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Sahara Desert, Morocco

The Sahara is the largest hot desert and the second largest desert in the world after Antarctica. The Sahara is almost as large as the continental United States and covers most parts of Northern Africa. Its boundaries are the Atlantic Ocean on the west, the Atlas Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea on the north, the Red Sea and Egypt on the east, and the Sudan and the valley of the Niger River on the south. The Sahara divides the continent of Africa into North and Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the Sahara consists of rocky plateaus and large sand dunes form only a minor part. Some 2.5 million people live in the Sahara, most of these in Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco and Algeria. It has been reported that the Sahara is expanding south by as much as 30 miles per year, overwhelming degraded grasslands, taking over the Sahel, the dry tropical savanna that has defined its southern limit. Most of the rivers and streams in the Sahara are seasonal or intermittent, the chief exception being the Nile River, which crosses the desert from its origins in central Africa to empty into the Mediterranean. The center of the Sahara is hyper-arid, with little vegetation. The northern and southern reaches of the desert, along with the highlands, have areas of sparse grassland and desert shrub, with trees and taller shrubs where moisture collects. Arabic is the most widely spoken language in the Sahara, from the Atlantic to the Red Sea.

This article is based on work found at Wikipedia. A list of contributors is available a the original article. This article is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0 license.


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