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Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536
Textbook Problem

How do steppes differ from deserts? Why might human use of steppe regions in some ways be more hazardous than use of deserts?

To determine

The ways in which steppes differ from deserts and the reason why human use of steppe regions in some ways be more hazardous than use of deserts.

Explanation

The classification of desert and steppe is based on the relationships between precipitation and potential evapotranspiration (ET). In the desert climate, the precipitation received is less than half the potential ET (often much less like one-fifth to one-tenth or less is not uncommon). In the steppe climate, the precipitation is more than half, but still significantly less than the total potential ET. Steppes are the same as deserts; however, they are the transitional areas between humid climates and deserts.

The steppe regions receive precipitation between 25 and 50 centimeters, whereas most desert regions receive less than 25 centimeters of rain yearly. In comparison with the deserts, steppes receive higher precipitation that supports substantial amount of natural vegetation, which is commonly related to ground cover of more humid climate adjacent to it.

The ground cover in low-latitude steppes is often incomplete, yet the grasslands are grazing domains for many wild animals. These areas have been replaced at present by herding cattle or by villagers trying to raise their crops in spite of insufficient and unreliable precipitation...

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