Content Ad 002

List of Deserts in the World

Deserts cover about one-third of the Earth’s land surface area. But the deserts of the world are much more than just the sandy The deserts found on Earth are extremely diverse, each unique in their own way. The dunes of the Saharan Desert, the icy tundra of Antarctica, and the Pacific coastline of the Atacama Desert are all deserts. That is right; they are all scientifically classified as deserts despite their differences. But it is quite simple, really, as they all share one common trait that qualifies them as a desert region: they all receive less than 10 inches (250 mm) of rainfall a year

Coastal Deserts of the World

Cool coastal deserts are found in more moderately cool to warm climates. These areas tend to have mild, cool winters and prolonged, moderate summers. They can usually be found near large bodies of water and/or mountainous regions. Cool coastal deserts do not have the stereotypical cues of a desert, but they are some of the most harsh and arid regions on Earth

RankNameType of DesertSurface Area (km²)Area (sq mi)Location
23Atacama DesertCool Coastal140,00054000South America (The Driest Desert on the Earth)

(Chile and Peru)

25Namib DesertCool Coastal81,00031000Southern Africa (Angola and Namibia)


Cold Deserts of the World

Cold winter deserts are also commonly referred to as semi-arid deserts. But don’t be fooled by the cold in the name; cold desert climates can still host the hot, dry summers of their hot desert counterparts. Cold winter desert summers are long and dry, and though not as hot as the subtropical deserts of the world, they are not cold year-round like the polar deserts. But these deserts do have cold, dry winters – sometimes with temperatures brutally below the freezing point! These cold winter deserts are generally found at higher altitudes and in temperate zones where they can be found in the rain shadows of high mountains

RankNameType of DesertSurface Area (km²)Area (sq mi)Location
8Patagonian DesertCold Winter620000200000South America (Argentina and Chile)
10Great Basin DesertCold Winter492000190000United States
13Karakum DesertCold Winter350000135000Turkmenistan
14Colorado PlateauCold Winter337000130000United States
16Kyzylkum DesertCold Winter300000115000Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan)
17Taklamakan DesertCold Winter270000105000China
5Gobi DesertCold Winter1000000500000Central Asia (Mongolia)
IranianCold WinterIran

Polar Deserts of the World

Polar deserts are characterized by annual precipitation of  less than 250 millimeters (or approximately 9.84 inches) and a mean temperature during the warmest month of the year of less than 10°C (50°F). Earth’s polar deserts cover nearly 5 million square kilometers of surface. That may sound like a lot, but polar deserts even more common during the Ice Ages, mainly due to the unusually dry climate during these periods in history. Today, only two major polar deserts remain, but they account for a significant share of Earth’s total desert climates. Though polar deserts don’t seem to fit with the common perception of a desert, they are perhaps the most significant of all the deserts of the world

RankNameType of DesertSurface Area (km²)Area (sq mi)Location
1Maudlandia (Antarctic)Polar140000005500000Antarctica(Largest Desert and Cold Desert in the World)
2ArcticPolar139850005400000Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia (Second Largest Desert on the World)


Subtropical Deserts of the World

Sub-tropical desert regions are responsible for a significant portion of land on this planet. These regions are characterized by mostly warm to very hot temperatures with cooler winters. These areas tend to be landlocked and receive extremely low amounts of rainfall. The temperature usually fluctuates widely just during the course of a day, moving from extremely hot to cold in a matter of hours. These deserts tend to have very few plants and animals, and those that remain have adapted to the coarse, dry soil and the ever-present wind

RankNameType of DesertSurface Area (km²)Area (sq mi)Location
3SaharaSubtropical9,000,0003,300,000+North Africa

(Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia and Western Sahara)

(Largest Hot Desert in the World)

4Arabian DesertSubtropical2,330,000900000Western Asia

(Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen)

6Kalahari DesertSubtropical900000360000Southern Africa

(Angola, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa)

7Great Victoria DesertSubtropical647000220000Australia
9Syrian DesertSubtropical520000200000Western Asia (Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia  and Syria)
11Chihuahuan DesertSubtropical450,000175000North America (Mexico and United States)
12Great Sandy DesertSubtropical400000150000Australia
15Sonoran DesertSubtropical310000120000North America (Mexico and United States)
18Thar DesertSubtropical20000077000South Asia (India, Pakistan)
19Gibson DesertSubtropical15600060000Australia
20Dasht-e MargoSubtropical15000058000Afghanistan
21Registan DesertSubtropical14600056400Afghanistan
22Simpson DesertSubtropical14500056000Australia
24Mojave DesertSubtropical12400048000United States
26Dasht-e KavirSubtropical7700030000Iran
27Dasht-e LootSubtropical5200020100Iran
 28TanamiSubtropical1,000 600Australia
 29Sturt StonySubtropicalSouth Australia.
Content Ads 02 Sample 01
Pop Up


Starting 3rd June 2024, 7pm



How to Master VA-RC 

This free (and highly detailed) cheat sheet will give you strategies to help you grow

No thanks, I don't want it.

Join our Free TELEGRAM GROUP for exclusive content and updates

Rsz 1rsz Close Img

Join Our Newsletter

Get the latest updates from our side, including offers and free live updates, on email.

Rsz Undraw Envelope N8lc Smal
Rsz 1rsz Close Img