Introduction to ecosystems
Introduction to ecosystems

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Desert burrows

Look at the way in which the surface temperature of sand can change through a day (Figures 10 and 11).

Described image
Figure 10 Temperatures below the sand surface on a dune in the Namib desert on a summer day
Described image
Figure 11 Temperatures below the sand surface on a dune in the Namib desert on a winter day

Although the temperatures of sand at various depths in the Mojave desert would not be precisely the same as those in the Namib, the physical characteristics and thermal environment provided by dry sand are broadly the same in all deserts at similar Ta.

A benign temperature is available below the surface at all times of the day in both seasons, in spite of extremes on the surface. These surface temperature extremes are not very different in summer and winter. The high afternoon surface temperature in winter is due to hot, dry winds (Berg winds) that reach the desert in the winter months.

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