Desert Connections

in Deserts

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780199564309
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191777462 | DOI:

Series: Very Short Introductions

Desert Connections

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‘Desert connections’ looks at how deserts interact with the rest of the world. Deserts are integral to the total Earth system. Dust from the Sahara is blown to southern Europe where it is important for soil, but this dust also finds its way to the Caribbean, where it places disease-spreading spores in coral reefs. Desert resources such as salt and dyes have been important to human societies for millennia. Today's desert exports — minerals and fossil energy — are just as valuable. Desert ideas and lifestyles are key to human behaviour; the domestication of plants and animals, cities, first civilizations, and three world religions all began in deserts.

Keywords: aridity; cinnabar; cities; desert; dust; erosion; evaporation; guano; loess; quartz; rain shadow

Chapter.  3558 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Physical Geography and Topography

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