NCERT Class 7 Geography Chapter 10 - Life in Deserts Notes

Geography Chapter 10 - Life in Deserts Notes

1. Depending on the temperatures there can be hot desert or cold deserts.

2. Sahara is the world’s largest desert. Sahara desert covers a large part of North Africa. It has an area of around 8.54 million km.

3. The Sahara desert touches 11 countries. These are Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia and Western Sahara.

4. Besides the vast stretches of sands, there are also gravel plains and elevated plateaus with bare rocky surface. These rocky surfaces may be more than 2500 m high at some places.

5. The climate of the Sahara desert is scorching hot and parch dry. It has a short rainy season. Days are unbelievable hot, it may be as high as 50°C while nights may be freezing cold with temperatures nearing 0°C

6. Cactus, date palms and acacia etc., are vegetation found in the Sahara desert. In some places there are oasis - green islands with date palms surrounding them.

7. Camels, hyenas, jackals, foxes, scorpions, many varieties of snakes and lizards are the prominent animal species living there.

8. Sahara desert is inhabited by various groups of people who pursue different activities. Some nomadic tribes such as Bedounis and Tuaregs live here and rear goats, sheep, camels and horses.

9. The oasis in the Sahara and the Nile Valley in Egypt support the settled population. The people grow date palms, rice, wheat, barley and beans. Egyptian cotton, famous worldwide is grown in Egypt.

10. Besides the oil, other minerals of importance that are found in the area include iron, phosphorus, manganese and uranium.

11. Ladakh is a cold desert lying in the Great Himalayas, on the eastern side of Jammu and Kashmir. The Karakoram Range in the north and the Zanskar mountains in the south enclose it. River Indus and Gangri glacier are found in Ladakh.

12. Ladakh is made up of two words-“La” meaning ‘mountain pass’ and “Dak” meaning ‘country’.

13. The altitude (height) in Ladakh varies from about 3000 m in Kargil to more than 8,000 m in the Karakoram. Due to its high altitude, the climate is extremely cold and dry. The day temperatures in summer are just above 0°C and the night temperatures well below-30°C. There is little rainfall, as low as 10 cm every year.

14. Due to high aridity in Ladakh, the vegetation is sparse. There are scanty patches of grasses and shrubs for animals to graze. Groves of Willows and poplars are seen in the valleys. Fruit trees such as apples, apricots and walnuts bloom and are found during the summers.

15. Animals like Robins, redstarts, Tibetan snow-cock, raven and hoopoe are found commonly. The animals of Ladakh are wild goats, wild sheep, yak and special kinds of dogs. Yak’s milk is used to make cheese and butter. The hair of the sheep and goat is used to make woollens.

16. In the summer season the people are busy cultivating barley, potatoes, peas, beans and turnip.

17. Leh, the capital of Ladakh is well-connected both by road and air. The National Highway 1A connects Leh to Kashmir Valley through the Zoji la Pass.

18. Tourism is a major activity with several tourists streaming in from within India and abroad. Visits to the gompas, treks to see the meadows and glaciers, witnessing ceremonies and festivities are important activities.

19. Desert is an arid region characterised by extremely high or low temperatures and has scarce vegetation.

20. Before, Sahara once used to be a lush green plain. Cave paintings in Sahara desert show that there used to be rivers with crocodiles. Elephants, lions, giraffes, ostriches, sheep, cattle and goats were common animals. But the change in climate has changed it to a very hot and dry region.

21. Al Azizia in the Sahara desert, south of Tripoli, Libya recorded the highest temperature of 57.7°C in 1922.

22. Depressions are formed when the wind blows away the sands. In the depressions where underground water reaches the surface, an oasis is formed. These areas are fertile. People may settle around these water bodies and grow date palms and other crops. Sometimes the oasis may be abnormally large. Tafilalet Oasis in Morocco is a large oasis with an area of about 13,000 km².

23. Drass, one of the coldest inhabited places on earth is located in Ladakh.

24. Ladakh is also known as Khapa - Chan which means snow land.

25. The Chiru or the Tibetan antelope is an endangered species. It is hunted for its wool known as shahtoosh, which is light in weight and extremely warm.

26. The finest cricket bats are made from the wood of the willow trees.

27. Manali - Leh highway crosses four passes, Rohtang la, Baralacha la, Lungalacha la and Tanglang la. The highway opens only between July and September when snow is cleared from the road.

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