1. What are the factors that explain the presence of cold deserts in different parts of the world? Explain with the help of suitable examples. (10 Marks)
दुनिया के विभिन्न हिस्सों में ठंड रेगिस्तान की उपस्थिति की व्याख्या करने वाले कारक क्या हैं? उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की मदद से समझाएं।
Candidates need to write about the cold desert and explain the factors that are responsible for cold desert formation with suitable example.
Cold desert are arid ecosystems which receive rainfall less than 25cm in a year. They are located in the interior of the continent and at high latitude, characterized by the temperate climatic condition – hot summer and chilled winter.
Factors explaining the presence of cold desert:
- Cold deserts are formed in temperate regions, at higher altitudes and are located at the centre of the continent. For example Arctic, the Antarctic and Greenland including the areas above the tree lines of mountain ranges.
- They have hot summer and extremely chilled winter (temperature may reach up to -40C).
- Precipitation occurs in the form of snow, the humidity remains low throughout the year. Examples- Atacama Desert(Peru), Gobi Desert etc.
- Because of the low temperatures, pressure, moisture, distance from sea, and poor vegetation; precipitation is very low in these regions.
- Besides, the high P (Precipitation)/E (Evaporation) ratio in temperate regions is responsible for the formation of cold deserts.
- It is covered by sand, gravel, and clay. Several mountains ranges, basins, and large expanses of salt flats can be found here. For example Great Basin Desert.
- It is a cool arid subarctic winter temperatures region covers large landscape for example 1000km strip on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes Mountains Atacama Chile in South America.
- Vegetation is scattered with needle like leaves to reduce the water loss. The animals commonly found in cold deserts include foxes, jackrabbits, kangaroo rats, pocket mice, badger etc.
- In India Ladakh has the mighty Karakoram Range in the North and in the south, it is bound by the Zanskar mountains. Several rivers flow through Ladakh.
Cold desert is important biome of the ecosystem there is increased stressed on such regions especially in ladakh and lahul spiti. There is need of conservation of landscape, biological diversity and the cultural heritage in these region with controlled and regulated anthropogenic activities.