Tropical deserts



How is the Long-eared Jerboa a desert specialist?



Deserts of the World

Task One: Location of deserts

  1. Using the map of global biomes (above) mark onto a blank world map the location of 'Desert'. Ensure that your map has a title and a key. Add to your map the location and names of the deserts from the 'Deserts of the World Map'. Add to your map the location of Riyadh (Saudi Arabia).


Task Two: Climate graph

  1. Produce a climate graph for Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) either by hand or using Excel. Steps to help you produce a climate graph in Excel can be found below. Rainfall data can be found here and temperature data can be found here.

Task Three: Climate graph analysis

  1. Answer the following questions, using your climate graph:
    1. Which is the hottest month?
    2. What is the mean temperature of the hottest month?
    3. Which is the coolest month?
    4. What is the mean temperature of the coolest month?
    5. What is the annual temperature range?
    6. Which is the wettest month?
    7. How much rainfall does the wettest month receive?
    8. Which is the driest month?
    9. How much rainfall does the driest month receive?
    10. Describe and explain the season distribution of temperature and rainfall.

Task Four: Why are deserts so dry?

  1. Produce revision notes under the following sub-headings:
    • Air mass subsidence
    • Rain shadows
    • Distant moisture sources
    • Cold offshore sea-surface temperatures

Task Five: How does fauna and flora adapt to the desert environment?

Kangaroo Rat by Stuart Wilson
  1. How do cacti and kangaroo rats survive in the extreme conditions of the desert?


You should be able to answer this exam question:

Explain why desert areas are hot and dry. You should use labeled diagrams and/or sketch maps in your answer [5 Marks]