We are more concerned about melting polar tundra when it comes to the effects of global warming. However, a rise in the temperature can critically affect hot places, particularly deserts. Thus, a slight temperature change will continue to influence the life of the desert landscape.
Although it has become hard to imagine that global warming has a significant impact on deserts, it is due to the small changes in temperature & precipitation that could impact humans, plants, and animals living there in the future. Desert covers a quarter of the earth, and scientists predict that the area will increase due to global warming.
Firewood gathering and the brushing of creatures are additionally changing over semi-arid areas into deserts, an interaction known as desertification. Population development and more prominent interest for land are not kidding snags in work to battle this issue. If the situation continues, it will become quite hard for habitats living in the desert to survive under such drastic conditions.
Here we will explore how global warming affects the desert and habitats living in these places! Let’s get started.
What Is A Desert World?
The literary meaning of the word desert is an abandoned place! However, these places are not thoroughly abandoned as they have become home to wildlife, species, and vegetation. Deserts are often defined as areas of land that receive less than 10 inches of rainfall each year. These regions are low in humidity and can even be moisture deficient, evaporating water faster than received. While most deserts are found in the mid-latitudes, these diverse ecosystems occur on all seven continents, making nearly one-third of the earth’s total landmass. Yet, we are quite unable to estimate the impact on these deserts caused by global warming agents.
Deserts are divided into four types. They are!
- Subtropical Deserts
- Semiarid Deserts
- Coastal Deserts
- Polar Deserts
Subtropical deserts are found along the equator and the tropic of cancer and the tropic of Capricorn. They are the hottest desert on earth, with daytime temperatures that can reach up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Semiarid deserts are located in Asia, Europe & North America. These cold winter deserts often form when tall mountain ranges block moisture through rain shadow effects.
Coastal deserts form alongside the tropical western edges of specific continents. Despite their proximity to water, coastal deserts remain dry. Polar deserts are found in the arctic and Antarctic.
Why Are Deserts Important For Living Things?
While deserts experience extreme temperatures and receive very little precipitation, they are still critical habitat for plants and animals. For example, desert animals such as coyotes have evolved to withstand harsh desert conditions by burrowing into the excellent ground and emerging at night when the desert temperature drops. In addition, many plants, including the Saguaro cactus, have established long and shallow roots systems to absorb better minimal moisture in the ground. They specialize in how to survive under extreme weather conditions. In addition, existing deserts have become less habitable because of rising temperature and increased risk of wildfires.
New desert areas are beginning to form through a process called desertification. This phenomenon occurs when factors such as deforestation and global warming degrade the region’s biological productivity and expand the desert. For instance, poor irrigation practices and excessive water usage in central Asia dried up the Aral Sea and formed the youngest desert on the planet.
Effects Of Climate Change On Desert Life!
Effect On Temperature
The progressions in temperatures significantly affect climate that results in a significant change in the overall environment. Deserts typically have under sixteen inches of rainfall a year. In the Arctic and Antarctica, they have experienced expanded downpours, particularly throughout their late spring seasons. The precipitation has supplanted what ought to be snowfall consistently. In your subtropical deserts, you see diminished rainfalls and more heatwaves. The land is becoming drier and unacceptable for the framework that flourishes typically here. Concerning the Gobi desert, it has begun to have more ongoing residue storms, and that, alongside different causes, has significantly decreased the nature of the air in that specific district.
Effect On Landform
The temperature rise also leaves long-lasting impacts on the geographical landscape of an area. The Sahara desert, just as the Gobi is venturing into encompassing territories. It turns into an issue for those living in these places, whether humans, plants or animals. In subtropical deserts, the grounds are excessively turning into barren lands, encountering drier seasons. When it comes to the Kalahari region, the dunes have been exposed to temperature, which in the future can prove to be a big problem for people living there.
Effect On Plant Life
Due to excessive increases in precipitation, the Arctic and Antarctica have seen plants spreading across a tremendous amount of space. The plants are additionally expanding in tallness. Exploration says taller plants can catch a more significant amount of the snowfalls, which keeps the dirt richer and longer timeframes.
In the Australian desert, they are encountering tree mortality because of bushfires, heatwaves, and drought. Particularly the ceasing to exist of the Eucalyptus trees. The Gobi desert has variable plant development because of storms. The temperatures are getting hot enough for microorganisms living in the dirt to begin flourishing in the Kalahari. Consequently, you have farmland and vegetation that becomes unacceptable for utilization and marketing. It demolishes the financial chain of that area on which inhabitants are relying. When it comes to other desert regions, vegetation is referenced to drying and making a lack in food supply for the environment.
Effect On Wildlife
Due to global warming, wildlife in terms of growth, survival, and reproduction is a considerable risk. It can be seen in the Kalahari region and Antarctica. While talking about Antarctica, the algae and krill have decreased due to a shortage of food. Krill eats algae, and due to the lack of algae, they have dropped 80% within a few years. Whereas algae stay in ice sheets, they are now in shortage due to the loss of ice sheets.
Australia has lost half of its species in the most recent ten years. This is because the expansions in temperature cause the seawater and sand to warm. Warm sea temperatures cook the Great Barrier Reef and the Ningaloo Barrier Reef. It likewise influences the turtle generation to where female turtles repeat more female turtles. On dry land, wallabies and koalas are losing their food sources because of the low usefulness of desert and the disappearance of trees.
Prediction On Effects Of Climate Change On Desert
Thinking long haul, researchers foresee a grim future without any positive change to what is happening today. In your polar deserts, you will see a more expanded spread of untamed plant life. Researchers anticipate that the temperature will rise! The result could raise the ocean level by 200 feet. Additionally, in the Arctic, researchers have this hypothesis called “The Last Ice.” They accept the ice sheets of the Arctic will dissolve until one dwells close to the northern shores of Canada and Greenland.
Concerning the Australian desert, the researcher found that the coral reef will lose its cover, and they have even started a task to begin to have the option to save a more significant amount of it. Furthermore, temperatures are relied upon to ascend by four degrees Celsius in the Arabian Desert. Moreover, they might see an expanded requirement for water because of the drought of their water openings. The extension of the desert will destroy what was once known as fertile lands and ruin the farming area of the economy for the individuals who relied upon it. Ultimately, in Southern Africa, the dunes of Botswana and Namibia will have a more significant effect on the area.
How Can We Mitigate The Impact Of Global Warming On Deserts?
We should utilize water resources wisely! Water resources and better control of salinization are more than enough to work on arid lands and improve their fertility. We should also uphold a new approach to discover new ways that will be helpful in pivot yields to ensure the soft soil and plant sand-fixing brambles and trees.
Another essential step is planting leguminous plants, which remove nitrogen from the air and fix it in the ground, which can assist with reestablishing soil ripeness. Likewise, individuals can use off-road vehicles just on assigned paths and streets and dive counterfeit depressions in the environment to hold precipitation and trap windblown seeds.
Besides this, we should take steps against excessive consumption of electricity. It is possible in many ways. For example, if you better switch to solar energy for your electric needs it will be a significant step to mitigate the impact of global warming. Besides this, recycling and garbage management will save our earth from disaster.
Global warming is not just limited to human lives; somewhat, it can affect animals & plants more than ever. Quick changes in the desert landscape have created an alarming situation for the world. To mitigate the impact, we need to take steps at a greater level. However, creating awareness through social media platforms can address the masses. It’s time to take action for us and generations after us.