Cold Deserts of the World

What comes to your mind when you hear the name desert? If scorching hot temperatures along with sand, camels and cactus are the first things then you are probably wrong. A desert is not always about high temperature, sand and dryness.

The most suitable definition of a desert is a place that gets a little precipitation. Cold Deserts can be defined as deserts which have hot summers but extremely cold winters.


Facts you didn’t know: –

  • A few scientists consider Antarctica to be a type of cold desert because it gets very little rain or snow.
  • On an average, these deserts get around 15-26 cm rainfall.
  • Cold deserts are found in the Antarctic, Greenland, Iran, Turkestan, Northern and Western China.
  • They are also known as polar deserts.
  • These deserts are generally found in certain mountainous areas.
  • Some famous cold deserts are: – Atacama, Gobi, Great Basin, Namib, Iranian, Takla Makan, and Turkestan.
  • Antarctica is the largest cold desert of the earth.
  • Cold deserts are divided in to two sub-categories: – Cold and Coastal.
  • These areas generally have short, wet and moderately warm summers with mean average summer temperature of 21-26°C.
  • Most of the animals found in these areas grow a thick fur coat in winter. In summer, they shed their fur coat.
  • Cold deserts are very vulnerable for the following reasons: – global warming, settlement expansion, diversion of large rivers and other developments.
  • Shad scale, grasses and camel’s thorn are some plants that can be found in cold deserts.
  • The snowfall in these deserts makes it difficult for plants to grow.
  • Most part of the Antarctica is often covered with ground cover like lichens.