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Encyclopedia > Arid

In general terms, the climate of a locale or region is said to be arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or even preventing the growth and development of plant and animal life. As a result, environments subject to arid climates tend to lack vegetation and are called xeric or desertic. Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Morphogenesis (from the Greek morphê shape and genesis creation) is one of three fundamental aspects of developmental biology along with the control of cell growth and cellular differentiation. ... Divisions Green algae Chlorophyta Charophyta Land plants (embryophytes) Non-vascular plants (bryophytes) Marchantiophyta—liverworts Anthocerotophyta—hornworts Bryophyta—mosses Vascular plants (tracheophytes) †Rhyniophyta—rhyniophytes †Zosterophyllophyta—zosterophylls Lycopodiophyta—clubmosses †Trimerophytophyta—trimerophytes Pteridophyta—ferns and horsetails Seed plants (spermatophytes) †Pteridospermatophyta—seed ferns Pinophyta—conifers Cycadophyta—cycads Ginkgophyta—ginkgo Gnetophyta—gnetae Magnoliophyta—flowering plants... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... In isolation, Hawaiis Silverswords have adapted to xeric microclimates within volcanic craters, trapping and channeling dew and protecting leaves with reflective hairs. ... This article is about arid terrain. ...

Contents

Concepts

The expression 'available water' refers to water in the soil in excess to the wilting point. The air over a hot desert may actually contain substantial amounts of water vapor but that water may not be generally accessible to plants, except for very specialized organisms (such as some species of lichen). 'Lack of water' refers to use by plants. The water that is actually present in the environment may be sufficient for some species or usages (such as climax vegetation), and grossly insufficient for others. Aridity, the characteristic nature of arid climates, may thus depend on the use of the land. Regards to the presence of life, what is more important than the degree of rainfall is the fraction of precipitation that is not quickly lost through evaporation or runoff. Attempts to quantitatively describe the degree of aridity of a place has often led to the development of aridity indexes. There is no universal agreement on the precise boundaries between classes such as 'hyper-arid', 'arid', 'semi-arid', etc. Permanent wilting point or permanent wilting percentage (PWP) is defined as the soil wetness at which a plant wilts and can no longer recover its turgidity when placed in a saturated atmosphere for 12 hours. ... It has been suggested that multiple sections of steam be merged into this article or section. ... Lichenes from Ernst Haeckels Artforms of Nature, 1904 Lichens are symbiotic associations of a fungus (the mycobiont) with a photosynthetic partner (the photobiont also known as the phycobiont) that can produce food for the lichen from sunlight. ... Climax vegetation is the vegetation which establishes itself on a given site for given climatic conditions in the absence of anthropic action after a long time (it is the asymptotic or quasi equilibrium state of the local ecosystem). ... Land use is the pattern of construction and activity land is used for. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Runoff flowing into a stormwater drain Surface runoff is water, from rain, snowmelt, or other sources, that flows over the land surface, and is a major component of the water cycle[1][2]. Runoff that occurs on surfaces before reaching a channel is also called overland flow. ... Aridity index, AI, is a measure of the dryness of a climate. ... Semi-arid generally describes regions that receive low annual rainfall (25 to 50 cm /10 to 20 in) and generally have scrub or grass vegetation. ...


Geographical distribution

If different classification schemes and maps differ in their details, there is a general agreement about the fact that large areas of the Earth are considered arid. These include the hot deserts located broadly in sub-tropical regions, where the accumulation of water is largely prevented by either low precipitations, or high evaporation, or both, as well as cold deserts near the poles, where water may be permanently locked in solid forms (snow and ice). Other arid regions include areas located in the rain shadows of major mountain ranges or along coastal regions affected by significant upwelling (such as the Atacama Desert). For the television series see Rain Shadow. ... Atacama Desert The Atacama Desert is a virtually rainless plateau in South America, extending 966 km (600 mi) between t It is created by the rain shadow of the Andes east of the desert. ...


Change over time

The distribution of aridity observed at any one point in time is largely the result of the general circulation of the atmosphere. The latter does change significantly over time through climate change. In addition, changes in land use can result in greater demands on soil water and induce a higher degree of aridity. View of Jupiters active atmosphere, including the Great Red Spot. ... Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400,000 years For current global climate change, see Global warming. ...


See also

Fields outside Benambra, Victoria suffering from drought conditions A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The saturation vapor pressure is the vapor pressure of water when air is saturated with water (having the maximum amount of water vapor that air can hold for a given temperature and pressure). ...

References

  • Griffiths, J. F. (1985) 'Climatology', Chapter 2 in Handbook of Applied Meteorology, Edited by David D. Houghton, John Wiley and Sons, ISBN 0-471-08404-2.
  • Durrenberger, R. W. (1987) 'Arid Climates', article in The Encyclopedia of Climatology, p. 92-101, Edited by J. E. Oliver and R. W. Fairbridge, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, ISBN 0-87933-009-0.
  • Stadler, S. J (1987) 'Aridity Indexes', article in The Encyclopedia of Climatology, p. 102-107, Edited by J. E. Oliver and R. W. Fairbridge, Van Nostrand Reinhld Company, New York, ISBN 0-87933-009-0.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Arid - definition of Arid in Encyclopedia (2733 words)
Arid and extremely arid land are deserts, and semiarid grasslands generally are referred to as steppes.
The remaining surfaces of arid lands are composed of exposed bedrock outcrops, desert soils, and fluvial deposits including alluvial fans, playas, desert lakes, and oases.
Valuable minerals located in arid lands include copper in the United States, Chile, Peru, and Iran; iron and lead-zinc ore in Australia; chromite in Turkey; and gold, silver, and uranium deposits in Australia and the United States.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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