Climate system: Desert and ice

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The large-scale patterns of atmospheric circulation cause an uneven distribution of rainfall, with more falling near the Equator and at mid-latitudes than in the subtropics or at the poles. Most deserts are located in subtropical latitudes. Although at first sight they seem very different, deserts and ice sheets have significant features in common: both tend to be very dry, with clear skies, high atmospheric pressure and high albedo – cooling the planet by reflecting sunlight.