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The importance of Deserts and Plants

It is an elementary science fact that the sun shines on only one side of Earth for half a day. The other side of our world spends the rest of the day in the coolness of the night. The rotation and roundedness of Earth make the sun’s heat to spread unevenly on the surface of the planet. As a consequence, the sun’s heat is concentrated more in some places, which are in the direct path of the sun’s rays, than in other areas.

This condition plus Earth’s complex atmosphere contribute to our planet’s varying climate wherein some places exist in extreme cold temperature, like Antarctica, while others survive in severe high temperature, such as Iran’s Lut Desert. Deserts and the plants therein play an important role in maintaining the biodiversity in our planet.

A desert, which is an unproductive region of land, is typically produced when there is hardly any regular rainfall. The sustained high temperatures combined with lack of moisture eventually pulverize rocks into sand. This unforgiving condition makes it hard for people, animals, and plants to survive in deserts.

We normally think of deserts to exist in hot places. There are deserts in extremely cold places, such as the Antarctic Desert and Arctic Desert. These two deserts are in fact the top two largest deserts in the world. Cold deserts lack snow as the main form of precipitation instead of rain, as in the case of hot deserts. A cold desert’s frozen water makes it hard for any form of life to survive.

Both hot and cold deserts moderate Earth’s intricate temperature. Because of their barrenness, deserts reflect more sunlight compared to forests or the seas. More reflected light means either an increase or decrease in temperature.

It is surprising to know that indeed some form of life has learned to survive in deserts. People, animals, plants, and other organisms have adapted to the extreme conditions and actually thrived. Camels and cacti are some examples of organisms that are known to endure the harshness of deserts. For centuries, people have lived, traded, and journeyed through deserts. Some people, like monks, go to deserts to view source of inspiration and reflection.

In terms of trade and business, desert communities have produced and exported different kinds of agricultural products, goods, minerals and fossil energy. Nowadays, you can practically buy almost anything from a desert city. It’s as easy as a web developer buying dreamweaver templates online.

Many plant species have learned to propagate by harnessing the little moisture there is in deserts. Deserts are home to a myriad species of vegetation. Desert people have long learned to grow all sorts of edible vegetation as source of food. If deserts were removed, it will kill thousands of plants, cut-off food source for the desert people, and consequently affect our environment. Deserts have strong linkages to non-desert environments, so any change in the desert surroundings will surely have drastic global impact. To learn more about deserts, click here.