The main difference between hot and cold desert is that the hot desert is battered by a high sun whereas the cold desert has ice and the snow in the ground. Furthermore, hot deserts are closer to the equator while cold deserts are in extreme northern or southern latitudes. Therefore, the temperature of the hot deserts is high while the temperature of cold deserts is low.
A desert defines as a landscape with an extremely low level of precipitation. It receives less than 50 cm of precipitation per year. Generally, deserts are dry, arid, and rocky. The other types of deserts are coastal deserts and semiarid deserts.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is a Hot Desert
– Definition, Location, Features
2. What is a Cold Desert
– Definition, Location, Features
3. What are the Similarities Between Hot and Cold Desert
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Hot and Cold Desert
– Comparison of Key Differences
Cold Desert, Hot Desert, Location, Rainfall, Temperature
What is a Hot Desert
The deserts in the tropical and sub-tropical regions between the 15° and 30 ° north and south of the equator are hot deserts. The annual rainfall of a hot desert is less than 250 mm. Also, the rainfall is rare and infrequent. Therefore, these deserts are very dry.
The maximum temperature of a hot desert is over 40 °C. So, the warm air always holds the water vapor. In addition, as most hot deserts are located within the path of trade winds, deserts continuously lose water. These deserts also lack a cover of clouds due to the strong winds.
What is a Cold Desert
Cold deserts can be found in the Antarctic, Greenland, Northern and Western China, Turkestan, Iran and the Nearctic area of the world. They get a large amount of snowfall during the winter. The average rainfall is 15-26 cm. These deserts get the rain during April and May. The winter temperature is -2 to 4 ºC and the summer temperature is 21-26 ºC.
Deer, kit fox and coyote, kangaroo mice, kangaroo rats, grasshopper mice, pocket mice, antelope ground squirrels, badger, and several lizards live in cold deserts.
Similarities Between Hot and Cold Desert
- Hot and cold deserts are the landscapes with very low precipitation.
- Both are dry, arid, and rocky.
- Both have the least rainfall with respect to other types of deserts.
- The precipitation sometimes evaporates before it hits the ground.
- Both deserts lack vegetation.
- They have limited resources.
- They are unreproductive.
- Burrowers and nocturnal creatures live in both types of deserts.
Difference Between Hot and Cold Desert
Hot desert refers to a type of deserts with high temperatures during the summer whereas cold desert refers to the temperate deserts that occur at higher latitudes.
Hot desert has a high temperature while cold temperature has a low temperature.
Hot desert is battered by a high sun and is sandy whereas cold desert has ice and the snow in the ground.
Hot deserts are red or orange while cold deserts are gray.
Hot deserts are at the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn while cold deserts are at the north of the Tropic of Cancer and south of the Tropic of Capricorn.
Hot deserts do not experience a significant seasonal effect while cold deserts experience the seasonal effect.
Temperature and Evaporation
The temperature and evaporation of hot deserts are high while the temperature and evaporation are comparatively low in cold deserts.
The rainfall is low in hot deserts while the rainfall is comparatively high in cold deserts.
Camel can survive in the hot desert while polar bear and deer can survive in the cold desert.
Sahara, Arabian, Kalahari, and Thar are some of the examples of hot deserts while cold deserts are located in the Antarctic, Greenland, Iran, Turkestan, Northern and Western China.
A hot desert is a tropical desert with high temperature as it is battered by a heavy sun. But, a cold desert has ice or snow in the winter. They are at the high altitude regions of the world. The main difference between hot and cold desert is the temperature and location.
1. “Introduction to the Hot Desert Biome.” StudyNotes.ie, Available Here
2. “Cold Desert Ecosystem.” Wild Tracks, 6 Jan. 2012, Available Here
1. “Rub al Khali 002” By Nepenthes – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “AntarcticaDomeCSnow” By Stephen Hudson – Own work (CC BY 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia
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