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Driary ratios of continents

  1. Sep 2, 2014 #1
    [Driary ratios of continents] Which continent is the driest continent? I think it should be Antartica, but I have found it is Australia. I think so because Antartica is also the largest desert in the World.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    How did you go about finding out?
    How are you measuring "dryness"?
  4. Sep 2, 2014 #3
    Sorry for some wrong info. Antartica is the biggest desert and also a cold one. I do not measure it but it is so in the informations I found. Driary must be related raining amount.
    Best Regards.
  5. Sep 2, 2014 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    When someone asks you about how you are measuring something and you didn't personally do the measuring, then just read that is "what measure are you using?" ... in this case, that would be: "something to do with rainfall". Which is not very specific. In order to help you, I need to know about how you are thinking.

    Are you thinking annual rainfall or record low rainfall?
    How do you decide on a rainfall figure for an entire continent?
    Are you counting snow or just liquid water?
    But at least it's more specific than "driest"

    Where did you find those "informations"? What sort of data sources are you using?

    Precipitation data is quite easy to find - but tends to be "rainfall equivalents" for Antarctica.
    The various scientific bases there keep track while the Australian government has a whole met service to look up ;)

    A brief informal scan suggests 5-600mm/annum for Oz, and 1-200mm/annum for Antarctica... what data you use depends heavily on what you want it for.

    Note: do you have a link to a dictionary definition for the word "driary"?
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  6. Sep 2, 2014 #5
    I think I must take it as what the reference point is.(I am not a native speaker)
  7. Sep 3, 2014 #6

    Simon Bridge

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    Oh I see.

    As far as I can tell, there is no such word as "driary" in the English language. Certainly not in common use.

    Water falling out of the sky is usually called "precipitation" - and includes rain, hail, and snow.
    Common language does not usually lump the different forms together.

    The opposite of wet is "dry" or "arid" - the amount that something is dry would be "dryness" or "aridity".
    If volume of rainfall per unit area is the measure of wetness of a place, then a measure of dryness could be the inverse wetness or area/rainfall. But we would not normally try to measure dryness since it is an absence of something and it is difficult to work with absences.
  8. Sep 3, 2014 #7
    There is a word meaning causing dejection and it is dreary, but I do not know whether dreary is still a correct word for this topic or not? Do you Americans sometimes make letter mistakes as I did in this topic?
  9. Sep 3, 2014 #8

    Simon Bridge

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    I'm not American ;)
    Did you really intend to ask which is the dreariest continent?

    "dreary" would be unusual for this topic
    Google "dreary weather" and see.

    The possibility of a spelling mistake did occur to me, and to google - but none of the common mistakes come out to anything to do with rainfall. I wondered if you had seen the word written down somewhere, or spoken. I don't know all the words in the English language, and non-native students sometimes learn words that would not be used by native speakers. Chance for me to learn ;)
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