All continents have a desert region, or multiple desert areas. Some of the deserts exist in one continent while other deserts are spread across multiple continents.
A desert does not have to be a dry or hot place. In fact, there are four different types of desert and they all have one thing in common: they get very little rain. This means a part of the world that gets less than 10 inches of rain a year is a desert. The four types are polar, subtropical, cold winter and cool coastal.
- North America - contains the Arctic desert, which is a polar desert, and is in parts of Alaska and Canada. Also has subtropical and cold winter deserts, including the Great Basin and the Colorado Plateau.
- South America - contains cool winter, subtropical and cool coastal deserts including the Patagonian desert and Chihuahuan desert.
- Asia - contains mostly cold winter deserts, but there are also subtropical desert areas in India and Pakistan.
- Africa - contains mostly subtropical and cool coastal deserts, including the subtropical Sahara desert.
- Antarctica - Antarctica is home to the world's largest desert. It is a polar desert measuring 5.5 million square miles and is called the Antarctic desert.
- Europe - the polar Arctic desert stretches into the European countries of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.
- Australia - Australia has subtropical deserts including the Great Victoria desert, the Great Sandy desert and the Gibson desert.