Deserts are generally considered to be hot, arid areas with large expanses of sand and dry land. While this is certainly the case for some regions, not all regions fit this description. Precipitation, not sand and heat, determines which areas are desert. Deserts are found on every continent in the world, but the nature and size of these deserts vary greatly. As deserts are associated with difficult living conditions, they are often some of the least populated regions in the world. In this article, we explore the largest deserts in the world.
1. Antarctic Desert - 14.2 million square kilometers
Antarctica is classified as a polar desert. With an area of 5.5 million square miles (14.2 million square kilometers), it is the largest desert in the world. Unlike most global deserts, Antarctica covers the entire continent. In fact, a staggering 98% is permanently covered by a layer of ice. It is considered a desert because it rains on average only 10 mm per year. Some experts still believe that certain parts located far from the coast have not had rain in the last 14 million years.
see more informationIs Antarctica a desert?
2. Arctic desert - 13.9 million square kilometers
The arctic tundra is the world's only other polar desert. It covers many northern countries, includingCanada,Greenland, miRussia. It is second only to Antarctica, at a staggering 5.4 million square miles (13.9 million square kilometers). It is also considered a desert due to the lack of rainfall; freezing air is too cold to hold moisture. Although it gets more rain than Antarctica, it only gets about 15 to 20 centimeters per year.
see more informationWhere is the arctic desert?
3. Sahara Desert - 9.0 million square kilometers
oMake it happenit is the world's largest subtropical desert at 3.5 million square miles (9 million square kilometers). Spanning eleven countries, it covers almost a third of Africa. It is best known for its scorching hot climate and mountainous sand dunes that reach 183 meters high. Despite these harsh conditions, it is home to countless desert animals, including camels, lizards, and scorpions. Water sources are rare, but the Sahara has two rivers and twenty seasonal lakes.
see more informationWhat animals live in the Sahara desert?
4. Arabian Desert - 2.6 million square kilometers
The Arabian is the second largest subtropical desert in the world. Covering most of theArabian Peninsulain Asia, it measures about 1.0 million square miles (2.6 million square kilometers). It is a barren and sandy landscape, but surprisingly rich in natural resources such as oil and sulfur. Summer temperatures can reach fifty degrees Celsius during the day but drop dramatically at night. Locusts and dung beetles are native to this desolate region.
see more informationthe arabian desert
5. Gobi Desert - 1.3 million square kilometers
ogobi desertIt is the fifth largest desert in the world. covering parts ofMongoliamiPorcelain, measures 0.5 million square miles (1.3 million square kilometers). Its terrain is mostly rock and compacted earth, which has made it a valuable trade route throughout history. Like all traditional semi-arid deserts, the Gobi experiences extremely high temperatures during the summer and low temperatures during the winter. It is also considered a rain shadow desert because theHimalayablock all rainy weather.
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6. Patagonian Desert - 0.67 million square kilometers
Situated inArgentina, the Patagonian Desert -also known as the Patagonian Steppe- is the sixth largest desert in the world. It measures approximately 0.26 million square miles (0.67 million square kilometers). To the west are the Andes, the highest mountain range in the world, and to the east, the Atlantic Ocean. As a semi-arid desert, it shares similar characteristics with the Gobi desert. Frost covers the ground during the winter, but snow is rare due to the dryness of the region.
see more informationThe Patagonian Desert
7. Great Victoria Desert - 0.65 million square kilometers
Greater Victoria is a subtropical desert located inAustralia. It is the seventh largest desert in the world at 0.25 million square miles (0.65 million square kilometers). It is a hostile environment of sand, rocks, compacted earth and grasslands. During the summer, temperatures reach forty degrees Celsius. As with most subtropical deserts, it is colder during the winter, but still quite warm. Great Victoria receives an average of eight to ten inches of rain each year.
see more informationThe great desert of Victoria
8. Kalahari Desert - 0.56 million square kilometers
The Kalahari is a subtropical desert located in southern Africa. covering parts ofNamibia,Botsuana, miSouth Africa, is the eighth largest desert in the world at 0.22 million square miles (0.56 million square kilometers). Interestingly, it is classified as a semi-desert, since it receives 10 to 20 centimeters of rain per year, but twenty during special wet years, ten more than is generally accepted for a region to be considered a desert. Wild animals like meerkats, hyenas, kudu and wildebeest call this region home.
see more informationKalahari desert
9. Great Basin Desert -0.49 million square kilometers
At 0.19 million square miles (0.49 million square kilometers), the Great Basin is one of the "big four" deserts of North America. It spans several states, covering most ofNevadamiUtah. Located directly north ofmojave desert, is a dry expanse of clay, silt and sand; however, as a semi-arid desert, it receives a fair amount of snow during the winter months. At 4,950 years old, a local bristlecone pine is said to be the world's oldest living thing.
see more informationThe Great Basin desert
9. Syrian Desert - 0.49 million square kilometers
Syria, also known as the Syrian or Jordanian steppe, is the tenth largest desert in the world, measuring approximately 0.19 million square miles (0.49 million square kilometers). Covers various countries in the Middle East, includingSyria,Jordan,Saudi Arabia, miIrak. Despite the name, it covers more Jordan than Syria. As a subtropical desert, it is an arid landscape of rock and gravel. What wildlife is able to thrive in that environment is currently threatened by drought, overgrazing, and hunting.
see more informationSyrian desert
The effects of climate change on desertification
Man-made climate change is having a severe impact on our global deserts. It is well known that melting ice caps are shrinking polar deserts, but global warming is also causing higher rates of desertification, the process in which fertile land becomes dry and barren. Pollution and other human activities are causing droughts and wildfires and increasing salt levels in the soil, which is causing expansion and rising temperatures in subtropical and semi-arid desert regions. In addition to polar bears, this also has a negative impact on local wildlife. Even animals like lizards, which normally thrive in these types of hot environments, are fighting desertification.
see more informationThe 10 largest lakes in the world.
The Sahara is the best example to illustrate what was said above. A 2018 study shows that it has grown by ten percent since 1920. Deserts generally increase in size during dry seasons and shrink during wet seasons, but humans are interfering with this natural cycle, causing deserts to grow. faster than they are reduced. In fact, a third of the current size of the Sahara is due to climate change. Approximately 33 percent of Earth's land is covered by desert. Unless we change our ways, that number could rise dramatically in the years to come.
|Classification||Desert||Area in millions of square miles||Area in million square kilometers||Writes|
|3||Make it happen||3.5||9,0||Subtropical|
|9||big bathroom||0,19||0,49||Cold winter|
jessica dillingerNovember 18, 2022 inGeography
- Namib Desert.
- Atacama Desert.
- Sahara Desert.
- Gobi Desert.
- Antarctic Desert.
- Thar Desert.
- Mojave Desert.
- Great Victoria Desert.
The 5 largest deserts on earth
Sahara Desert: 9.2 million km² (3.5 million square miles). Arabian Desert: 2.3 million km² (800,000 square miles). Gobi Desert: 1.295 million km² (500,000 square miles).
Size. The largest desert in North America, the Chihuahuan Desert stretches across six Mexican states and parts of Texas and New Mexico.What is the 15th largest desert in the world? ›
Kyzylkum Desert. The Kyzylkum Desert is a massive desert that exists in central Asia.Is Death Valley hotter than the Sahara? ›
They also have colder winters. The Sahara Desert falls within this region, yet Death Valley, California still records higher temperatures.Which is widest desert in the world? ›
As already mentioned, Antarctic Desert is the largest desert in the world, it is located in the southern hemisphere in the continent of Antarctica. It expands across 14,000,000 kilometres(5,500,000 square miles).Which is world coldest desert? ›
The largest desert on Earth is Antarctica, which covers 14.2 million square kilometers (5.5 million square miles). It is also the coldest desert on Earth, even colder than the planet's other polar desert, the Arctic. Composed of mostly ice flats, Antarctica has reached temperatures as low as -89°C (-128.2°F).What are the 10 hottest deserts? ›
- 8 Taklamakan - China.
- 7 Arabian - Saudi Arabia.
- 6 Kalahari - Africa.
- 5 Australian Desert.
- 4 Thar - India.
- 3 Lut - Iran.
- 2 Sahara - Africa.
- 1 Mojave - United States.
The desert makes up a majority of North Africa and reaches across more than 10 countries. Although some northern and southern areas of the Sahara can be home to more plants and animals, the central parts of the desert are incredibly arid (dry) and may not see rain for years and years.
The Ar Rub' al Khali, or Empty Quarter, covers much of the south-central portion of the Arabian Peninsula and is the largest continuous sand desert on Earth.Are there 23 deserts in the world? ›
How many deserts are in the world? There are 23 deserts in the world. What are the most famous deserts in the world? Some famous deserts in the world are the Sahara, Antarctic, Arctic, Gobi and Namib deserts.Are there 33 deserts in the world? ›
How many deserts are there in the world? There are 33 major deserts from subtropical and cool coastal to cold winter deserts.What is the 18th largest desert in the world? ›
The Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, is a large arid region in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent that covers an area of 200,000 km2. It is the world's 18th largest desert, and the world's 9th largest subtropical desert.Is the Sahara desert bigger than the US? ›
The Sahara is the world's largest warm-weather desert, roughly equal in size to the contiguous United States.Where is the hottest desert in the world? ›
Seven years of satellite temperature data show that the Lut Desert in Iran is the hottest spot on Earth. The Lut Desert was hottest during 5 of the 7 years, and had the highest temperature overall: 70.7°C (159.3°F) in 2005.Which country has most desert? ›
China has the highest number of deserts (13), followed by Pakistan (11) and Kazakhstan (10). Other countries in Asia that have deserts include Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, and Oman.Which is the oldest largest desert? ›
With its red dunes rolling endlessly into the ocean, the Namib is the oldest desert in the world — a sea of silica stretching along Namibia's entire Atlantic coast.What is the 7th largest desert in the world? ›
The Kalahari Desert is the seventh largest desert in the world. It is located in Southern Africa, covering most of Botswana, as well parts of Namibia, and South Africa.
The two largest deserts on Earth are in the polar areas. The Antarctic Polar Desert covers the continent of Antarctica and has a size of about 5.5 million square miles. The second-largest desert is the Arctic Polar Desert. It extends over parts of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.
who have never been to Texas, the state is a vast desert. It is not the Sahara, but instead, a high-plains arid region studded with rocky mesas, sweeping wall-like cliffs, dusty canyons, and sometimes adorned with thousands of Saguaro cacti – native to Arizona, not Texas.Is most of Texas a desert? ›
Although Texas is popularly associated with the U.S. southwestern deserts, less than ten percent of Texas's land area is desert. Most of the population centers are in areas of former prairies, grasslands, forests, and the coastline.What state has the most desert? ›
California is 25% desert. There are three main deserts: the Mojave Desert, the Colorado Desert, and the Great Basin Desert.How many deserts are in the US? ›
There are four true deserts in the US (see map below); Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan, all conforming to the basic definition of a desert as being a place of very low rainfall and restricted plant life.Which is bigger Sahara or Antarctic desert? ›
The Sahara is not the largest desert in the world. Antarctica is the largest desert in the world. Deserts are not defined by hot temperatures and sand dunes.Does it ever snow in Death Valley? ›
As one of the hottest and driest places on earth, but you will be surprised to know that it does snow in Death Valley. Snowfall has been recorded and sighted in Death Valley on a couple of occasions over the last century. One of the main locations where you can find snow in the national park is at Telescope Peak.What is the hottest city in America? ›
|1||Key West, FL||78.1°F|
|4||West Palm Beach, FL||75.3°F|
Dallol holds the official record for highest average temperature for an inhabited place on Earth. From 1960 to 1966, the annual mean temperature of the locality was 34.4 °C (93.9 °F), while the average daily maximum temperature during the same period was recorded as a scorching 41.1 °C (106.0 °F).
Death Valley is famous as the hottest place on earth and driest place in North America. The world record highest air temperature of 134°F (57°C) was recorded at Furnace Creek on July 10, 1913.What desert gets the coldest at night? ›
Temperatures in the Sahara can plummet once the sun sets, from an average high of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) during the day to an average low of 25 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 4 degrees Celsius) during the night, according to NASA.
- 1) Eastern Antarctic Plateau, Antarctica (-94°C) ...
- 2) Vostok Station Antarctica (-89.2°C) ...
- 3) Amundsen-Scott Station, Antarctica (-82.8°C) ...
- 4) Denali, Alaska, United States of America (-73°C) ...
- 5) Klinck station, Greenland (-69.6°C) ...
- 6) Oymyakon, Siberia, Russia (-67.7°C)
As already mentioned, Antarctic Desert is the largest desert in the world, it is located in the southern hemisphere in the continent of Antarctica. It expands across 14,000,000 kilometres(5,500,000 square miles).Which desert is human made? ›
At around 17,000 square miles (45,000 square kilometers), the Aralkum Desert is the world's youngest desert, created entirely due to man-made disturbances.What is the biggest desert with sand? ›
The Ar Rub' al Khali, or Empty Quarter, covers much of the south-central portion of the Arabian Peninsula and is the largest continuous sand desert on Earth.What is the 7 largest desert? ›
The Kalahari Desert is the seventh largest desert in the world. It is located in Southern Africa, covering most of Botswana, as well parts of Namibia, and South Africa. The name of the desert has come from the Tswana word Kgala, meaning “the great thirst”.Which is the largest cold desert? ›
Detailed Solution. Antarctic Desert is the Word's largest cold desert. Antarctic Desert: In terms of sheer size, the Antarctic Desert is the largest desert on Earth, measuring a total of 13.8 million square kilometers.