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Deserts cover about one fifth of the Earth’s surface. Total area covered by various deserts on Earth is about 500,000 square miles. Deserts are areas where the annual precipitation is less than ten inches. Annual potential evaporation of deserts exceeds annual rainfall. Deserts can be either hot (like Sahara) or cold (like Antarctica). This table below lists down the Worlds largest deserts and their areas.

Click on the title to sort in any column.

NameLocationArea in Km-sq
AntarcticaAntarctica 14245000
SaharaNorth Africa 9065000
GobiMongolia, China 1295000
KalahariSouthern Africa 582000
Great VictoriaAustralia 338500
Great SandyAustralia 338500

Desert Links
U.S. Geological Survey has provided a wonderful book online that covers the fundamentals of Geology of deserts.

Desert Research Institute is a non profit research campus of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE).

Len Milich has made his research available on the characteristics of Worlds largest deserts.

WorldBiomes covers the five of the major biomes of World, including the deserts.

Fact Monster's has provided a list of the major deserts as well as their types.

Desert USA has provided detailed information about the four North American deserts.

GEsource has made available the satellite images of various deserts.

Books on Deserts
Deserts (Biomes of Nature) by Edward R. Ricciuti describe unique regions of the world and identify the flora and fauna that inhabit them. The book contains many beautiful color photographs and diagrams.
Desert (Biomes of the World) by Peter Murray highlights a number of the world's deserts, and describes the environment.
America's Deserts: Guide to Plants and Animals by Marianne D. Wallace describes the four American deserts - Sonoran, Mojave, Chihuahuan, and Great Basin. It covers the specific plants and animals that survive in these deserts.