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4-18 Hot and Cold Deserts

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Hot and Cold Deserts

  We usually think of deserts as hot, dry places.  However scientists define deserts as areas of land where less than ten inches of rain falls per year and few plants grow.  In both arctic and Antarctic regions there is very little rainfall.  The precipitation that does fall is almost always frozen in the form of snow or ice.  Therefore plants cannot grow.  These regions are considered deserts and called "cold deserts" to describe the temperatures, which range from 10 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and from -50 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit in winter.

  Hot deserts have high temperatures.  They are usually over 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade.  Hot deserts may be cold at night or in the winter.  Very little water is available for plant growth, but hot deserts are not lifeless.  These deserts are home to a variety of plants and animals that have learned to adapt to the hot temperatures and lack of water.  The acacia tree, for example sends its roots down over one hundred feet to reach groundwater.  Many desert animals drink no water at all!  They get all the water they need from the foods they eat.

  Deserts can be flat and covered with shifting sand dunes caused by winds.  They can also have steep, rocky mountains.

  

Answer the questions below.

 

Scientists define deserts as

areas of land where less than twelve inches of rain falls per year and no plants grow.

areas of land where less than ten inches of rain falls per year and few plants grow.

areas of land where less than two inches of rain falls per year and few plants grow.

 

Cold deserts are located in both the arctic and regions of the world.

 

Precipitation in cold deserts is frozen in the form of or ice.

 

Hot deserts may be cold at or in the winter.

 

The tree sends roots down over one hundred feet to get groundwater.

 

Many animals get the water they need from the foods they eat.

 
Desert plants and animals have learned to to the hot temperatures and lack of water.
 
Cold desert temperatures range from
10 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and from -50 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit in winter.

10 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit in winter and from -50 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit in summer.

0 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and from -50 to 0 degrees Fahrenheit in winter.

 
Hot desert temperatures are usually
over 65 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade.

over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade.

over 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade.

 

 

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