Reasons Deserts Get Cold At Night

This is why deserts can so cold at night.

When you think desert, the words wild, sandy and hot come to mind. If you are visiting one it’s important to make sure you carry a lot of water and plenty of sunscreen. However, if you are planning on taking in the stars and spending the night there, make sure you also carry items that will keep you warm at night as deserts can get very cold at night. Temperatures can drastically go down as the sun sets. Here’s why and how animals and plant life in such regions adapt to such extremes.

 Humidity and heat

Dry regions all over Earth reportedly cover about 35% of our planet’s land. Sand and humidity are two major contributing factors as to why these regions get very hot and very cold. This is because sand is not very good at retaining heat. Something very fascinating happens when the combination of light and heat from the sun hit a desert region. The sand grains on the very top layer absorb all the heat. It is then released back in the air. However, at night, the majority of the heat in the sand is released into the air but does not get reheated because there is no sun. This is why deserts become so cold during the night.

Adapting to two extremes

You may think the extreme and rapid changes in weather can make desert life excruciating. However, this is not the case for the animals who inhabit the place. Experts say it is not a very big deal for them. However, finding water and food to survive is more the bigger concern. Reptiles are ectothermic and so can adapt to extreme temperature changes. Meanwhile, camels maintain a constant body temperature in both hot and cold conditions to survive. Their fat and a good amount of fur help to protect them. Birds found in and these areas can fly very long distances to find water sources and food. They also use water to transfer heat from their bodies.

When it comes to extreme temperatures, the plants are the vulnerable group. Unlike animals, they don’t get to move around. This is why plants, like cactuses, have a set of defences to protect themselves. Very cold temperatures at night can also be harmful to plants because the water within their tissues freeze up and can cause irreparable damage.

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