The Eastern Desert is the part of the Sahara desert, located east of the Nile river, between the river and the Red Sea. It extends from Egypt in the north to Eritrea in the south, comprises parts of Sudan and Ethiopia; the Eastern Desert is known as the Red Sea Hills and the Arabian Desert because to the east it is bordered by the Red Sea and the Arabian Peninsula, respectively. The Eastern Desert's main geographic features are the western Red Sea coastline—with the "Red Sea Riviera"—and the Eastern Desert mountain range that runs along the coast, the highest peak of, Shaiyb al-Banat. Other notable ecological areas are Wadi Gamal National Park, Gebel Elba and the Wadi Dib ring complex; the Eastern Desert is a popular setting for other excursions. Libyan/Western Desert Geography of Egypt Anthony the Great National Parks of Egypt
The Ténéré is a desert region in the south central Sahara. It comprises a vast plain of sand stretching from northeastern Niger into western Chad, occupying an area of over 400,000 square kilometres; the Ténéré's boundaries are said to be the Aïr Mountains in the west, the Hoggar Mountains in the north, the Djado Plateau in the northeast, the Tibesti Mountains in the east, the basin of Lake Chad in the south. The central part of the desert, the Erg du Bilma, is centred at 17°35′N 10°55′E, it is the locus of the Neolithic Tenerian culture. The name Ténéré comes from the Tuareg language, meaning "desert", in much the same way that the Arabic word for "desert", came to be applied to the region as a whole; the Ténéré has typical of the large Sahara Desert. The climate is hyper-arid hot and dry year-round and there is no plant life; the average high temperatures are above 40 °C for about 5 months and more in the hottest regions, record high temperatures as high as 50 °C are possible during summer. The annual average high temperature is around 35 °C and more.
During "winter" months, the average high temperatures stay above 25 °C and hover around 30 °C. The annual precipitation amount is low—one of the lowest annual rainfall amounts found on Earth—around 10 mm to 15 mm, several years may pass without seeing any rainfall at all. Water is notoriously difficult to find underground, wells may be hundreds of miles apart; the sunshine duration is one of the highest results on the planet at around 4,000 hours, about 91% of the daylight hours between sunrise and sunset. Fair weather is nearly non-stop in this bone-dry region; this part of the Sahara Desert has one of the harshest climates in the world. According to a NASA study, the sunniest spot in the world would be a ruined fort in Agadem in the southeastern Ténéré where the solar energy productivity would be unmatched, as this desert area sees fewer clouds than the rest of the world; the Ténéré, as well as the rest of the Great Desert, is among the most extreme environments on Earth. Most of the Ténéré is a flat basin, once the bed of the prehistoric Lake Chad.
In the north, the Ténéré is a vast sand sheet - the true, featureless'Ténéré' of legend reaching up to the low hills of the Tassili du Hoggar along the Algerian border. In the centre, the Bilma Erg forms rows of navigable low dunes whose corridors make regular byways for the azelai or salt caravans. To the west, the Aïr Mountains rise up. To the southeast, the Ténéré is bordered by the Kaouar cliffs running 100 km north to south. At the base, lies a string of oases including the famous Bilma. Periodic outcrops, such as the unusual marble Blue Mountains in the northwest near Adrar Chiriet, or the Agram hills near the oasis of Fachi and Adrar Madet to the north, are rare but notable landmarks. During the Carboniferous period, the region was beneath the sea. A major dinosaur cemetery lies southeast of Agadez at Gadoufaoua. An complete specimen of the crocodile-like reptile Sarcosuchus imperator, nicknamed the SuperCroc, was discovered there by paleontologists. During early human history, this was a fertile land much more congenial to human life than it is now.
The region was inhabited by modern humans as long ago as the Paleolithic period some 60,000 years ago. They hunted wild animals and left evidence of their presence in the form of stone tools including tiny, finely carved arrow heads. During the Neolithic period about 10,000 years ago, ancient hunters, the early Holocene Kiffian people, created rock engravings and cave paintings that can still be found across the region; the Neolithic Subpluvial was an extended meteorological period, from about 7,500-7,000 BC to about 3,500-3,000 BC, of wet and rainy conditions in the climate history of northern Africa. It was both followed by much drier periods. Several archaeological sites that date from this time identified as part of the Tenerian culture, are dotted across the deserts along the borders of Niger and Libya; the human population dwindled as the Sahara dried out, by 2500 BC, it had become as dry as it is today. In recent times, Ténéré has been a crossing route for African migrants looking to immigrate to Europe.
The Ténéré is sparsely populated. Fachi and Bilma are the only settlements that are not on the edge of the Tenéré. While the well-known Tuareg occupy the Aïr Mountains and Agadez to the west, still operate the salt caravans for Hausa merchants, other inhabitants of the Ténéré, found from oases like Fachi eastwards, are the non-Berber Kanuri and Toubou, the latter thought to be descended from among the original inhabitants of the Sahara. In 1960, the Tuareg territory became part of the independent republic of Niger, it has been divided into seven départments. The central part of the Ténéré is a protected area, under the auspices of the Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserve; the administrative centre of the Ténéré is the town of Agadez, south of the Aïr Mountains and west of the Tenere. There are various oasis settlements, some like Bilma and Seguedine based on salt production. Settlements and villages of Ténéré: Fachi Achegour Bilma Dirkou Chirfa Agadem Seguedine The desert is known for the celebrated Tree of Ténéré, once thought to be among the most remote in the world.
Situated by the last well before entering the Grand Erg du Bilma on the way to Fachi, salt caravans relied on the tree as a landmark until it was knocked down by
The Aralkum Desert is a desert that has appeared since 1960 on the seabed once occupied by the Aral Sea. It east of what remains of the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. While the level of the Aral Sea has fluctuated over its existence, the most recent level drop since the 1960s was caused by the Soviet Union building massive irrigation projects in the region; the reduced inflow subsequently caused the water level in the Aral Sea to drop. While the North Aral Sea is rising due to the Dike Kokaral, the South Aral Sea kept dropping, thus expanding the size of the desert, until 2010, when the South Aral Sea was reflooded; the water level of the South Aral Sea began to drop again, this time more severely. The sands of the Aralkum and the dust that originates from it contain pollutants; the desert's location on a powerful east–west airstream has resulted in pesticides in the dust being found in the blood of penguins in Antarctica. Aral dust has been found in the fields of Russia, the forests of Norway, in the glaciers of Greenland.
Desertification List of environmental disasters Siegmar-W. Breckle: Combating desertification and rehabilitation of the salt deserts in the region at the Aral Sea Walter Wucherer: Primary succession on the dry sea floor of the Aral Sea
The Cholistan Desert locally known as Rohi, sprawls 30 km from Bahawalpur, Punjab and covers an area of 16,000 km2. It adjoins the Thar Desert, extending over into India; the word Cholistan is derived from the Turkic word chol. The people of Cholistan lead a semi-nomadic life, moving from one place to another in search of water and fodder for their animals; the dry bed of the Hakra River runs through the area, along which many settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization have been found. The desert hosts an annual Jeep rally, known as Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally, it is the biggest motor sports event in Pakistan. As mentioned above, the Indus Valley has always been occupied by the wandering nomadic tribes, who are fond of isolated areas, as such areas allow them to lead life free of foreign intrusion, enabling them to establish their own individual and unique cultures. Cholistan till the era of Mughal rule had been isolated from outside influence. During the rule of Mughal Emperor Akbar, it became a proper productive unit.
The entire area was ruled by a host of kings. The rulers were the great patrons of art, the various crafts underwent a simultaneous and parallel development, influencing each other. Masons, stone carvers, artisans and designers started rebuilding the old cities and new sites, with that flourished new courts, paintings and pottery; the fields of architecture, terra cotta, pottery developed in this phase. The backbone of Cholistan economy is cattle breeding, it has the major importance for satisfying the area's major needs for cottage industry as well as milk meat and fat. Because of the nomadic way of life the main wealth of the people are their cattle that are bred for sale, milked or shorn for their wool. Moreover, isolated as they were, they had to depend upon themselves for all their needs like food and all the items of daily use. So all their crafts stemmed from necessity but on they started exporting their goods to the other places as well; the estimated number of livestock in the desert areas is 1.6 million.
Cholistan produces superior type of carpet wool as compared to that produced in other parts of Pakistan. From this wool they knit beautiful carpets and other woolen items; this includes blankets, a local necessity for the desert is not just a land of dust and heat, but winter nights here are cold below freezing points. Khes and pattu are manufactured with wool or cotton. Khes is a form of blanket with a field of black pattu has a white ground base. Cholistanis now sell the wool, it may be mentioned that cotton textiles have always been a hallmark of craft of Indus valley civilization. Various kinds of khaddar-cloth are made for local consumption, fine khaddar bedclothes and coarse lungies are woven here. A beautiful cloth called Sufi is woven of silk and cotton, or with cotton wrap and silk wool. Gargas are made with numerous patterns and color, having complicated embroidery and patchwork. Ajrak is another specialty of Cholistan, it is a special and delicate printing technique on both sides of the cloth in indigo blue and red patterns covering the base cloth.
Cotton turbans and shawls are made here. Chunri is another form of dopattas, having innumerable colors and patterns like dots and circles on it. Camels are valued by the desert dwellers. Camels are not only useful for transportation and loading purposes, but its skin and wool are quite worthwhile. Camel wool is spun and woven into beautiful woolen blankets known as falsies and into stylish and durable rugs; the camel's leather is utilized in making kuppies and expensive lampshades. Leatherwork is another important local cottage industry due to the large number of livestock here. Other than the products mentioned above, Khusa is a specialty of this area. Cholistani khusas are famous for the quality of workmanship and richness of designs when stitched and embroidered with golden or brightly colored threads; the Cholistanis are fond of jewellery gold jewellery. The chief ornaments made and worn by them are Nath, Katmala Kangan, Pazeb. Gold and silver bangles are a product of Cholistan; the locals work in enamel, producing enamel buttons, earrings and rings.
The great desert though considered to be colorless and drab, is not wholly devoid of color. Its green portion plays the role of "color belt" after rains when vegetation growth is at its peak. Adding to that the locals always wear brightly colored clothes consisting of brilliant reds, blazing oranges shocking pinks, startling yellows and greens; the cloth trappings of their bullocks and camels are richly colored and textured. There is a rain forest in Cholistan named "Dodhla Forest" The wildlife of Cholistan desert consists of migratory birds Houbara bustard who migrates to this part during winters; this species of birds is most famous in the hunting season though they are endangered in Pakistan, according to IUCN Red List. Their population has decreased from 4,746 in 2001 to just a few dozens in recent times. In December 2016, a Qatari prince, had his hunting license rejected due to the species being endangered. Another prince, Dr. Fahad was fined with Rs. 80,000 and all of the birds he caught were set free for hunting without permit and license.
The other endangered species in this desert is Chinkara, their population has decreased from 3,000 in 2007 to just a few
Desertification is a type of land degradation in which a dry area of land becomes a desert losing its bodies of water as well as vegetation and wildlife. It is caused by a variety of factors, such as through climate change and through the overexploitation of soil through human activity; when deserts appear automatically over the natural course of a planet's life cycle it can be called a natural phenomenon. Desertification is a significant global ecological and environmental problem with far reaching consequences on socio-economic and political conditions. Considerable controversy exists over the proper definition of the term "desertification" for which Helmut Geist has identified more than 100 formal definitions; the most accepted of these is that of the Princeton University Dictionary which defines it as "the process of fertile land transforming into desert as a result of deforestation, drought or improper/inappropriate agriculture". Desertification has been neatly defined in the text of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification as "land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities."Another major contribution to the controversy comes from the sub-grouping of types of desertification.
Spanning from the vague yet shortsighted view as the "man-made-desert" to the broader yet less focused type as the "Non-pattern-Desert". The earliest known discussion of the topic arose soon after the French colonization of West Africa, when the Comité d'Etudes commissioned a study on desséchement progressif to explore the prehistoric expansion of the Sahara Desert; the world's most noted deserts have been formed by natural processes interacting over long intervals of time. During most of these times, deserts have shrunk independent of human activities. Paleodeserts are large sand seas now inactive because they are stabilized by vegetation, some extending beyond the present margins of core deserts, such as the Sahara, the largest hot desert. Desertification has played a significant role in human history, contributing to the collapse of several large empires, such as Carthage and the Roman Empire, as well as causing displacement of local populations. Historical evidence shows that the serious and extensive land deterioration occurring several centuries ago in arid regions had three epicenters: the Mediterranean, the Mesopotamian Valley, the Loess Plateau of China, where population was dense.
Drylands occupy 40–41% of Earth’s land area and are home to more than 2 billion people. It has been estimated that some 10–20% of drylands are degraded, the total area affected by desertification being between 6 and 12 million square kilometres, that about 1–6% of the inhabitants of drylands live in desertified areas, that a billion people are under threat from further desertification; as of 1998, the then-current degree of southward expansion of the Sahara was not well known, due to a lack of recent, measurable expansion of the desert into the Sahel at the time. The impact of global warming and human activities are presented in the Sahel. In this area, the level of desertification is high compared to other areas in the world. All areas situated in the eastern part of Africa are characterized by a dry climate, hot temperatures, low rainfall. So, droughts are the rule in the Sahel region; some studies have shown that Africa has lost 650,000 km² of its productive agricultural land over the past 50 years.
The propagation of desertification in this area is considerable. Some statistics have shown that since 1900 the Sahara has expanded by 250 km to the south over a stretch of land from west to east 6,000 km long; the survey, done by the research institute for development, had demonstrated that this means dryness is spreading fast in the Sahelian countries. 70% of the arid area has deteriorated and water resources have disappeared, leading to soil degradation. The loss of topsoil means that plants cannot take root and can be uprooted by torrential water or strong winds; the United Nations Convention says that about six million Sahelian citizens would have to give up the desertified zones of sub-Saharan Africa for North Africa and Europe between 1997 and 2020. Another major area, being impacted by desertification is the Gobi Desert; the Gobi desert is the fastest moving desert on Earth. This has destroyed many villages in its path. Photos show that the Gobi Desert has expanded to the point the entire nation of Croatia could fit inside its area.
This is causing a major problem for the people of China. They will soon have to deal with the desert. Although the Gobi Desert itself is still a distance away from Beijing, reports from field studies state there are large sand dunes forming only 70 km outside the city; as the desertification takes place, the landscape may progress through different stages and continuously transform in appearance. On sloped terrain, desertification can create larger empty spaces over a large strip of land, a phenomenon known as "Brousse tigrée". A mathematical model of this phenomenon proposed by C. Klausmeier attributes this patterning to dynamics in plant-water interaction. One outcome of this observation suggests an optimal plan
The Algerian Desert is located in north-central Africa and is part of the Sahara Desert. The desert occupies more than four-fifths of the Algerian territory, its expansion starts from the Saharan Atlas, more or less as a stony desert and the farther inland you get the more of a sand dune desert it becomes. In the southeastern parts is the mountain range Tassili n'Ajjer located; this area is a subject of great archaeological interest and was put up on the "World Heritage List" by UNESCO in 1982. The area is known for extreme aridity and extreme heat, as daytime temperatures are between 46 °C and 51 °C during the hottest period of the year in most of the desert. Cities and towns such as Ouargla, Beni Abbes, Adrar, In Salah are among the hottest places on Earth during the height of summer. Annual average rainfall is well below 100 mm in the northernmost part but the center and the southern part receive much less than 50 mm and are therefore hyper-arid and among the driest places on Earth
Vernal pools called vernal ponds or ephemeral pools, are seasonal pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals. They are considered to be a distinctive type of wetland devoid of fish, thus allow the safe development of natal amphibian and insect species unable to withstand competition or predation by fish. Certain tropical fish lineages have however adapted to this habitat specifically. During most years, a vernal pool basin will experience inundation from local surface runoff, followed by desiccation from evapotranspiration; these conditions are associated with Mediterranean climate. Most pools are dry for at least part of the year, fill with the winter rains or snow melt; some pools may remain at least filled with water over the course of a year or more, but all vernal pools dry up periodically. A key time during vernal pool development between the flooding and evaporation phases is the flowering of native species, which attracts pollinators and influences seed distribution patterns.
Some authorities restrict the definition of vernal pools to exclude seasonal wetlands that have defined inlet and outlet channels. The justification is that such seasonal wetlands tend to be qualitatively different from isolated vernal pools. Secondly, flow patterns increase the periodic scouring and silting effect of flows through or into the wetland. Thirdly, longer distance inflow and outflow make for less endemic populations and plants. Low dissolved mineral concentrations of smaller vernal pool basins may be characterized as oligotrophic, poorly buffered with rapid pH shifts due to carbon dioxide uptake during photosynthesis. Vernal pools are so called because they are though not at their maximum depth in the spring. There are many local names for such pools, depending upon the part of the world. Vernal pools may form in forests, but they are more associated with grasslands and rocky plains or basins. While many vernal pools are only a few meters in width and prairie potholes are much larger, but still are otherwise similar in many respects, with high water in wet periods, followed by dry conditions.
Some exclude desert playas from the definition of vernal pools because their larger closed drainage basins in areas with high evaporation rates produce higher concentrations of dissolved minerals, with salinity and alkalinity favoring different species. Playas may be inundated less than vernal pools, inundation coincides with colder weather unfavorable for plant growth. Despite being dry at times, vernal pools teem with life; the most obvious inhabitants are various species of breeding toads. Some salamanders utilize vernal pools for reproduction, but the adults may visit the pool only briefly. Other notable inhabitants are Daphnia and fairy shrimp, the latter used as an indicator species to decisively define a vernal pool. Other indicator species, at least in New England, are the wood frog, the spadefoot toad, some species of mole salamanders. Certain plant species are associated with vernal pools, although the particular species depend upon the ecological region; the flora of South African vernal pools, for example, are different from those of Californian vernal pools, they have characteristic Anostraca, such as various Branchipodopsis species.
In some northern areas, tadpole shrimp are more common. Vernal pools harbor a distinct assemblage of flora and fauna that, in some cases, aren't found anywhere else on the planet. Despite this fact, about 90% of vernal pool ecosystems in California have been destroyed. Disturbingly, much of this destruction has occurred in recent years, with about 13% of remaining vernal pools being lost in the short interval from 1995-2005; the major threats to vernal pool habitats in the Central Valley are agriculture, changes in hydrology, climate change, improperly managed grazing by livestock. Vernal pools are prime habitats to be targeted for restoration work due to their value as hotpots of biodiversity as well as recent history of extensive destruction and degradation. However, there have been varying rates of success attributed to various restoration efforts. A number of hypotheses exists as to why: Hypothesis 1: Constructed pools are too deep. Hypothesis 2: Edges of constructed pools narrower than natural ones.
Hypothesis 3: Constructed pools have steeper slopes than natural ones. Results: Research suggest that the last two details are crucial in determining the habitat value of man-made vernal pools. In general, most constructed pools did not have wide enough edges. There has been a fair amount of controversy surrounding the practice of mitigation, the destruction of protected or endangered species and habitats, such as vernal pools, on the condition that whatever entity is destroying the habitat will undertake the construction of a replacement habitat to "mitigate" their impacts; this concept is difficult to apply to vernal pools, which represent a tremendous habitat value- but are difficult to replicate using construction methods. Thus, it has been controversial to apply mitigation strategies to vernal pool systems due to the obvious risks inherent in trying to reconstruct this kind of habitat. Although, some agencies are now requiring two replacements for every vernal pool, destroyed, in order to compensate for the low quality of man-made habitat.
Vernal pools can form anywhere that a depres