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World desert map: This map shows the generalised location that Earth"s ten largest deserts top top the communication of surface ar area. The table at the bottom the this page provides the names, generalised locations, and surface locations of over twenty significant deserts. Base map through NOAA.
What is a Desert?
A desert is a see or region that receive very little precipitation - much less than 250 mm every year (about ten inches). Roughly 1/3 that Earth"s land surface ar is a desert. Over there are four different species of deserts based upon their geographical situation: 1) polar deserts, 2) subtropical deserts, 3) cold winter deserts, and 4) cool seaside deserts. As presented on the map above, deserts take place on all of Earth"s continents.
The biggest Desert
The two largest deserts on planet are in the polar areas. The Antarctic Polar Desert consist of the continent of Antarctica and also has a dimension of about 5.5 million square miles. The second-largest desert is the Arctic Polar Desert. That extends over components of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and also Russia. It has actually a surface ar area of about 5.4 million square miles.
McMurdo dry Valleys: The largest deserts on planet are in the polar regions. This is among the McMurdo "dry valleys" close to Lake Hoare, Antarctica. The Canada Glacier is in the background. Photograph by Peter West, national Science Foundation.
The remainder of Earth"s deserts are external of the polar areas. The largest is the Sahara Desert, a subtropical desert in north Africa. That covers a surface area of around 3.5 million square miles. A list of much more than twenty of the biggest non-polar deserts have the right to be found below.
The Desert Environment
When most people think that a desert, castle imagine a landscape covered with sand and also sand dunes. Although many deserts space sand-covered, many are not. Countless desert landscapes room rocky surfaces. They space rocky because any type of sand-size or smaller particles ~ above the surface ar are conveniently blown away. Rocky deserts space barren wind-swept landscapes.
Most deserts receive so small precipitation that surface ar streams usually only flow automatically after rainfall - uneven the stream has a resource of water exterior of the desert. Streams that get in a desert usually suffer major water losses before they exit. Few of the water is lost to evaporation. Some is shed to transpiration (taken up by plants and then exit to the environment from the plants). And, part is shed to infiltration (water soaking right into the ground through the bottom the the present channel).
Desert Fauna and also Flora
The plants and animals the live in a desert need to be adapted to the environment. Plants have to be an extremely tolerant to intense sun, an extensive periods there is no precipitation, and have an ability to protect against moisture lose to conditions of major temperature ranges, dried winds, and also low humidity.
Animals must have the ability to tolerate temperature extremes, temperature ranges, and also have an capability to survive with very small water. Many pets adapt to desert conditions by life underground and being active at night.
|Major Deserts of the World|
|Name||Type the Desert||Surface Area||Location|
|Antarctic||Polar||5.5 million mi²||Antarctica|
|Arctic||Polar||5.4 million mi²||Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia|
|Sahara||Subtropical||3.5 million mi²||Northern Africa|
|Arabian||Subtropical||1 million mi²||Arabian Peninsula|
|Gobi||Cold Winter||500,000 mi²||China and also Mongolia|
|Patagonian||Cold Winter||260,000 mi²||Argentina|
|Great Victoria||Subtropical||250,000 mi²||Australia|
|Kalahari||Subtropical||220,000 mi²||South Africa, Botswana, Namibia|
|Great Basin||Cold Winter||190,000 mi²||United States|
|Syrian||Subtropical||190,000 mi²||Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia|
|Great Sandy||Subtropical||150,000 mi²||Australia|
|Kara-Kum||Cold Winter||135,000 mi²||Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan|
|Colorado Plateau||Cold Winter||130,000 mi²||United States|
|Sonoran||Subtropical||120,000 mi²||United States, Mexico|
|Kyzyl-Kum||Cold Winter||115,000 mi²||Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan|
|Taklamakan||Cold Winter||105,000 mi²||China|
|Iranian||Cold Winter||100,000 mi²||Iran|
|Thar||Subtropical||75,000 mi²||India, Pakistan|
|Mojave||Subtropical||54,000 mi²||United States|
|Atacama||Cool Coastal||54,000 mi²||Chile|
|Namib||Cool Coastal||13,000 mi²||Angola, Namibia, south Africa|
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