert is an important area for scientific research, with ongoing studies focused on the region’s ecology, climate, and geology.

Other Coldest Deserts

There are several other deserts that can be considered as the coldest deserts in the world. These deserts are located in different parts of the world and have unique characteristics that set them apart from other deserts.

Location of Other Coldest Deserts

The other coldest deserts are located in regions that experience very low temperatures, such as Antarctica, which is the coldest desert in the world, and the Arctic desert, which is located in the Arctic region. Other cold deserts include the Gobi desert in Asia, the Atacama desert in South America, and the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica.

Climate of Other Coldest Deserts

The climate of these deserts is characterized by extremely low temperatures, strong winds, and low humidity. These conditions make it difficult for any form of life to survive in these regions. The temperature in Antarctica can drop as low as -89.2°C, while the Arctic desert can experience temperatures as low as -40°C.

Flora and Fauna of Other Coldest Deserts

The flora and fauna of these deserts are limited due to the harsh climate conditions. In Antarctica, there are no permanent human settlements, and the only animals that can survive in the region are penguins, seals, and a few species of birds. The Arctic desert is home to a few species of animals such as polar bears, arctic foxes, and walruses. The Gobi desert has a few species of plants and animals that have adapted to the harsh conditions, such as the Bactrian camel and the Gobi bear.

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Overall, the other coldest deserts in the world are located in regions that experience extremely low temperatures, and have unique characteristics that set them apart from other deserts. The harsh climate conditions make it difficult for any form of life to survive in these regions, and the flora and fauna that are found in these deserts have adapted to the harsh conditions.

FAQs

1. How many coldest deserts are there in the world?

There are several deserts that are considered to be the coldest in the world. Some of the most well-known cold deserts include the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, the Antarctic Desert in Antarctica, and the Arctic Desert in the Arctic region.

2. What makes a desert cold?

A desert can be considered cold if it has low temperatures and high levels of moisture. The Gobi Desert, for example, is considered to be a cold desert because it has cold temperatures and high levels of moisture in the form of snow and ice.

3. Are there any other cold deserts in the world?

Yes, there are several other cold deserts in the world. Some examples include the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica, the Vostok Station in Antarctica, and the Dry Valleys in the Antarctic region.

4. How do cold deserts differ from other deserts?

Cold deserts differ from other deserts in terms of their climate and vegetation. Cold deserts tend to have colder temperatures and higher levels of moisture than other deserts, which can lead to the formation of snow and ice. The vegetation in cold deserts is also often different from that found in other deserts, with many species being adapted to the cold temperatures and high levels of moisture.

5. Can people live in cold deserts?

Yes, people can live in cold deserts, although it can be difficult due to the harsh climate. Many indigenous peoples have lived in cold deserts for centuries, and some modern-day research stations and bases are located in these areas. However, it is important for people to be well-prepared and equipped to handle the cold temperatures and other challenges of living in a cold desert.