This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.  

Arid Zones/Deserts

Arid zones/deserts

Regions of Earth that are arid and semi-arid have relatively low to very low amounts of annual precipitation. In some of the most arid regions, a number of years may pass before measurable precipitation occurs. Earth's arid and semi-arid regions are sometimes called dry lands and they occupy about one third of Earth's land surface. More importantly, about one-fifth of the human population on earth lives in arid and semi-arid regions and as a result, these environments are particularly important to people. Related to this is the fact that global warming is occurring and producing changes in the world's arid and semi-arid environments. In many areas with warming, it is expected that arid lands will expand and with them desert processes, or what ...

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