Friday, November 16, 2012

Desert post

The hottest spot on Earth isn't what we once thought, apparently. As this link makes pertinent, there are places so hot that no one can get to them to place a thermometer. Now we can tell all by satellite.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Just Deserts

Deserts are defined by rainfall; the lack of it. Most of the conventional images we conjure like a mirage are of camels and an oasis, of heat, and stinging sandstorms. But this only applies to some deserts.

The cold deserts are the biggest. What we think of perhaps as poles are very much deserts.

I've gone with the twenty largest since this illustrates how many Australian deserts are on the list.

Antarctic 13,820,430 sq km Antarctica

Arctic 13,726,937 sq km Alaska (United States), Canada, Finland, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Russia, Norway and Sweden 

Sahara 9,100,000+ sq km Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia and Western Sahara

Arabian Desert 2,330,000 sq km Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen

Gobi Desert 1,300,000 sq km Mongolia and China

Kalahari Desert 900,000 sq km Angola, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa

Patagonian Desert 670,000 sq km Argentina and Chile

Great Victoria Desert 647,000 sq km Australia

Syrian Desert 520,000 sq km Syria, Jordan and Iraq

Great Basin Desert 492,000 sq km United States

Chihuahuan Desert 450,000 sq km Mexico and United States

Great Sandy Desert 400,000 sq km Australia

Karakum Desert 350,000 sq km Turkmenistan

Colorado Plateau 337,000 sq km United States

Sonoran Desert 310,000 sq km Mexico and United States

Kyzyl Kum 300,000 sq km Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

Taklamakan Desert 270,000 sq km China

Thar Desert 200,000 sq km India and Pakistan

Gibson Desert 156,000 sq km Australia

Simpson Desert 145,000 sq km Australia

The different ranking on some sites is reflective of their omitting the cold deserts.

The longest desert is also Antarctica (6000 kilometres long, it also has the longest desert coastline, stretching for 17,968 kms), with the Sahara being the longest hot desert. 1200 to 2000 kms north to south, 5000 kms long east to west.

The shortest desert is the comically captioned Carcross Desert, which may be too humid to be a proper desert but is listed anyway.