deserts

Ocotillo (left) and saguaro (right) are two plants found in the Sonoran Desert. Photo: National Park Service/Alice Wondrak Biel, Saguaro National Park, Public domain.

The Sonoran Desert is Losing Plants Due to Climate Change

Caitlin Dempsey

Between 1984 and 2017, a team of researchers utilized Landsat imagery to examine changes in vegetation in the Colorado Desert in Southern California.

Alligator junipers (left) and Apache pine (right) are two types of conifers found in the sky islands in Chiricahua National Monument. Mountain lions and other wild cats can be found in this environment. Photo: NPS.

Sky Islands

Marques Hayes

Sky islands are like islands of unique ecosystems surrounded by contrasting environments.

The Atacama Desert, which normally receives only 1 to 3 millimeters of rain a year, had a rare snowfall in 2011. Image: NASA, public domain.

Soil Community in Atacama Desert Survives on Fog

Elizabeth Borneman

Scientists have discovered new methods that allow certain plants and animals to survive in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

The Atacama Desert, which normally receives only 1 to 3 millimeters of rain a year, had a rare snowfall in 2011. Image: NASA, public domain.

Driest Non-polar Desert in the World

Caitlin Dempsey

Situated in northern Chile, the Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on Earth.

Scientists followed the journey of water through the Tarim Basin from the rivers at the edge of the valley to the desert aquifers under the basin. They found that as water moved through irrigated fields, the water gathered dissolved carbon and moved it deep underground. Credit: Yan Li

Desert Carbon Sinks

Elizabeth Borneman

Research suggest that the world’s deserts may be storing some of the climate-changing carbon dioxide emitted by human activities.