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The 10 largest deserts

Posted by rishit.bansal0 on March 3, 2013 at 4:40 AM Comments comments (0)

1. Antarctic Desert

Antarctica is the Largest Desert and Cold Desert in the World covers Area about 13,829,430 square kilometers, over 98% of the Antarctic is covered in Ice with 1.6 km in thickness. The Antarctic locate in South Pole, when its warming in the season the ice caps melts and most of the Place becomes Desert. The Average Temperature in the Antarctic is around -85° C in the winter and 10° C in the summer.

2. Arctic Desert

This is the Polar region located on the North Pole (Northern Part of the Earth), arctic is the second largest Desert on the Earth covered Area of 13,726,937 square kilometers. Arctic receives temperature -40° C in the winter and around 15° C in the summer.

 

3. Sahara Desert

Sahara is the Largest Hot Desert in the World according to total Area covered about 9,400,000 square km, and located in the region of Africa and it stretched through 13 countries. Climate is in this Land enormous variation that very hot and warm in air in the daytime and cold at night.

 

4. Arabian Desert

Arabian Desert located in the West of Asia that stretches on gulf countries, Jordan and Iraq with area Covers 2,330,000 square km (length- 2,100 km and width-1,100 km). Arabian Desert almost near to Sahara Desert and the Climate is hot and warm air.

 

5. The Gobi Desert

Gobi Desert is located in Northwestern of China and Southern of Mongolia and it stretched 1,300,000 square km and 1,500 km in length, 800 km in width. Temperature in Gobi wandering from –40°C in winter to +50°C in summer.

 

6. Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari Desert is located Africa and covering most part of Botswana, some parts of Namibia and South Africa and stretches Area about 900,000 square km, the temperature in the summer ranges from 20° to 45° C and receives average 175 to 250 millimeters of rainfall in the year.

7. Patagonian Desert

The Patagonian Desert is the largest desert in Americas, located in Southern part of South America and the Deserts stretches land in Argentina and Chile with the total area of 673,000 square 

8. Great Victoria Desert

The Great Victoria Desert is located in Australia and largest in Australia that comprises Grassland Plains, Small Sand hills and Salt Lakes, the desert covers an area of 647,000 square km and the temperature range from average 36° C in the summer and falls average 21° C in winter.

 

9. Syrian Desert

Syrian Desert is located in Middle East which covers portions of Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia and stretched its Area about 520,000 square km. The desert consists rocky and flat.

 

10. Great Basin Desert

The Great Basin Desert is the largest Desert in USA and bordered some part on Escalante Desert in East and Mojave Desert in South, and covering area of 492,000 square Km.

 





 






 


Ladakh-Flora and Fauna

Posted by rishit.bansal0 on March 3, 2013 at 4:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Most common animals found here are - Yak (a wild ox), the largest animal found in Ladakh, Nyan, the largest sheep in the world, Bharal, the blue sheep and Urial, the smallest sheep in the world.

The wild yak is to be found only here. The snow leopard is Ladakh's most rare animal. Another one that is unique is the “Kyang” or the wild horse; while at lower altitudes the musk deer too is a rare sight, precious by virtue of its expensive musk. Visitors are likely to spot many marmots, mouse hares, stone martens, red foxes, wolves, ibex, bharal and shapu during the course of their journey but the habitat of the nyan (big horned sheep), chim (Tibetan antelope famed for its fleece-Shahtoosh), goat (Tibetan gazelle), lynx, pallas cat, kyamg (wild horse) and brong dong (wild yak) are still outside the tourists' sphere. The Kyang, or Tibetan Wild Ass, is common in the grasslands of Changthang, numbering about 1,500 individuals.

There are about 200 Snow Leopards in Ladakh, especially in Hemis High Altitude National Park. The Tibetan Wolf, which sometimes preys on the livestock of the Ladakhis. There are also a few brown bears in the Suru valley and the area around Dras. The Tibetan Sand Fox has recently been discovered in this region.


Ladakh-climate

Posted by rishit.bansal0 on March 3, 2013 at 4:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The weather and climate of Ladakh display great diversities. On one hand, you can get frostbite because of the extremely cold weather conditions while on the other the blaring sun can give you sunburn, if you're not well protected. The summers in Leh Ladakh experience an average temperature in the range of approximately -3° C to 30° C. Climate of Leh Ladakh experiences extremely cold winters with heavy snowfall. The average temperature in the winter season is somewhere around -20° C to 15° C.

While packing for a trip, you should keep the weather and climate of Ladakh in mind. Some of the things that you should carry are windcheaters, woollen clothing, thick socks, gloves, scarves, a hat or woollen cap, boots or walking shoes, sunscreen, goggles, etc.


Ladakh-Geography

Posted by rishit.bansal0 on March 3, 2013 at 4:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Ladakh translates to Land of the High Passes, and it certainly merits this name with its multitude of towering mountain ranges, river valleys and high plateaus. The Karakoram Range isolates the northern border and contains the highest peak in Ladakh, Saser Kangri at 7672 meters (25,164 ft). The Himalayan Range along the southern and eastern border contains two 7000-meter peaks, Nun and Kun. Popular trekking peaks are Stok Kangri (6121 m) in the Stok Range and Kang Yatse (6401 m) in the Zanskar Range.

 

Routes over the high passes of Ladakh were established centuries ago by the caravan traders and by the local people. Some of these routes have been developed into motorable roads. The road from Srinagar to Leh via Kargil crosses the Himalayas over the Zoji La (pass) at 3530 m, and then over the Namika La at 3719 m and the Fotu La at 4094 m before descending by the Lamayuru Monastery and down into the Indus Valley. The road from Manali must cross the Lachlung la at 5060 m and the Taglang La at 5328 m. The world’s highest motorable road from Leh to the Nubra Valley crosses the Kardung La at 5602 m (18,375 ft). The road from Kargil to Padum in the Zanskar Valley must pass over the Fentse La at

4450 m.

 

Several major river systems flow through Ladakh. The mighty Indus River enters Ladakh in the east, from its origin near Mt. Kailas in Tibet, and flows to the western side into northern Pakistan, where it then flows south to Arabian Sea near Karachi. The Indus forms a broad valley about 10 kilometers wide between the Ladakh and Stok Ranges near Leh. In Zanskar, located between the Zanskar and Himalayan Ranges, the Stod and Tsarap Rivers join to form the Zanskar River, which eventually cuts through deep gorges in the Zanskar Range and flows into the Indus River at Nimoo. The Shyok River flows south from its origin in the disputed area of Aksai Chin (now under Chinese control) and then turns northwest, flowing between the Ladakh and Karakoram Ranges. Its tributary, the Nubra River, originates in the Saichen glacier and gives its name to the valley. The Suru River flows in western Ladakh before joining with the Drass River at Kargil and flowing into Kashmir.

 

The high plains of eastern Ladakh contain several large brackish lakes. The largest is Pangong Tso (lake), which extends into Tibet. The Rupshu plains to the south contain the lakes of Tso Moriri and Tso Kar.

Why is ladakh considered as a cold desert?

Posted by rishit.bansal0 on March 3, 2013 at 4:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Due to it's Elevation.

Leh, the capital city for example, is around 3500 metres above sea level. As altitude increases the temperature decreases.

Also Ladakh has a very dry climate, with the sun shining on most days. Due to these clear days the temperature actually gets lower as there is no cloud cover keeping the heat in.

Ladakh

Posted by rishit.bansal0 on March 3, 2013 at 4:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Ladakh (Tibetan: ལ་དྭགས, Wylie: La-dwags, Ladakhi [lad̪ɑks], Hindi: लद्दाख़, Urdu: لدّاخ‎ [ləd̪ˈd̪aːx]; "land of high passes") is a region of India in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and lies between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan  It is one of the most sparsely populated regions in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Ladakh, the Persian transliteration of the Tibetan La-dvags, is warranted by the pronunciation of the word in several Tibetan districts."

Historically, the region included the Baltistan (Baltiyul) valleys, the Indus Valley, the remote Zangskar, Lahaul and Spiti to the south, Aksai Chin and Ngari, including the Rudok region and Guge, in the east, and the Nubra valleys to the north.

Contemporary Ladakh borders Tibet to the east, the Lahaul and Spiti to the south, the Vale of Kashmir, Jammu and Baltiyul regions to the west, and the trans–Kunlun territory of Xinjiang to the far north. Ladakh is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and culture. It is sometimes called "Little Tibet" as it has been strongly influenced by Tibetan culture.

In the past Ladakh gained importance from its strategic location at the crossroads of important trade routes, but since the Chinese authorities closed the borders with Tibet and Central Asia in the 1960s, international trade has dwindled except for tourism. Since 1974, the Government of India has successfully encouraged tourism in Ladakh. Since Ladakh is a part of strategically important Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian military maintains a strong presence in the region.

The largest town in Ladakh is Leh. It is one of the few remaining abodes of Buddhism in South Asia, including the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bhutan and Sri Lanka; a majority of Ladakhis are Tibetan Buddhists and the rest are mostly Shia Muslims.[6] Some Ladakhi activists have in recent times called for Ladakh to be constituted as a union territory because of its religious and cultural differences with predominantly Muslim Kashmir.


The Sahara Desert-history

Posted by rishit.bansal0 on March 3, 2013 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Nubians


 

 

Beni Isguen, a holy city surrounded by thick walls in the Algerian Sahara.

During the Neolithic Era, before the onset of desertification, around 9500 BC the central Sudan had been a rich environment supporting a large population ranging across what is now barren desert, like the Wadi el-Qa'ab. By the 5th millennium BC, the peoples who inhabited what is now called Nubia, were full participants in the "agricultural revolution", living a settled lifestyle with domesticated plants and animals. Saharan rock art of cattle and herdsmen suggests the presence of a cattle cult like those found in Sudan and other pastoral societies in Africa today.[40] Megaliths found at Nabta Playa are overt examples of probably the world's first known archaeoastronomy devices, predating Stonehenge by some 1,000 years.This complexity, as observed at Nabta Playa, and as expressed by different levels of authority within the society there, likely formed the basis for the structure of both the Neolithic society at Nabta and the Old Kingdom of Egyptians

By 6000 BC predynastic Egyptians in the southwestern corner of Egypt were herding cattle and constructing large buildings. Subsistence in organized and permanent settlements in predynastic Egypt by the middle of the 6th millennium BC centered predominantly on cereal and animal agriculture: cattle, goats, pigs and sheep. Metal objects replaced prior ones of stone. Tanning of animal skins, pottery and weaving were commonplace in this era also. There are indications of seasonal or only temporary occupation of the Al Fayyum in the 6th millennium BC, with food activities centering on fishing, hunting and food-gathering. Stone arrowheads, knives and scrapers from the era are commonly found. Burial items included pottery, jewelry, farming and hunting equipment, and assorted foods including dried meat and fruit. Burial in desert environments appears to enhance Egyptian preservation rites, and dead were buried facing due west.

By 3400 BC, the Sahara was as dry as it is today, due to reduced precipitation and higher temperatures resulting from a shift in the Earth's orbit, and it became a largely impenetrable barrier to humans, with only scattered settlements around the oases but little trade or commerce through the desert. The one major exception was the Nile Valley. The Nile, however, was impassable at several cataracts, making trade and contact by boat 

The people of Phoenicia, who flourished from 1200-800 BC, created a confederation of kingdoms across the entire Sahara to Egypt. They generally settled along the Mediterranean coast, as well as the Sahara, among the people of Ancient Libya, who were the ancestors of people who speak Berber languages in North Africa and the Sahara today, including the Tuareg of the central Sahara.



 

 

Azalai salt caravan. The French reported that the 1906 caravan numbered 20,000 camels.

The Phoenician

The Phoenician alphabet seems to have been adopted by the ancient Libyans of north Africa, and Tifinagh is still used today by Berber-speaking Tuareg camel herders of the central Sahara.

Sometime between 633 BC and 530 BC, Hanno the Navigator either established or reinforced Phoenician colonies in Western Sahara, but all ancient remains have vanished with virtually no trace.

Greeks

By 500 BC, Greeks arrived in the desert. Greek traders spread along the eastern coast of the desert, establishing trading colonies along the Red Sea. The Carthaginians explored the Atlantic coast of the desert, but the turbulence of the waters and the lack of markets caused a lack of presence further south than modern Morocco. Centralized states thus surrounded the desert on the north and east; it remained outside the control of these states. Raids from the nomadic Berber people of the desert were a constant concern of those living on the edge of the Urban civilization


 

 

Market on the main square of Ghardaïa (1971).

An urban civilization, the Garamantes, arose around 500 BC in the heart of the Sahara, in a valley that is now called the Wadi al-Ajal in Fezzan, Libya. The Garamantes achieved this development by digging tunnels far into the mountains flanking the valley to tap fossil water and bring it to their fields. The Garamantes grew populous and strong, conquering their neighbors and capturing many slaves (which were put to work extending the tunnels). The ancient Greeks and the Romans knew of the Garamantes and regarded them as uncivilized nomads. However, they traded with the Garamantes, and a Roman bath has been found in the Garamantes capital of Garama. Archaeologists have found eight major towns and many other important settlements in the Garamantes territory. The Garamantes civilization eventually collapsed after they had depleted available water in the aquifers and could no longer sustain the effort to extend the tunnels further into the mountains.

Berbers


 

 

Zawiya at the entrance of Taghirt, Algeria

The Berber people occupied (and still occupy) much of the Sahara. The Garamantes Berbers built a prosperous empire in the heart of the desert. The Tuareg nomads continue, to the present day, to inhabit and move across wide Sahara  Trans-Saharan trade and Islamization of Sudan

Following the Islamic conquest of North Africa in the mid-seventh to early eighth centuries, trade across the desert intensified. The kingdoms of the Sahel, especially the Ghana Empire and the Mali Empire, grew rich and powerful exporting gold and salt to North Africa. The emirates along the Mediterranean Sea sent manufactured goods and horses south . From the Sahara itself, salt was exported. This process turned the scattered oasis communities into trading centres and brought them under the control of the empires on the edge of the desert. A significant slave trade crossed the desert. It has been estimated that from the 10th to the 19th century some 6,000 to 7,000 slaves were transported north each 


 

 

The Tuareg once controlled the central Sahara desert and its trade.

This trade persisted for several centuries until the development in Europe of the caravel allowed ships, first from Portugal and soon from all of Western Europe, to sail around the desert and gather the resources from the source in Guinea. The Sahara was rapidly marginalized.

Ottoman Turkish and European imperialisms

At the beginning of the 19th century, the northern fringe of the Sahara, such as coastal regencies in present day Algeria and Tunisia, as well as some parts of present-day Libya, together with the semi-autonomous kingdom of Egypt, were part of the Ottoman Empire. The Sahel and southern Sahara were home to several independent states or home to roaming Tuareg clans.

European colonialism in the Sahara began in the 19th century. France conquered the regency of Algiers from the Ottomans in 1830, and French rule spread south from Algeria and eastwards from Senegal into the upper Niger to include present-day Algeria, Chad, Mali then French Sudan including Timbuktu , Mauritania, Morocco (1912), Niger, and Tunisia (1881).

The French Colonial Empire was the dominant presence in the Sahara. It established regular air links from Toulouse (HQ of famed Aéropostale), to Oran and over the Hoggar to Timbuktu and West to Bamako and Dakar, as well as trans-Sahara bus services run by La Companie Transsaharienne (est.  A remarkable film shot by famous aviator Captain René Wauthier documents the first crossing by a large truck convoy from Algiers to Tchad, across the Sahara.

Egypt, under Muhammad Ali and his successors, conquered Nubia in 1820–22, founded Khartoum in 1823, and conquered Darfur in 1874. Egypt, including the Sudan, became a British protectorate in 1882. Egypt and Britain lost control of the Sudan from 1882 to 1898 as a result of the Mahdist War. After its capture by British troops in 1898, the Sudan became an Anglo-Egyptian condominium.

Spain captured present-day Western Sahara after 1874, although Rio del Oro remained largely under Tuareg influence. In 1912, Italy captured parts of what was to be named Libya from the Ottomans. To promote the Roman Catholic religion in the desert, Pope Pius IX appointed a delegate Apostolic of the Sahara and the Sudan in 1868 ; later in the 19th century his jurisdiction was reorganized into the Vicariate Apostolic of


Breakup of the empires and afterwards

 

 


Egypt became independent of Britain in 1936, although the Anglo-Egyptian treaty of 1936 allowed Britain to keep troops in Egypt and to maintain the British-Egyptian condominium in the Sudan. British military forces were withdrawn in 1954.

Most of the Saharan states achieved independence after World War II: Libya in 1951, Morocco, Sudan, and Tunisia in 1956, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger in 1960, and Algeria in 1962. Spain withdrew from Western Sahara in 1975, and it was partitioned between Mauritania and Morocco. Mauritania withdrew in 1979, and Morocco continues to hold the territory.

In the post-World War II era, several mines and communities have developed to utilize the desert's natural resources. These include large deposits of oil and natural gas in Algeria and Libya and large deposits of phosphates in Morocco and Western Sahara.

A number of Trans-African highways have been proposed across the Sahara, including the Cairo–Dakar Highway along the Atlantic coast, the Trans-Sahara Highway from Algiers on the Mediterranean to Kano in Nigeria, the Tripoli – Cape Town Highway from Tripoli in Libya to N'Djamena in Chad, and the Cairo – Cape Town Highway which follows the Nile. Each of these highways is partially complete, with significant gaps and unpaved sections.

The Sahara Desert-people

Posted by rishit.bansal0 on March 3, 2013 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (0)

t is believed that people have inhabited the Sahara Desert since 6000 BCE and earlier. Since then, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Europeans have been among the peoples in the area. Today the Sahara's population is around 4 million with the majority of the people living in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania and Western Sahara.

Most of the people living in the Sahara today do not live in cities; instead they are nomads who move from region to region throughout the desert. Because of this, there are many different nationalities and languages in the region but Arabic is most widely spoken. For those who do live in cities or villages on fertile oases, crops and the mining of minerals like iron ore (in Algeria and Mauritania) and copper (in Mauritania) are important industries that have allowed population centers to grow.

The Sahara Desert-Plants and animals

Posted by rishit.bansal0 on March 3, 2013 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Due to the high temperatures and arid conditions of the Sahara Desert, the plant life in the Sahara Desert is sparse and includes only around 500 species. These consist mainly of drought and heat resistant varieties and those adapted to salty conditions (halophytes) where there is sufficient moisture.

The harsh conditions found in the Sahara Desert have also played a role in the presence of animal life in the Sahara Desert. In the central and driest part of the desert there are around 70 different animal species, 20 of which are large mammals like the spotted hyena. Other mammals include the gerbil, sand fox and Cape hare. Reptiles like the sand viper and the monitor lizard are present in the Sahara as well.


The Sahara Desert-Climate

Posted by rishit.bansal0 on March 3, 2013 at 3:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Although hot and extremely dry today, it is believed that the Sahara Desert has undergone various climatic shifts for the last few hundred thousand years. For example, during the last glaciation, it was bigger than it is today because precipitation in the area was low. But from 8000 BCE to 6000 BCE, precipitation in the desert increased because of the development of low pressure over ice sheets to its north. Once these ice sheets melted however, the low pressure shifted and the northern Sahara dried out but the south continued to receive moisture due to the presence of a monsoon.

Around 3400 BCE, the monsoon moved south to where it is today and the desert again dried out to the state it is in today. In addition, the presence of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, ITCZ, in the southern Sahara Desert prevents moisture from reaching the area, while storms north of the desert stop before reaching it as well. As a result, the annual rainfall in the Sahara is below 2.5 cm (25 mm) per year.

 

In addition to being extremely dry, the Sahara is also one of the hottest regions in the world. The average annual temperature for the desert is 86°F (30°C) but during the hottest months temperatures can exceed 122°F (50°C), with the highest temperature ever recorded at 136°F (58°C) in Aziziyah, Libya.