Atlas of the World's Deserts / Edition 1

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A vividly illustrated work, the Atlas of the World's Deserts describes the hostile and extreme environments that cover more than a seventh of the world's surface. Yet, in spite of such harsh conditions, fauna and flora have developed and flourished, and humans have adapted to living in a seemingly inhospitable environment. The atlas examines in detail all aspects of the deserts, their geology, geography, history, culture, and biodiversity, from the Polar Regions to the Sahara and the Mojave Desert. Sidebars highlight particular aspects of the story of the deserts, such as the formation of sand dunes and the cave-dwelling quartz miners of central Australia. The numerous full color illustrations include spectacular, large-scale photographs that capture the stark beauty of the desert's color and light and original maps that illustrate the varying topography of the different regions. Each chapter concentrates on a specific characteristic of deserts including the process by which deserts are formed, the plants and animals that inhabit the desert, and the desert in modern times. Separating the chapters are unique atlas sections that contain detailed maps of the deserts of different continents along with commentary and facts particular to that specific desert. The Atlas of the World's Deserts is a vibrant and thorough portrait of the desert regions of the world and an excellent resource for exploring every feature of the desert ecosystem.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'An attractive book, written for the nonspecialist, that portrays nature with a wealth of simple maps, lovely photographs, and considerable basic introductory information... Both a browsing book and beginning reference book... Recommended for high-school, public, and undergraduate libraries.'Booklist/RBB

'Gorgeous color photographs, detailed maps, and clear and authoritative scientific explanations make this atlas both informative and captivating... A particular nice feature is that the geographical location and other details of each photograph are consistently provided.'SciTech Book News

Library Journal
Deserts cover more than a seventh of the earth's surface. In this colorful atlas, Harris (Mapping the World; Heritage of Scotland), a writer on history and the arts, offers detailed profiles of the deserts from all continents (e.g., Asia's Gobi Desert, Africa's Sahara Desert, and the Central Australian deserts), describing their geology, biodiversity, geography, history, and even culture. Similar in topic and treatment to the United Nations Environment Programme's World Atlas of Desertification (1997), this atlas is a solid resource for anyone. While the UN atlas is organized by sections, each divided into small subsections (e.g., "Global," "Africa," and "Desertification Studies and Issues"), Harris's work is organized into eight chapters that deal with the formation and history of deserts, combined in four chapters containing maps on the deserts of specific continents (e.g., "How Deserts Form" includes "Atlas: African Deserts"). Both atlases feature a considerable amount of text, taking up something over half of the total volume; this atlas also has more color illustrations than does the UN atlas, though it is somewhat smaller in size. Both atlases are aimed toward a general public. While smaller libraries on tight budgets already owning the UN atlas should stick with what they have, those without either one should opt for Harris's version because it is the more current. Public libraries should own both.-Mary Lynette Larsgaard, Univ. of California Lib., Santa Barbara Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-A useful resource for students seeking either quick facts or thematic discussions, this survey of our planet's drier regions alternates sections of maps and condensed specifics with more widely ranging topical chapters. The maps have an uncluttered look, as changes in elevation are denoted in large increments by slightly different shades of light brown, roadways and political boundaries are kept to a minimum, and many major natural or human-made features are indicated by numbers keyed to side notes, rather than labels. Liberally endowed with large, bright color photos, the topical sections begin with an analysis of how deserts form; close with an eye-opening look at why desertification has become a major environmental issue; and in between consider kinds of deserts, characteristic flora and fauna, natural resources, and deserts in human history. Despite a Eurocentric outlook in the historical chapters and a general lack of depth in the accounts of human cultures associated with deserts, this volume is recommended for deeper collections, after Michael Allaby's Deserts (Facts On File, 2001).-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579583101
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/8/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Atlas: World Map of Aridity 10
Ch. 1 How Deserts Form 12
Atlas: African Deserts 24
Ch. 2 Sand, Rock, and Rubble 42
Atlas: Asian Deserts 58
Ch. 3 Plants of the Desert 74
Ch. 4 Creatures of the Desert 88
Atlas: American Deserts 112
Ch. 5 The Desert in History 130
Ch. 6 The Modern Desert 144
Atlas: Australia and the Poles 156
Ch. 7 Wealth from the Desert 168
Ch. 8 Spreading Deserts 178
Glossary 186
Bibliography 188
Index 190
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012


    Holy donkers thst atlas is way to expensive do not buy it unles ur a multimillionare.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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