Why are most deserts on the western sides of continents?

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Offline thedoc

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Chethana Saligram  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I'm Chethana Saligram from Bangalore, India. I am a student studying in 10th standard.

My question is as follows:-

Why most of the world's deserts are located in the western margins of continents in the subtropics?

I would like the Naked Scientists to help me with this question.

Thank you.
Chethana.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 01/05/2013 14:30:02 by _system »

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Offline JimBob

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Re: Why are most deserts on the western sides of continents?
« Reply #1 on: 06/05/2013 22:37:01 »
Dominant winds travel west to east around the earth.  It takes significant barriers for these winds to rise. In India the western Ghats (spelling?)  cause the wind to rise and the coast to be wet. ONLY in Peru, southwest-central Africa and Australia do the rains fail to form. S
The mind is like a parachute. It works best when open.  -- A. Einstein

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Offline Bass

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Re: Why are most deserts on the western sides of continents?
« Reply #2 on: 07/05/2013 14:48:42 »
Methinks JimBob's mind is too much on all those pretty young nurses!  In the subtropics, the trade winds travel east to west- so rain shadows, and hence deserts, form on the west side of the mountains.
Old enough to have a grandson
Slow enough to study rocks
Thirsty enough to find a pub

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Offline JimBob

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Re: Why are most deserts on the western sides of continents?
« Reply #3 on: 07/05/2013 22:11:46 »
no. this is my mind on drugs- for pain - do not try this at home
The mind is like a parachute. It works best when open.  -- A. Einstein