Deserts and semi-deserts are the least populated areas of the Earth. The average density is 1 person per 4-5 sq. km, so you can walk for weeks without meeting a single person. The climate of deserts and semi-deserts is dry, with low humidity, characterized by huge fluctuations in air temperature day and night indicators within 25-40 degrees Celsius. Precipitation occurs here once every few years. Due to specific climatic conditions, a peculiar world of flora and fauna has developed in the zone of deserts and semi-deserts.
Scientists argue that the deserts themselves are the main environmental problem of the planet, namely the process of desertification, as a result of which nature loses a huge number of plant and animal species, and is not able to recover on its own.
Types of deserts and semi-deserts
According to the ecological classification, there are the following types of deserts and semi-deserts:
It was found that many deserts have significant reserves of oil and gas, as well as precious metals, which caused people to develop these territories. Oil production raises the level of danger. Entire ecosystems are destroyed in the event of an oil spill.
Another environmental problem is poaching, as a result of which biodiversity is being destroyed. Due to the lack of moisture, there is a problem of water shortage. Another problem is dust and sandstorms. In general, this is not a complete list of all existing problems of deserts and semi-deserts.
If we talk in more detail about the environmental problems of semi-deserts, then the main problem is their expansion. So many semi-deserts are transitional natural zones from steppes to deserts, but under the influence of certain factors they increase the territory, and also turn into deserts. This process is most stimulated by anthropogenic activities cutting down trees, the destruction of animals, the construction of industrial facilities, soil depletion. As a result, the semi-desert lacks moisture, plants die out, as do some animals, and some migrate. So the semi-desert quickly turns into a lifeless (or almost lifeless) desert.
Ecological problems of the Arctic deserts
The Arctic deserts are located at the north and south poles, where sub-zero air temperature dominates almost all the time, it snows and there are a huge number of glaciers. Arctic and Antarctic deserts formed without human influence. The normal temperature in winter is from30 to60 degrees Celsius, and in summer it can rise to +3 degrees. An average of 400 mm of precipitation falls per year. Since the surface of the deserts is covered with ice, there are practically no plants here, with the exception of lichens and mosses. Animals are accustomed to harsh climate conditions.
Over time, the Arctic deserts have also experienced the negative influence of man. As humans invade, the Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems began to change. So industrial fishing has led to a reduction in their populations. Every year the number of seals and walruses, polar bears and arctic foxes decreases here. Some species are on the verge of extinction thanks to humans.
In the zone of the Arctic deserts, scientists have identified significant reserves of minerals. After that, their extraction began, and this is not always carried out successfully. Sometimes accidents occur, and oil spills on the territory of ecosystems, harmful substances enter the atmosphere, and global pollution of the biosphere occurs.
It is impossible not to touch on the topic of global warming. Abnormal heat contributes to the melting of glaciers, both in the southern and northern hemispheres. As a result, the territories of the Arctic deserts are shrinking, the water level in the World Ocean is rising. This contributes not only to changes in ecosystems, but also to the movement of some species of flora and fauna to other areas and their partial extinction.
Thus, the problem of deserts and semideserts acquires a global character. Their number increases only through the fault of man, so you need not only to think about how to stop this process, but also to take radical measures to preserve nature.