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Gobi Desert

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Gobi (戈壁 pinyin ge1 bi4) is a desert in China north of the Himalayas. Gobi means "desert" in Mongol.

Eastern Gobi desert steppe is an ecoregion. (PA1314)

Overview

Ecozone : Palearctic
Biome : Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Climate type :
Soil types :
Surface : 281,800 square kilometers (108,800 square miles)
Conservation status : Vulnerable
Global 200 :
Oceans or seas (borders) :
Rivers :
Countries : China

Temperatures vary greatly in the Gobi Desert; average winter temperatures are a frigid -40oF while summertime are warm to hot, highs range up to 113oF. Most of the precipitation falls during the summer.

The Gobi is the source of some of the greatest fossil finds in history, including the first dinosaur eggs.

The Eastern Gobi Desert Steppe stretches from the Inner Mongolian Plateau in China northward into Mongolia. It also features the Yin Mountains and many low-lying areas with salt pans and small ponds.

These deserts and the surrounding regions sustain many animals, including black-tailed gazelles[?], marbled polecats[?], and greater plovers, and are occasionally visited by snow leopards, brown bears, and wolves. The desert features a number of drought-adapted shrubs such as gray sparrow's saltwort, gray sagebrush, and low grasses such as needle grass and bridlegrass.

The area is vulnerable to trampling by livestock and off-road vehicles (human impacts are greater in the eastern Gobi Desert, where rainfall is heavier and may sustain livestock). In Mongolia, grasslands have been degraded by goats, raised by nomadic herders as source of cashmere[?] wool. Economic trends of livestock privatization and the collapse of the urban economy have caused people to return to rural lifestyles, a movement contrary to urbanization. This movement has resulted in great increase of nomadic herders population and livestocks raising.



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