What is the Biggest Desert in the World?

by admin on June 26, 2008

The biggest desert in the world is the continent of Antarctica. It is 14 million square kilometers and classified as a Polar Desert. 98% of Antarctica is covered by an ice sheet that is 1.6 kilometers thick. The biggest hot desert in the world is the Sahara Desert at 9 million square kilometers. Deserts are classified by the amount of rainfall that they receive or if they lose more water through evaporation than they gain – a net loss of water. To be classified as a desert by rainfall, an area must receive less than 25 centimeters of water per year.

Antarctica is a landmass that isn’t owned by any one country, but is governed by the Antarctic Treaty; an agreement signed in 1959 between 12 original member countries to share the space for research. There are 45 member countries now. Each research station owned by a separate country is akin to an embassy in a foreign country.

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