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A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and
development Development or developing may refer to: Arts *Development hell, when a project is stuck in development *Filmmaking#Development, Filmmaking, development phase, including finance and budgeting *Development (music), the process thematic material i ...
of plant and animal life. Environments subject to arid climates tend to lack vegetation and are called
xeric Deserts and xeric shrublands are a biome A biome is a collection of flora, plants and fauna, animals that have common characteristics for the natural environment, environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biome ...
or
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of ...

desert
ic. Most "arid" climates straddle the
Equator The Equator is a circle of latitude, about in circumference, that divides Earth into the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Southern Hemisphere, Southern hemispheres. It is an imaginary line located at 0 degrees latitude, halfway between the N ...

Equator
; these places include parts of
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
,
Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the cont ...

Asia
,
South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continent ...
,
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...
, and
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
.


Change over time

The distribution of aridity observed at any one point in time is largely the result of the general circulation of the
atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning 'vapour', and σφαῖρα ''(sphaira)'', meaning 'ball' or 'sphere') is a layer or a set of layers of gases surrounding a planet or other material body, that is held in ...

atmosphere
. The latter does change significantly over time through
climate change Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known even ...
. For example, temperature increase (by 1.5–2.1 percent) across the
Nile Basin The Nile Basin is the part of Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of ...
over the next 30–40 years could change the region from
semi-arid A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is the climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning ' ...
to arid, resulting in a significant reduction in agricultural land. In addition, changes in land use can result in greater demands on soil water and induce a higher degree of aridity.


See also

*
Aridity index An aridity index (AI) is a numerical indicator of the degree of dryness of the climate at a given location. A number of aridity A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or prevent ...
*
Arid Forest Research Institute Arid Forest Research Institute (AFRI) is a research institute situated in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. The institute conducts scientific research in forestry in order to provide technologies to increase the Permanent vegetative cover, vegetative ...

Arid Forest Research Institute
*
Desert climate The desert climate or arid climate (in the Köppen climate classification ''BWh'' and ''BWk''), is a climate which there is an excess of evaporation over precipitation. The typically bald, rocky, or sandy surfaces in desert climates hold little mo ...
*
Desiccation toleranceDesiccation tolerance refers to the ability of an organism to withstand or endure extreme dryness, or drought A drought is an event of prolonged shortages in the water supply, whether atmospheric (below-average precipitation), surface water or g ...
*
Drought A drought is an event of prolonged shortages in the water supply, whether atmospheric (below-average precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorolog ...

Drought
*
Relative humidity Humidity is the concentration of water vapour (99.9839 °C) , - , Boiling point , , - , specific gas constant , 461.5 J/( kg·K) , - , Heat of vaporization , 2.27 MJ/kg , - , Heat capacity , 1.864 kJ/(kg·K) Water vap ...

Relative humidity
*
Vapor pressure 280px, The ''pistol test tube'' experiment. The tube contains alcohol and is closed with a piece of cork. By heating the alcohol, the vapors fill in the space, increasing the pressure in the tube to the point of the cork popping out. Vapor pre ...

Vapor pressure


References

* Griffiths, J. F. (1985) 'Climatology', Chapter 2 in ''Handbook of Applied Meteorology'', Edited by David D. Houghton, John Wiley and Sons, . * Durrenberger, R. W. (1987) 'Arid Climates', article in ''The Encyclopedia of Climatology'', p. 92–101, Edited by J. E. Oliver and R. W. Fairbridge, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, . * Stadler, S. J (1987) 'Aridity Indexes', article in ''The Encyclopedia of Climatology'', p. 102–107, Edited by J. E. Oliver and R. W. Fairbridge, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, .
Blue Peace for the Nile Report
2009, Strategic Foresight Group Climate patterns
Soil science For :Agricultural soil science and :Environmental soil science, see :Edaphology.
To discuss soil science category structure, go to category talk:soil science, talk page. Earth sciences {{CatAutoTOC ...
Water scarcity {{climate-stub