A study by Ava gRounds, NIna Palko-Distefano and Tom truong
THE COLD DESERT
How would the cold (polar) desert be described? Polar deserts only exist from pole to pole; the reason behind its name. The polar desert is rarely warm much more hot. Annual climate includes snow, dry, and cold temperatures. What are some landmarks of the polar desert? Polar desert does not have landmarks of the last three deserts. Instead, polar deserts commonly contain flat plains with snow dunes and areas with icebergs. With the polar desert, instead of sand dunes, there are snow dunes that cover the plains of the polar desert. They can be shaped by wind but mostly left undisturbed after a blizzard which creates the flat image. The polar desert also has icebergs as foothold such as the North Pole. The North Pole is inaccessible without a ship if there are no icebergs because the North Pole does not have a land mass. Icebergs are very common in area with no land mass.
How cold or warm can the polar desert become? Summer is moderately warm with temperatures around 21-26 degrees Celsius. Winter is very long with temperatures at -2 degrees Celsius minimum and 4 degrees Celsius maximum. What is the soil condition of the polar desert? The soil is heavy, silty and salty. The drainage in the soil is too good that it even leaches some of the salt. Soil is most of the time frozen due to permafrost, especially in the winter with less daylight. Because the soil can leach salt, the ocean in polar desert are very salty and very rarely freezes. What is the annual rainfall/snowfall? Rainfall and snowfall varies between the season. Snowfall usually occurs in the winter but can also occur in the summer. Rainfall sometimes occur in the winter and mostly in the summer. Average precipitation is below 250 milimeters per annum. What types of animals live in cold deserts? Animals living in cold deserts include jack rabbits, kangaroo rats, kangaroo mice, pocket mice, grasshopper mice, antelope ground squirrels, badgers, kit foxes, coyote, lizards and deer. What types of adaptations and behaviors do these animals have? Just like coastal, arid and semiarid deserts, animals tend to hide out during the day. When the environment is finally suitable for going out and finding food or water, like at night, animals come out from their burrows. What types of plants live in cold deserts? Most plants living in cold deserts are deciduous. Some of these plants are grasses, shadscale and camel’s thorn. What types of adaptations do these plants evolve? Cold desert plants are mostly deciduous plants. The shape of their leaves are mostly spiny. What does a cold desert's food web look like?
At the bottom of the food web is the grasses, shadscale, and camel's thorn. Next the lizards, mice, and insects eat the plants. after that the kit foxes and coyote eat the smaller predators.