Where are deserts located?
Deserts cover more than one-fifth of the Earth’s land area and are located on every continent. Hot deserts are mainly found around the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The world’s hot deserts are located between 15° and 30° north or south of the equator, where the air is subsiding or sinking air (find out why deserts are found along the tropics here). Air that rises due to the intense heat at the equator divides to flow north and south. Deserts are often found towards the west of continents. Some deserts are found on the western edges of continents. They are caused by cold ocean currents, which run along the coast. They cool the air and make it harder to hold moisture. Most moisture falls as rain before it reaches the land, e.g. The Namib desert in Africa.
The Sahara is the largest hot desert on Earth. It covers an area of 9,200,000 square kilometres. It is located in North Africa and crosses many countries including Egypt and Sudan.
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