Experts set up camp to measure Lut Desert temperature

July 18, 2022 - 20:30

TEHRAN – Early on Sunday, a team of experts commenced a mission to measure the temperature of the UNESCO-registered Lut desert.  

Known as one of the hottest places on Earth, the desert is encircled by the provinces of Kerman and Sistan- Baluchestan, and South Khorasan.

It is the first time that a team of experts inside South Khorasan province start measuring Lut’s temperature, the director of the World Heritage said on Sunday.

Seven years of satellite temperature data analyzed by NASA showed in 2005 that the Lut Desert was the hottest place on Earth. Based on the research, it was the hottest during 5 of the 7 years and had the highest temperature overall: 70.7°C in 2005.

The project is part of a program to commemorate the 6th anniversary of Lut Desert’s registration on the UNESCO World Heritage list, the official said.

The results will be announced by Friday, she added.

As mentioned by the UN cultural body, the desert is situated in an interior basin surrounded by mountains, so it is in a rain shadow and, coupled with high temperatures, the climate is hyper-arid. A steep north-south pressure gradient develops across the region in spring and summer causing strong winds to blow across the area between June and October each year.

“These long periods of strong winds propel sand grains at great velocity creating transportation of sediment and aeolian erosion on a colossal scale. Consequently, the area possesses what is considered the world’s best examples of aeolian yardang landforms, as well as extensive stony deserts and dune fields.”

Those areas consist of active dunes some reaching heights of 475 m and are amongst the largest dunes in the world. The Lut Desert displays a wide variety of forms, including linear-, compound crescentic-, star-, and funnel-shaped dunes. It is home to giant Nebkha dune fields (dunes formed around plants) as well.

“The region has been described in the past as a place of ‘no life’ and information on the biological resources in this area is limited. Nevertheless, the property possesses flora and fauna adapted to the harsh conditions including an interesting adapted insect fauna,” the UN body said.

The wintertime is itself a perfect excuse for a vacation but to some people, visiting a desert region sounds like “something else”. Some visitors to Lut say it feels almost like walking across a seabed without water. Moreover, those who set up camps are well rewarded when the sun sets to prepare the ground for a very bright moon and extremely vivid stars to show off in the absolutely clear sky of the desert.

AFM

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