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Anthropogenic Biomes of the World
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The Barren anthrome represents the most extreme environments on our planets.  Nearly 1/3 of the anthrome is comprised of the Sahara Desert alone.   The rest is constituted by the worlds other deserts and dry steppe as well as the near arctic regions of the tundra.  Annual precipitation in most of the barren anthrome regions is very low resulting in an uninhabitable environment as is reflected in both the population (ZERO!) and the the land use (non-existant)

The bare ground in the barren anthrome is simply exposed rock, weathered surfaces, sand, and soil depending on the location. 


Median* Min Max
Mean Annual Temperature 21.4 °C -25.1 °C 30.2 °C
Mean Annual Precipitation 88
Net Primary Production Global Total Median Min Max
1015g C/yr (%) kg C/m²/yr
0.1 (0.2%)
0.0 0 0.2


Global Total Median Min Max
billion persons (%) persons/km²
Total 0.0 (0.0%)
0 0 0
Non-Urban 0.0 (0.0%) 0 0 0

Land Use & Land Cover


Global Total
Median Min Max
million km2 (%) (cover %)
Total Land Area 11.5 (8.8%) N/A
Urban 0.0 (0.0%) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Cultivated 0.0 (0.0%) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Irrigated 0.0 (0.0%) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Rice Paddy 0.0 (0.0%) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pasture 0.0 (0.0%) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Tree Cover 0.01 (0.0%) 0.0% 0.0% 6.4%
Bare Earth 10.9 (31%) 100% 56% 100%
*Median, Minimum and Maximum estimates were calculated after removing the top and bottom 2% of cells in each anthrome based on the Euclidean distance across the means of variables used for anthrome classification.

Major Ecoregions (Olson)

% cover
Sahara Desert 31.3
Arabian Desert and East Sahero-Arabian Xeric Shrublands 10.2
North Saharan Steppe and Woodlands 8.3
South Saharan Steppe and Woodlands 5.5
Taklimakan Desert 3.7
Click to View All Histograms for this Anthrome
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Photo: nomo/michael hoefner, Black Desert (Sahra as-Sauda) between Farafra and Bahariya oasis, Egypt, 02/10/2005

Created by:

Andrew Petit de Mange & Kelly Kennedy

Based on: Anthropogenic Biomes of the World

Ellis, E. C. and N. Ramankutty. 2008. Putting people in the map: anthropogenic biomes of the world. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 6(8):439-447 doi:10.1890/070062. [download]