2What is a desert?A desert is defined as an area with a dry climate with less than 250mm of rain a year. However, some deserts in the world experience no rain at all for years, then receive a heavy downfall, a flash flood.There are two types of desert. A hot desert or a cold desert.
3Hot deserts of the world. The world’s major deserts like the Sahara and the Kalahari are found around the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn (between the red lines on the map).
4Cold desertsThere are cold deserts as well, such as Antarctica and the areas of Northern Canada. Here, although summers are cool and winters are very cold, there is very little rainfall so these areas are classed as deserts. Since the air is so cold and dry there is very little moisture to form snowfall – hence they are deserts.
5What lives in a desert?Deserts are the home to many living things. In fact, deserts are second only to tropical rainforests in the variety of plant and animal species that live there.
6What can you find out about deserts? Use an atlas to find some deserts.List the deserts you discover and which continent and country they are found in.Use the atlas to find out how much annual rainfall they have.You could record your results in a table with these headings:Type of desert (hot/cold)Which continent are they found in?Which country are they found in?Name of desertAnnual rainfall