Deserts are found at 30 degrees north and south of the equator around the world, on all continents. In many areas, grasslands transition into deserts as rainfall totals decline because of geography and weather patterns. Desert soils are fairly good but lack enough water to grow crops. There are "cold" and "hot" deserts found throughout the world, but all deserts have at least one "hot" season. Air temperatures can fluctuate over 50 degrees Fahrenheit per day because of the lack of moisture in the atmosphere. Sunlight is very intense because of the lack of cloud cover. Rainfall totals are usually less than 10 inches (25 cm) per year. The Atacama of Chile, South America, is the world's driest, with less than 1" of rainfall annually. Plant species include cactus, saguaro (American southwest), prickly pear, yucca, and aloe. Animal species include many insects, hawks, lizards, rattlesnakes, foxes, rodents, and rabbits.
|Desert Annual Stats:|
|Temperature||0°F to 100°F|
|Rainfall||10 inches or less|
|Dewpoint||usually less than 50°F|
|Soil||moderate to good|