No nausea for Beth Moses, Virgin's space tourist trainer

Beth Moses was in the cabin of a Virgin Galactic spaceship when it climbed to 56 miles above California's Mojave Desert on February 22, crossing the boundary of the atmosphere into space and becoming one of the few non-astronauts ...

Egyptian crop circles

This week, ESA is focusing on its core Basic Activities, which, for Earth observation, include preserving precious data. Long-time series of datasets are needed to determine changes in our planet's climate so it is vital ...

Wagers winter plants make to survive

Spend water or save water? Grow or reproduce? For the tiny desert plants that bloom during the winter, the choices are life-or-death gambles, and ecologists at the University of Arizona have identified the wagers that will ...

Desert truffles are Libya's 'manna from heaven'

Braving the cold and hostile Libyan desert, Milad Mohammed scratches the ground to extract what he calls "manna from heaven"—white truffles coveted as a delicacy at home and abroad.

Martian meteorites land at Army lab

NASA officials say that some rare and distinct meteorites found on Earth were actually blasted off Mars by a large impact event. One such rock from the red planet made its way to an Army laboratory recently for a special ...

Rain brings 2nd California super bloom in 2 years

It started with the desert lilies in December. Since then a wave of wildflower blooms has been crescendoing across Southern California's Anza-Borrego desert in a burst of color so vivid it can be seen from mountain tops thousands ...

Research provides insight on survivability of rare Wyoming plant

A rare plant found only at two sites in central Wyoming has persisted, in part, because it can recover from relatively low densities and grows at different rates within each location, according to new research led by a University ...

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Desert

A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Most deserts have an average annual precipitation of less than 400 millimetres (16 in). A common definition distinguishes between true deserts, which receive less than 250 millimetres (10 in) of average annual precipitation, and semideserts or steppes, which receive between 250 millimetres (10 in) and 400 to 500 millimetres (16 to 20 in). Deserts can also be described as areas where more water is lost by evapotranspiration than falls as precipitation. In the Köppen climate classification system, deserts are classed as BWh (hot desert) or BWk (temperate desert). In the Thornthwaite climate classification system, deserts would be classified as arid megathermal climates.

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