Deserts receive less than 250 milliliters precipitation; diurnal temperature ranges are typically extreme. Tourism has transformed the Moroccan economy. Visitors start Sahara treks in Marrakesh, following ancient trade routes.
Reliable vehicles and growing road networks open up Saharan areas for industry; 300,000 tourists visit Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah annually. Atlas Studios has produced numerous popular shows. Bou Craa mine holds 75% of the world’s phosphate reserves; operations can be seen from space.
Temperatures over 35 degrees Celsius are hazardous to human health, yet people have lived in deserts for thousands of years. Ouarzazate’s concentrated solar plants use sunlight to generate electricity, powering over one million homes and providing Morocco with 40% of its needs.
Nomadic families adapt to limited water supplies. Other desert farmers use stores under river valleys, utilizing canals for flood irrigation; large farms use drip feed systems. Morocco produces 120,000 tons of dates annually and provides Europe with citrus fruits.
Credits: Hot Deserts: Challenges and Opportunities
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Using Morocco's Sahara desert as a case study, this program considers the challenges of hot desert environments, including extreme temperatures, lack of water, and inaccessibility. It then looks at the opportunities deserts can offer if these challenges can be overcome. Engaging case studies include: the world's largest solar plant, Atlas studios where Game of Thrones was filmed, large scale citrus irrigation schemes, mineral extraction and luxury desert tourism.
Length: 24 minutes
Copyright date: ©2019
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Biomes, Ecosystems, and Habitats
Six Kingdoms of Life
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