Most studies conducted on the desert oasis effect have focused on the summer season, while the winter has received less attention. This study aimed to determine existence of the oasis climatic effect in winter season and investigate influence of different vegetation types on its intensity and dynamics. Measurements were conducted during five consecutive years (2004-2009) at the peak of winter in a manmade oasis located in hyper-dry Arava Valley, Israel. Results obtained demonstrate that all types of vegetation had a cooling effect (up to 2 °C) limited to a few mid-day hours. In contrast, from nighttime throughout morning all vegetation types were up to 2 °C warmer than the surrounding desert. This effect was more pronounced with subtropical vegetation in comparison to local desert trees. The effect was most significant in calm, stable weather conditions characterized by low nighttime temperatures, while during unstable weather it was negligible. Influence of tree canopies on incoming and outgoing radiation is a major factor determining the influence of vegetation on local climate conditions in winter season. Since one characteristic of arid climates is extremely low nighttime temperatures during winter, warming created by the oasis has implications for human comfort and energy consumption in the desert environment.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors extend their gratitude to Beit Berl Academic College and MOFET Institute for funding this research. The authors are grateful to Mr. Yaron Yaakov from the Geography Department, Tel Aviv University, for his technical assistance in conducting this study and preparation of the figures, and to Dr. Shabtai Cohen from the Volcani Institute for his valuable assistance and technical support. The authors also wish to thank the students from the Department of Environmental Studies and Agriculture, Beit Berl Academic College for their participation in the study.
- Arid environment
- Climatic effects of vegetation
- Oasis effect
- Vegetation warming effect