Six continents of the Earth are absolutely not similar against each other. For example, in Eurasia - the most diverse climatic conditions in the world. In terms of climate, the hottest continent can be identified - Africa, the coldest one - Antarctica. The wettest continent is South America. But Australia is the driest continent on Earth.
Causes of low precipitation
Australia is almost in half divided by the southern tropic. This means that tropical air prevails here. In most parts of the continent, dry and hot tropical masses are kept throughout the year, so there is very little rainfall. Over the tropics in both hemispheres of the Earth, areas of increased atmospheric pressure are formed. In them, the air falls and becomes drier, which leads to constant clear weather and almost no precipitation.
In most parts of Australia, precipitation does not exceed 250 mm per year during the year. This is several times less than in the suburbs. And given that the climate of Australia is much warmer, you can understand that the dryness of the air here is much more than ours.
There is another reason for the fact that this is the driest continent on Earth. These are mountains in the east of the continent. In Australia, there are trade winds - winds blowing from the tropics to the equator. They are directed from the Pacific to the mainland. Meeting the mountains on their way, the air masses rise up the slope, raining on the east coast. And in the inner regions the air comes already dry and does not give precipitation.
Consequences of a dry climate
As a result of the aridity of the climate in the predominant part of Australia are deserts and semi-deserts. The most famous are the Great Victoria Desert, the Great Sandy, Gibson, Simpson. And in the area of Lake Eyre, called the "dead heart of Australia", the precipitation does not exceed 125 mm. And the relative humidity here is no more than 20-30%.
There are few rivers in Australia. They mainly originate from the Great Dividing Range. The largest - Murray with the main tributary - Darling. But there are also rivers in the north of the mainland, where the subequatorial climate dominates.
Flora and fauna of the driest continent on Earth
In such conditions only adapted species of plants and animals that withstand dry climate survive. In eucalyptus leaves dense turn with an edge to the sun's rays to reduce evaporation. And long roots can extract water from a depth of tens of meters. There are also dwarf species of eucalyptus trees and tall trees. Thickets of this plant are dangerous frequent fires, as the essential oils contained in the leaves, easily spontaneously ignite in conditions of heat and dryness.
In the deserts, cereals (spinifex) and shrubs - acacia, various solyanka, and quinoa are also common. The prickly pear cactus, introduced in the 20th century, quickly spread and became a malicious weed.
Of the desert inhabitants, the most interesting is Moloch - a small lizard, all covered with growths and spines. It is able to absorb moisture throughout the skin. Among other animals can be noted various birds feeding on seeds of cereals, reptiles and insects.
Which land continent is the driest?
Strange question, right? But the thing is how to determine the driest continent on Earth.
If you take the driest place in the world, South America is ahead. Here in the coastal desert of Atacama rainfall does not happen over the years. Almost the only source of moisture is fog associated with the cold Peruvian current.
According to the average rainfall, Antarctica can be attributed to the driest continents. Most of its precipitations are no more than 100 mm per year, and they fall out in the form of "diamond dust" - small ice needles. But because of the exceptionally cold climate, snow accumulates, forming the continental ice cap.
But among the places inhabited by man, the driest continent on Earth is Australia. Large reserves of groundwater help here, used both for irrigation and irrigation of pastures.