Friday, April 18, 2008

Gobi Desert Inner Mongolia

沙漠

The Gobi Desert (also spelt Kobqi) is a 1500m long desert in northern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi is Asia's largest desert and because of its northern latitude and average altitude of 900 meters above sea level is classified as a "cold" desert, with temperatures dropping well below freezing in winter. The desert is marked by extremes in diurnal temperature.

Gobi Desert

The Gobi desert is expanding due to desertification caused by human activity in the area and the Gobi is now a major source of dust storms which can cover Beijing at this time of year and spread as far as Korea and Japan.

Gobi Desert Inner Mongolia

The Gobi desert is an area of immense ecological interest and among the animals living in the desert are wolves, the wild Bacterian (two-humped) camel (which survives on snow in the winter), the Snow Leopard and a small number of Gobi bears - the only bears known to survive in a desert environment and extremely endangered with a population of only around 50 individuals.

Gobi Desert Inner Mongolia

Images © Daniel Allen

The area defined as the Gobi Desert is actually made up of arid semi-desert and desert steppe. Visitors to the area usually base themselves in the town of Hohhot, the capital of the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia.

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