Deserts today occupy about one fifth of the total area of the earth’s land. They are almost everywhere. Some of them are more popular, and for others we have never heard, but they are in Asia, Africa, Australia, North America and South America. On some continents like the Americas deserts occupy less territory in comparison with Africa and Asia. And the largest percentage of the total area is occupied by deserts and semi-deserts in Australia. In the land of kangaroo wilderness occupy about two thirds of the total area of the continent. Antarctica is not an exception, but there is a desert of another ice type.
Which continent has no desert? The only continent on the planet which does not wilderness on its territory is Europe. Many factors prevent the formation of deserts on the continent.
Perhaps one of the most important is its geography. The fact is that Europe is located too far from the northern tropical circle and therefore the equator. Another important factor is the presence of relatively warm water bodies around Europe.
For example, in the Atlantic Ocean to the northern part of the continent runs the warm Gulf Stream. It bears on the continent very heavy rainfall, because as we know, the warm ocean waters cause very strong fumes.
These vapours fall in the form of rainfall over the British Isles, Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Atlantic influence and southern Europe, but relatively weak.
From Southern European countries the Atlantic causes strongest influence on climate conditions of Portugal and less in Spain. In the rest of Southern Europe more important is the impact of the warm Mediterranean.
It makes autumn and winter fairly moist and protects the southern parts of the continent from deserts formation, although summers are very long, hot and dry. Relief has also very strong influence.
In the southern part of the continent it is predominantly mountainous. Mountains traditionally have more humid climate and attract to themselves vapours and help forming of rain clouds.
Precipitations, which fall over the mountains create countless small rivers that irrigate large areas.
Will there be any deserts in the future in Europe? Today much of Southern Europe suffers from a more prolonged summer drought and never seen before high temperatures.
Separate areas in the southernmost parts of the continent are threatened by the formation of deserts.
Most serious is the situation in the Spanish province of Andalusia, where an unprecedented and long hot summers and increasingly warm and dry winters have a huge impact in this direction.
In Europe today there are no deserts, but climate change could change this fact in the future.