There are large areas in the world considered "cold deserts": these are certainly fascinating places, but where it is difficult if not impossible to stop for a long time. But what is meant by "cold desert"? And what are the largest cold deserts in the world? Let's find out together.
What is the meaning of Cold Desert?
When one speaks of "desert", enormous arid expanses such as those of the Sahara in North Africa usually come to mind. Technically though the desert is a large expanse without rainfall, uncultivated and uninhabited, and can be found both in hot climates and in temperate and cold climates. Some of the coldest areas in the world are considered "cold deserts": let's see what they are.
10 - Namib Desert, 80.900 km2
Located in southern Africa, the Namib Desert is known for its cold temperatures caused by the Benguela current, favored by its position along the coast. This cold desert is also known for its strong winds that lead to incredible sandstorms, because of numerous shipwrecks.
9 - Taklamakan Desert, 270.000 km2
Central Asian desert, in the western part of China. As it is located in the rain shadow of the Himalayas, this desert is subjected to Siberian influences e winter temperatures can go as low as - 26 ° C. In many winters there was also the deposition of a layer of frozen snow with a maximum thickness of 4 cm. In the photo we see its snow covered dunes.
8 - Kizilkum Desert, 300.000 km2
Very vast cold desert which is located between Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, in Central Asia. With very severe winters, during the period from mid-May to mid-September in certain areas the temperatures can reach up to 50 ° C.
7 - Colorado Plateau, 337.000 km2
This vast plateau, crossed by the Colorado River and its tributaries, is located in the southwest of the United States and touches Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. The show is awesome: the various rivers have carved deep canyons into the rocks, the most famous of which is the Grand Canyon. The driest area is often hit by hurricanes.
6 - Karakum Desert, 350.000 km2
This desert is also found in Central Asia, in the area of Turkmenistan. Very characteristic i takyr, large basins separated by dunes generated by winds. Vegetation is very limited and the desert is known for gate of hell, a huge hole made by man in 1971 to find oil. In January, temperatures can reach - 20 ° C.
5 - Patagonian Desert, 673.000 km2
The Patagonian desert is the largest desert in the entire American continent, and is found mainly in Argentina, Patagonia, Chile. The temperature never goes above 12 ° C e the annual average is 3 ° C. There are frequent frosts but, due to the drought, the snowfalls are very scarce.
4 - Greenland, 974.000 km2
Greenland is known to be one of the largest and coldest desert areas in the world. In particular the Northeast Greenland National Park, which covers about 45% of the island's surface, has temperatures that reach down to -50 ° C: that's why the area is totally uninhabited.
3 - Gobi Desert, 1.300.000 km2
Located in Asia, the Gobi Desert covers the north and north west of the China and a portion of the Mongolia. Located on the top of a plateau, the high altitude leads to very low temperatures: at night you get to -40 ° C.
2 - Arctic, 13.700.000 km2
Much more than cold: the Arctic, together with Antarctica, is one of the polar areas of the Earth. It does not have a well-defined extension as it includes various areas of some continents. The Arctic is the region of the land surrounding the North Pole, and winter temperatures drop down to -58 ° C.
1 - Antarctica, 13.829.430 km2
Antarctica, a region opposed to the Arctic and, wins our ranking of the coldest deserts in the world comprising the seas and land surrounding the South Pole. 98% of the territory is covered by ice of the Antarctic ice sheet. The minimum temperatures go up to -50 ° C, and in 2010 even between Dome Argus and Dome Fuji the temperature of -93,2 ° C was recorded.