climate of arid landscapes

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Climate of Arid Landscapes 1. Low & Mid-latitude Deserts 2. Low & Mid-latitude Steppes 3. Applied: Living in the Sahel 4. Desertification Namib Desert Joshua Tree Desert Preserve The only deserts in the world that have a reliable source of water are those that lie alongside a cold ocean current What are deserts?

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Koeppen Key B: PE > P W: P < ½ PE h: MAT >64º F K: MAT < 64º F B climates are clearly the most extensive climate over land (35%) Map of Arid Lands Consider: Can h deserts receive > precip than k deserts and still be drier?

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General Characteristics of BW 1. Between 15º & 30º N/S  Subtropical H predominate 2. West coast  strong E subsidence Exceptions to general Characteristics 1. Great Basin/Patagonia (40º)  Rain Shadow 2. Taklamakan/Turkestan/Gobi  moisture-bearing air mass 3. N. East Africa & Somalia  Asia excludes maritime air  highlands & S. Asian monsoon

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Applied Regional Climatology: Living in the Sahel Human response to heat 1. The human thermostat 2. Dehydration (15-20% of body wt.) The Sahel is a region of & in transition (BSh) When over 100,000 people in the Sahel died , the human consequences of climate change became a reality. 3. Adaptation Acclimatization - low body mass, long limbs, long nose(humidify air) - > in blood and sweat, < heat rate Loose cloths on a Tuareg, Algeria Animal adaptation, Thorny Devil

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Is the Sahel Experiencing Desertification Advancing Deserts 1. 50 m. ac. of lost productivity/yr (1970’s) or 30 mi/yr 2. Causes of desertification - heavy settlement (>30 million) - drought/southward shift in the ITCZ - overgrazing = > albedo = absorb < heat = < convection = stay desert - less evapotranspiration - fluctuations in global climate - rainfall & revegetation - tied to sea surface temperatures - Sun spot cycle?? No one answer

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Is the Sahel Experiencing Desertification The Many Human Causes of Desertification Fossil water removal Barren circles/ year around grazing

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Is the Sahel Experiencing Desertification Center-pivot Armored soil Wind erosion

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Applied Regional Climatology: Living in the Sahel Desertification in Decline Between 1984 and 1991 the area of desert has declined by 270,000 sq mi

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