Deserts of the World Unit Study
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Loss of livestock, reduced crop yields and declining food security are very visible human impacts of desertification, says Stringer:. Another impact of desertification is an increase in sand and dust storms. Dust storms can have a huge impact on human health, contributing to respiratory disorders such as asthma and pneumonia, cardiovascular issues and skin irritations, as well as polluting open water sources. They can also play havoc with infrastructure, reducing the effectiveness of solar panels and wind turbines by covering them in dust, and causing disruption to roads, railways and airports.
Adding dust and sand into the atmosphere is also one of the ways that desertification itself can affect the climate, says Kimutai. Dust particles in the atmosphere can scatter incoming radiation from the sun, reducing warming locally at the surface, but increasing it in the air above. They can also affect the formation and lifetimes of clouds, potentially making rainfall less likely and thus reducing moisture in an already dry area.
Soils are a very important store of carbon. This process also makes nutrients in the soil available for plants to use as they grow. Soil erosion in Kenya. And typically, respiration declines with decreasing soil moisture to a point where microbial activity effectively stops.
While this reduces the CO2 the microbes release, it also inhibits plant growth, which means the vegetation is taking up less CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Overall, dry soils are more likely to be net emitters of CO2. So as soils become more arid, they will tend to be less able to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, and thus will contribute to climate change.
Other forms of degradation also generally release CO2 into the atmosphere, such as deforestation , overgrazing — by stripping the land of vegetation — and wildfires. But coming up with a robust global estimate for desertification is not straightforward, explains Kimutai:. The multiplicity and complexity of the processes of desertification make its quantification even more difficult. Studies have used different methods based on different definitions. And identifying desertification is made harder because it tends to emerge relatively slowly, adds Michaelides:.
By the time it is detected, it may be hard to halt or reverse. Status of desertification in arid regions of the world. Taken from Dregne, H. The GLASOD project was itself based on expert judgement, with more than soil and environmental scientists contributing to regional assessments that fed into its global map, which it published in It categorised the degradation into chemical red shading , wind yellow , physical purple or water blue. Shading indicates type of degradation: chemical red , wind yellow , physical purple and water blue , with darker shading showing higher levels of degradation.
Source: Oldeman, L. As the report puts it:. A single global map of land degradation cannot satisfy all views or needs. The parts of the world with the most potential issues shown by orange and red shading — such as India, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Mexico — are thus identified as particularly at risk from degradation. Shading indicates the number of coincident risks. The areas with the fewest are shown in blue, which then increase through green, yellow, orange and the most in red. Credit: Publication Office of the European Union. As desertification cannot be characterised by a single metric, it is also tricky to make projections for how rates of degradation could change in the future.
In addition, there are numerous socio-economic drivers that will contribute. For example, the number of people directly affected by desertification is likely to increase purely because of population growth. The impact of climate change on aridity is also complicated. A warmer climate is generally more able to evaporate moisture from the land surface — potentially increasing dryness in combination with hotter temperatures. These policies include a shift to low-carbon energy technologies and the deployment of carbon capture and storage. In RCP4. By , global temperatures are likely to rise by C above pre-industrial levels.
However, climate change will also affect rainfall patterns, and a warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapour, potentially increasing both average and heavy rainfall in some areas. There is also a conceptual question of distinguishing long-term changes in the dryness of an area with the relatively short-term nature of droughts. In general, the global area of drylands is expected to expand as the climate warms. Projections under the RCP4.
Research also shows that climate change is already increasing both the likelihood and severity of droughts around the world. The information about the animals and the plants are quite detail. Wikipedia — Desert. Although the format of the information is just common, the Wikipedia provided the basic information about deserts. If your children feel really enthusiastic about desert, you might redesign the information to be given to the age-appropriate children.
Deserts of The World — Exploring Nature. This website is basically paid to subscribe. If you and your children are very enthusiastic about the desert topic, you might subscribe to the blog. Desert Map of The World.
Desert Stories --Today and Yesterday
There are more and more numbers of desert around the world. This site shows the location of deserts which are spread out around the world in any climate. It means that deserts can be formed in any latitude in the world. Alice Spring Desert Park.
Desert Unit Study Resources
Australia has also a famous desert where a lot of unique animals and plants live. There are also some Aborigin people that can survive well in the dry desert. This is an interesting interactive website about the Alice Spring desert with a lot of features that make us amazed. We use references for exploring all habitats to get more comprehensive information. However, it is much better to add more specific both fiction and nonfiction books dealing with certain habitat, desert in this case.
Here are some book resources we would like to recommend. We use this book as a spine for learning some habitats.
The language is simple and there are a lot of pictures. Children from age 7 to 12 love this book a lot. As it is an encyclopedia of ecology, this book provides more accurate information for children age 7 to 12 with smaller fonts than the previous book. The food chain of each biome is shown very clearly. It also has vivid picture for each biome. It sounds impossible to live in the dry deserts. However, many animals have different ways to live in the hard environment.
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Reading this book to children will let them know the ways animal live in the deserts. I love to read this book. This book is excellent to introduce the desert life mystery to the younger children aged K The Cat in the Dr. Seuss books get the children know the life in the desert. View all earth science worksheets. View all biology worksheets. View all space worksheets.
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A desert is a dry biome. It gets less than 25 cm about 9.
Sand and Desert Preschool Activities, Crafts, Lessons, and Books | KidsSoup
See the fact file below for more information about deserts. This comprehensive guide to your study of the Desert is an incredible addition to any science class. It is packed with over 22 pages of facts, information and trivia focusing on Biomes specifically the Desert.
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