Gobi desert is one of the biggest desert in the world, it covers most of the northern and northwestern part of china and southern Mongolia.
The Gobi measures over 1,610 km (1,000 mi) from southwest to northeast and 800 km (497 mi) from north to south. The desert is widest in the west, along the line joining the and the Lop Nor (87°-89° east). It occupies an arc of land 1,295,000 km2 (500,002 sq mi) in area, making it fifth largest in the world and Asia's largest. Much of the Gobi is not sandy but is covered with bare rock .
The Gobi has several different Chinese names, including 沙漠 (shāmò, actually a generic term for deserts in general) and 瀚海 (hànhǎi, endless sea).
The Gobi is a cold desert, and it is not uncommon to see frost and occasionally snow on its dunes. Besides being quite far north, it is also located on a plateau roughly 910–1,520 meters (3,000–5,000 ft) above sea level, which further contributes to its low temperatures. An average of approximately 194 millimeters (7.6 in) of rain falls per year in the Gobi. Additional moisture reaches parts of the Gobi in winter as snow is blown by the wind from the Siberian Steppes. These winds cause the Gobi to reach extremes of temperature ranging from –40°C (-42°F) in winter to +40°C (104°F) in summer.
Currently, the Gobi desert is expanding at an alarming rate, in a process known as desertification. The expansion is particularly rapid on the southern edge into China, which has seen 3,600 km2 (1,390 sq mi) of grassland overtaken every year by the Gobi Desert. Dust storms, which used to occur regularly in China, have seen a dramatic increase in occurrence in the past 20 years, mainly due to desertification, and causing further damage to China's agriculture economy
Ecoregions of the Gobi desert
The Gobi, broadly defined, can be divided into five distinct dry ecoregions,
The ' Eastern Gobi desert steppe' is the easternmost of the Gobi ecoregions, covering an area of 281,800 km2 (108,804 sq mi). It extends from the inner Mongolia Plateau in China northward into Mongolia. It includes the Yins Mountains and many low-lying areas with salt pans and small ponds. It is bounded by the Mongolian- Manchurian grassland to the north, the Yellow River Plain to the southeast, and the Alashan Plateau semi-desert to the southeast and east.
The Alashan Plateau semi-desert lies west and southwest of the Eastern Gobi desert steppe. It consists of the desert basins and low mountains lying between the Gobi Altai range on the north, the Helan Mountains to the southeast, and the Qilian Mountains and northeastern portion of the Tibetan Plateau on the southwest .
The Gobi Lakes Valley desert steppe ecoregion lies north of Alashan Plateau semi-desert, between the Gobi Altai range to the south and the Khangain Mountains to the north.
The JUnggar Bassin semi-desert includes the desert basin lying between the Altai mountains on the north and the Tian Shan range on the south. It includes the northern portion of China's Xinjiang province and extends into the southeastern corner of Mongolia. The Alashan Plateau semi-desert lies to the east, and the Emin Valley steppe to the west, on the China-Kazakhstan border .
The Tian shan range separates the Junggar Basin semi-desert from the Taklamakan Desert , which is a low, sandy desert basin surrounded by the high mountain ranges of the Tibetan Plateau to the south and the Pamirs to the west. The Taklamakan Desert ecoregion includes theDesert of Lop