Grasses in the fog: Plants support life in the desert

Researchers from the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoenvironment (SHEP) at the University of Tübingen and the Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Görlitz have studied the role of the desert grass Stipagrostis ...

Tipping points: Understanding the green Sahara's collapse

Abrupt shifts within complex systems such as the Earth's climate system are extremely hard to predict. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have ...

Could alien solar panels be technosignatures?

If alien technological civilizations exist, they almost certainly use solar energy. Along with wind, it's the cleanest, most accessible form of energy, at least here on Earth. Driven by technological advances and mass production, ...

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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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