Life in the Deserts: 7th Class Geography Chapter 10
Question: What does water actually mean to us?
- Water actually means life to plants, animals and people.
- It is difficult for anyone to live in place,
- Where there is no water to drink.
- Where there is no grass for the cattle to feed on.
- Where there is no water to help the crops to grow.
Question: Discuss the places where extreme harsh temperatures are found.
- There are several places in the world where extreme harsh temperatures are found.
- They are the places where temperature are as hot as fire.
- On the other hand there are some as cold as ice.
- These are the desert areas of the world.
- They are characterized by low rainfall, scanty vegetation and extreme temperatures.
- Based on temperatures they are:
- Hot desert
- Cold desert
- People inhabit these lands wherever a little water is available to practice agriculture.
Question: Define the term desert with example.
Answer: It is an arid region with extreme temperatures and scarce vegetation. For example: Sahara and Ladakh.
Question: Discuss the situation and location of Sahara Desert.
Answer: Situation and location of Sahara Desert:
- Sahara desert covers large part of North Africa.
- It is the largest desert of the world.
- It has an area of around 85.4 lakh square kilometer.
- It is almost 2.5 times larger than the total geographical area of India (32 lakh sq. km.)
- The Sahara Desert covers eleven countries. They are Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia and Western Sahara.
Question: Account for the relief of Sahara Desert.
Answer: Relief of the Sahara Desert:
- Sahara desert is a vast expanse of sand and sand.
- But besides the vast stretches of sands, there are also gravel plains and elevated plateaus with bare rocky surface.
- These rocky surfaces are more than 2500 meters high at some places.
- Big boulders of stones and gravels are found all over the desert.
Question: Give an account of the climate of Sahara Desert.
Answer: Climate of Sahara Desert:
- Climate of the Sahara desert is scorching hot and parch dry.
- It has a short rainy season.
- The sky is cloudless and clear.
Here moisture evaporates faster than it accumulates.
- Days are unbelievably hot.
- Temperatures during the day soars as high as 50°C, heating up the sand and bare rocks.
- They in turn, radiate heat making everything hot all around.
Nights are freezing cold with temperatures nearing zero degree.
Question: Which place in the Sahara desert recorded the highest temperature in 1922?
Answer: Al Azizia in Sahara, south of Tripoli (Libya) recorded the highest temperature of 57.7°C in 1922.
Life in the Deserts [Chapter 10] – Question: Explain the flora and fauna of Sahara desert.
Answer: Flora and Fauna of Sahara Desert:
- Vegetation in the Sahara desert comprises of cactus, date, palms and acacia.
- In some places there are oasis-green islands with date palms surrounding them.
- Camels, hyenas, jackals, foxes, scorpions, numerous varieties of snakes and lizards are the prominent animal species which inhabit the Sahara Desert.
Question: Explain the life of people of Sahara Desert.
Answer: Life of People of Sahara Desert:
- The Sahara desert has a very harsh climate.
- Despite this it has been inhabited by various groups of people.
- They pursue different activities.
Among them are the Bedouins and Tuaregs.
- These groups are nomadic tribes.
- They rear livestock like goats, sheep, camels and horses.
- These animals provide them with milk, hides and hair.
- They make leather belts, slippers, water bottles from hides.
- They use hair in making mats, carpets, clothes and blankets.
- They wear heavy robes as protection against dust-storms and hot winds.
Question: Which areas in the Sahara supports settled life and how?
Answer: The oasis in the Sahara and the Nile Valley in Egypt support settled population.
- Since water is available people grow date palms.
- Other crops like rice, wheat, barley and beans are grown.
- Egyptian cotton is famous worldwide. It is grown in Egypt.
The discovery of oil in Algeria, Libya and Egypt is constantly transforming the Sahara desert. Other minerals of the area are iron, phosphorus, manganese and uranium.
Question: How is Sahara’s landscape gradually changing?
Answer: The cultural landscape of the Sahara is undergoing change.
- Gleaming glass cased office buildings, tower over mosques and superhighways criss-cross the ancient camel paths.
- Trucks are replacing camels in salt trade.
- Tuaregs are seen acting as guides to foreign tourists.
- More and more Nomadic herdsmen are taking to city life finding jobs in oil and gas operations.
Question: Describe an Oasis and its major features.
Answer: An Oasis:
- Depressions are formed when wind blows away the sands.
- In the depressions where underground water reaches the surface, Oasis is formed.
- Oasis is fertile.
- People settle around these water bodies.
- They grow date palms and other crops.
- Sometimes the oasis is abnormally large.
- Tafilalt Oasis in Morocco is a large oasis with an area of about 13000 Sq. kms.
The Cold Desert – Ladakh
Question: Explain the location set up of the Ladakh Cold Desert.
Answer: Location set up of the Ladakh Cold Desert:
- Ladakh is a cold desert.
- It lies in the great Himalayas, on the eastern portion of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Karakoram Range in the north and the Zanskar Mountains in the south surround it.
- Several rivers flow through Ladakh.
- Indus is the main river.
- The rivers form deep valleys and gorges.
- Several glaciers are found in Ladakh.
- Example: Gangri glacier
Life in the Deserts [Chapter 10] Question: Discuss the climate of Ladakh.
Answer: Climate of Ladakh:
- Climate is extremely cold and dry.
- The altitude in Ladakh varies from about 3000 meters in Kargil to more than 8000 meters in the Karakoram.
- The air at great altitude is so thin that the heat of the sun is felt intensely.
- The day temperatures in summers are just above zero degree and the night temperatures well below 30°C.
- It is freezing cold in the winters when the temperatures remain below 40°C for most of the time.
- Ladakh lies in the rain shadow of the Himalayas.
- Hence there is little rainfall, as low as 10 centimeters every year.
- The area experiences freezing winds and burning hot sunlight.
- If people sit in the sun with their feet in the shade.
- They suffer from both sunstroke and frost bite at the same time.
Question: What flora and fauna are found in Ladakh?
Answer: Flora and Fauna found in Ladakh:
Due to dryness, vegetation is sparse.
- There are very sparse patches of grasses and shrubs for animals to graze.
- Groves of willows and poplars are found in the valleys.
- During summers, fruit trees like apples, apricots and walnuts bloom.
Fauna of Ladakh includes birds and animals.
- Several species of birds are sighted in Ladakh.
- Robins, Redstarts, Tibetan Snowcock, Raven and Hoopoe are common.
- Some of these are migratory birds.
- The animals of Ladakh are the wild goats, wild sheep, yak and special kinds of dogs.
- The animals provide milk, meat and hides.
- The yak’s milk is used to make cheese and butter.
- The hair of the sheep and goat is used to make woolen clothes.
The Chiru or the Tibetan antelope is an endangered species. It is hunted for its wool known as shahtoosh.
- The wool is light in weight and extremely warm.
Question: Which tribes inhabit Ladakh? Explain their ways of life.
Answer: The People of Ladakh:
- The people of Ladakh resemble the inhabitants of Tibet and Central Asia.
- They are either Muslims or Buddhists.
- In fact several Buddhist monasteries dot the Ladakhi Landscape with their traditional ‘gompas’.
- Sopie famous monasteries are Hemis, Thiksey, Shey and Lamayuru.
Ways of Life:
- In the summer season people are busy in cultivation of barley, potatoes, peas, beans and turnip.
- In winter people keep themselves engaged in festivities and ceremonies.
The women are very hard working.
- They work both in the house and fields.
- They also manage small business and shops.
- Leh is the capital of Ladakh.
- It is well-connected both by road and air.
- The National Highway 1D connects Leh to Kashmir Valley through the Zoji la Pass.