They both: However, they differ in a few key ways. Antarctica is the coldest continent on Earth and the coldest recorded temperature on Earth −89.2 °C was recorded at Antarctica’s Soviet Vostok Station on July 21, 1983. Big deserts. In tundra biomes a thin, surface layer of soil thaws in the summer allowing lichens, mosses and small shrubs to grow, while the soil beneath never thaws. The Antarctic Polar Desert is the largest of all, followed by the Arctic Polar Desert. Penguins are found in the coastal areas of the continent, and the Antarctic sea life includes blue whales, colossal squids, blue whales, and fur seals. Even though Antarctica is a desert, it contains 90% of the world’s fresh water in the form of the 2.15-kilometer-thick white ice covering its entire surface. km (5,400,000 sq. The continent Antarctica, the largest desert in the world, has a total land area of about 14 million square kilometers. Rather, deserts are defined by a very low amount of rain and snow. It is, as you rightly say, larger than the Sahara (Antarctica is about 14.2 million square kilometres in size, and the Sahara is just over 9 million square kilometres). Where Is the World's Largest Desert? The flightless midge, Belgica antarctica, is the only animal that leads a purely terrestrial life in the continent while the snow petrel is the one among the three birds that breed exclusively in Antarctica. These low amounts of precipitation lead to very little liquid water on the ground. This gives rise to some of the most ethereal weather conditions you can see on earth including frost flowers, solar haloes and polar stratospheric clouds. Due to the lack of water, one of the basic requirements for survival, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life in such environments. Though he was …, At the southernmost point on Earth, you’ll find Antarctica. If you’d like to find out how you can join a small ship expedition cruise to Antarctica, please take a look at our upcoming voyages here. East Antarctica makes up two-thir… km (3,300,000 sq. What makes it a desert, then? Tundra is often found in cool subarctic and subantarctic regions and alpine areas. mi.) This Untapped continent of frozen time is surprisingly the largest desert in the world with an area of 14,000,000 km². Its size varies through the seasons, as expanding sea ice along the coast nearly doubles the continent's size in the winter. As you can see from the list below, Antarctica is the world’s biggest desert. However, following the definition that "deserts are defined as areas with an average annual precipitation of less than 10 inches per year," the largest desert in the world should be the continent of Antarctica. and is the largest hot desert in the world. While most deserts only cover part of a continent, the Antarctic Polar Desert spans the whole of Antarctica. By this definition, the largest desert is the Antarctic Ice Sheet, which covers around 98% of the continent of Antarctica, which is 14 million square kilometres (5.4 million square miles). The Antarctic Polar Desert covers the continent of Antarctica and has a size of about 5.5 million square miles. DESERTS IN AFRICA. And most of the animals we encounter – penguins, seals, whales and seabirds – rely on seafood for sustenance. For a place to be a desert, it doesn’t need to be covered with sand. And Antarctica is the largest desert on the planet. The annual precipitation received by inner parts of Antarctica is 50 millimeters or 2 inches. … True 2. Arabian Desert: 2.3 million km² (800,000 square miles). Few terrestrial vertebrates inhabit the continent, and invertebrate life is also less varied. On the Antarctic Peninsula, which travellers can visit in the summer months, it’s quite possible to see snow, rain and sunshine in one day. In 1953, geographer Peveril Meigs classified deserts into three categories. In fact, scientists believe that in some parts of the Dry Valleys it hasn’t snowed or rained for 14 million years! A. Earth’s Many Deserts B. Antarctica: The Coldest Place on Earth C. A Desert of Ice D. Unusual Blizzards 3) Africa’s Sahara Desert is the second-largest desert on earth. It is widely considered that the Sahara is the largest desert in the world. Rainfall in the Antarctic interior is extremely low, down to 20 millimeters (0.8 in) per year. Although Antarctica has frozen water, it has no moisture in the air and that classifies Antarctica as a desert. Antarctica is 5.5 million square miles (14,245,000 square kilometers) in area. 2. It's the coldest, largest desert of the world, but in growing numbers, tourists are making their way to Antarctica. ), making it the largest desert in the world. By contrast, the coast has a maritime climate influenced by the ocean and it’s quite common to see low clouds and mist clinging to the craggy mountains. A "desert" is simply an area that has no or very little rainfall. Who Owns Antarctica? It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Despite being almost entirely covered in ice, Antarctica is, by definition, a desert. Hi, I’m Patty Kim. The two largest deserts on Earth are in the polar areas. The classification by Meigs is still widely accepted for classifications of land on the basis of precipitation. Antarctica is the fifth largest of the seven continents, with a total surface area of about 14.2 million sq km (in summer). Deserts Habitat is very harsh. How does Antarctica compare to other deserts on earth? … It extends over parts of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. A desert of ice, basically. Even though Antarctica is a desert, it contains 90% of the world’s fresh water in the form of the 2.15-kilometer-thick white ice covering its entire surface. That includes rain, fog, and in Antarctica’s case, snow. It is the world's driest place, receiving less than two inches of precipitation annually. Extremely arid regions are those without precipitation for at least twelve consecutive months, arid lands are those that receive less than 250 mm of annual rainfall, and semiarid lands are parts of the world that receive an annual precipitation between 250 and 500 mm. 007. The average annual precipitation of the continent of Antarctica is about 166 mm. The Antarctic Desert is the biggest desert in the world, covering all of the land of Antarctica – the continent located over the South Pole. Some parts of the interior receive as low as 20 mm precipitation annually. One of the most amazing facts about Antarctica. It Has Active Volcanoes mi.) The Arctic Desert is the second largest desert after Antarctica, but it is only about 100,000 km2 smaller than the Antarctic Desert. Deserts, on the other hand, can be found at any latitude, from sea level to high altitudes. Lying in the Antarctic Circle that rings the southern part of the globe, Antarctica is the fifth largest continent. While Antarctica is home to wonderful forests of low-lying mosses and lichens, there are only two flowering plants that can survive the harsh conditions. The Sahara stretches 8,600,00 sq. So although the coast sees some precipitation, the average across the continent is low enough to classify all of Antarctica as a polar desert. In comparison the second largest desert in the world, The Sahara Desert in northern Africa is 9,400,000 km. The Sahara is aptly named after the Arabic word for “desert.” While the Sahara might not be quite as big as the polar deserts, it is still massive and spans an area of 3.6 million square miles (9.4 million square miles). Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. km). 11. And if you’d like to keep learning about Antarctica, this article with 10 fun Antarctic facts is a good place to continue reading. Deserts are not defined by hot temperatures and sand dunes. The Sahara is not the largest desert in the world. Most of the continent is covered by ice fields carved by the wind, and craggy mountains covered in glaciers. The Australian Desert is the fourth largest desert in the world. The continent receives negligible precipitation in most parts in the interior of the continent, and precipitation is almost always in the snow form. While Antarctica is classified as a desert, many of the nearby islands are considered tundra, including the South Shetland Islands, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. If it melted, global sea levels would rise about 60 m (200 ft). The driest places on Earth are also cold deserts: Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys and Chile’s Atacama Desert. This has an area of about 14,000,000 km 2 (5,400,000 sq mi). The average yearly rainfall at the South Pole over the past 30 years was a tiny 10 mm (0.4 in). Also, the largest iceberg that was measured in Antarctica is greater than Jamaica (11,000 sq. The defining feature of tundra is permafrost, a thick layer of soil that stays frozen all year. Lying in the Antarctic Circle that rings the southern part of the globe, Antarctica is the fifth largest continent. Antarctic Desert. The 5 largest deserts on earth. And due to Antarctica’s desert conditions, it has taken an impressive 45 million years for it to grow to its current thickness. It is, as you rightly say, larger than the Sahara (Antarctica is about 14.2 million square kilometres in size, and the Sahara is just over 9 million square kilometres). more It's the coldest, largest desert of the world, but in growing numbers, tourists are making their way to Antarctica. Antarctica is also known to be the smallest continent in terms of population. The largest desert in the world is the interior of Antarctica. Area: Covers 14,244,935km² (5,500,000 square miles) OK, so the Antarctic is not what most people think of when someone says the word ‘desert’, but it is classed as such because the region receives as little as 50mm of rain per year (more rain actually falls in the Sahara!) We wanna know you were here so let us know in the comments. – and mostly in the form of snow. Because of ice melting in Antarctica, a small shift in the gravity has been noticed. A region that receives very little precipitation (the exact amount depends on who you ask) is classified as a desert. Most deserts are quite barren, as the dry living conditions are too hostile to host plant and animal life. The Antarctic located in the South Pole. Here, the annual precipitation averages around 50 mm (1.9 in), and most of this falls as snow or ice crystals. Antarctica is the largest desert in the world. The largest desert on earth is the Antarctic desert, covering the continent of Antarctica with a size of around 5.5 million square miles. Antarctica is the fifth-largest continent on earth and nearly doubles in size in winter due to icing around its edges. Yep, Antarctica is a desert. False Step 2 : Answer to the question "Antarctica is the largest desert in the world." In terms of sheer size, the Antarctic Desert is the largest desert on Earth, measuring a total of 13.8 million square kilometers. Though the polar regions are covered with permafrost, precipitation in the form of snowfall is nearly completely lacking in these regions. The Sahara Desert. It has broken up from the continent in 2000. 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. Antarctica is a Desert. Find out more about deserts in this article and have no doubt about which is the largest desert. True: Please let us know as comment, if the answer is not correct! Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 by Matt Bucher. 12. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Invertebrates like microscopic mites, lice, rotifers, krills, springtails, etc., are found. The largest desert in the world is the interior of Antarctica. Some northern parts of the Antarctic Peninsula receive 500 mm (19.7 in) between October and March, and on nearby subantarctic islands this can double, with 1000 mm (39.4 in) each year! This is partially because it is so cold that all liquid water quickly freezes solid and joins the ice pack. In terms of sheer size, the Antarctic Desert is the largest desert on Earth, measuring a total of 13.8 million square kilometers. km (3,300,000 sq. 2. And they’re right. It extends over parts of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. This all certainly applies to Antarctica. The entire continent is, therefore, a vast cold desert. The former two categories are classified as deserts while the semiarid regions are usually grasslands. So how is it possible that a cold, ice-covered continent like Antarctica is a desert? She feels immensely privileged to travel to these places and shares her passions for the natural world, human stories and adventure with all the wonderful people she meets. Barren land with little or no precipitation is referred to as a desert. The entire continent is, therefore, a vast cold desert. How does Antarctica compare to other deserts on earth? True 2. After the Arctic and Antarctic deserts, the Sahara desert is the largest desert in … And while deserts seem to all share some kind of temperature extreme, it’s interesting to note that most of the world’s deserts are found in cold climates. Antarctica is the Worlds Largest Desert When you think of a desert you probably think of sand, camels and searing hot sun. These jackets are water and wind-resistant, so you’ll be protected from the elements whatever the weather. Deserts can have a sand-covered, ice and snow covered, or rocky landscape. Antarctica is the largest desert on earth, almost twice the size of the Sahara Desert. Besides being the coldest place on Earth, Antarctica is also the biggest desert of our planet. The area has many more superlatives associated with its name than the largest desert alone. The temperature in Antarctica has reached 89 °C . The Sahara stretches 8,600,00 sq. Deserts are basically hottest and uncongenial places on Earth. Antarctica is indeed classified as a desert, because just like deserts like the Sahara, there is little or no moister in the air. As you rightly point out, Antarctica is clearly the largest desert on Earth. The World’s Five Biggest Deserts Antarctic Desert Area: 14,200,000 km² (5,500,000 mi²) mi. The world's largest desert is actually the very cold continent of Antarctica. Approximately 98% of the Antarctic continent is covered by a permanent ice sheet. Is Antarctica A Country? Arctic Polar Desert: 13.7 million km² (5.3 million square miles). But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Averaged over the entire continent, Antarctica receives only 166 millimeters (6.5 inches) per year . The whole of Antarctica is a desert. A “desert” is simply an area that has no or very little rainfall. Antarctica is considered a desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm along the coast and far less inland. A desert is an area that receives a significantly small amount of rainfall. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. By this definition, technically the largest desert must be Antarctica (14 million km²; 5.4 million square miles), which receives around 50 mm (2 in) of precipitation per year. At its deepest, Antarctica’s ice is 4.5km (2.7 miles) thick. That’s about the same area as the United States and Mexico combined! Antarctica is the Largest Desert in the World – 5.5 million square miles. Antarctic Polar Desert: 14 million km² (5.4 million square miles). Antarctica: In terms of sheer size, the Antarctic Desert is the largest desert on Earth, measuring a total of 13.8 million square kilometers. Then you might want to have a look at the other articles we have published so far. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Antarctica is the fifth largest of the seven continents, with a total surface area of about 14.2 million sq km (in summer). Antarctica is a cold desert that covers an area of about 14,000,000 sq. When most people imagine Antarctica they think of a cold continent covered in ice. It includes all deserts above 50,000 square kilometres (19,300 sq mi). Antarctica is the coldest, windiest and driest continent. Precipitation along the coast is relatively higher at an average of about 200 mm per year. Antarctica, the largest desert has an area of 13,829,430 square kilometers. How does Antarctica compare to other deserts on earth? Deserts aren’t only in hot and dry places. Despite being almost entirely covered in ice, Antarctica is, by definition, a desert. Only cold-adapted organisms survive there, including … As you rightly point out, Antarctica is clearly the largest desert on Earth. False Step 2 : Answer to the question "Antarctica is the largest desert in the world." Largest deserts on Earth are Gobi Desert in Northern China, the Sahara Desert in Africa, Mongolia, and Death Valley in California. Thus, this fact makes Antarctica a true desert as per the classification by Peveril Meigs. When it snows here, the snow doesn’t melt and builds up over many years to make large, thick sheets of ice, called ice sheets. 2. Considering that it has a 6-inch average precipitation each year, Antarctica, which spans an area of 5,500,000 square miles, is technically the largest desert in the world. Based on the information in the passage, what characteristic must the Sahara share with Antarctica? However, the technical definition is just a place that receives very little precipitation, less than 250 millimetres (10 inches) per year. There are no permanent human residents, but anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at the research stations scattered across the continent. The 10 Coldest Cities In The United States. Antarctica is bigger than the Arctic, and significantly bigger than the world’s largest hot desert, the Sahara Desert in Africa. Step 1 : Introduction to the question "Antarctica is the largest desert in the world."...1. The interior is very dry and rarely sees clouds. The largest non-polar desert is the Sahara. The continent is divided into two regions, known as East and West Antarctica. By definition a desert is a place that receives precipitation less than 250 millimetres annually. 1. Antarctica is the largest desert on earth, almost twice the size of the Sahara Desert. The Largest Desert. Antarctica may be a desert, but it’s surrounded by iridescent blue icebergs, an endless expanse of ocean and a dome of polar sky. True: Please let us know as comment, if the answer is not correct! Antarctica is the Largest Desert in the World – 5.5 million square miles.

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