Photo: Mongolian Mountains from space

Photo: Mongolian Mountains from space

AKIPRESS.COM – While orbiting over central Mongolia, an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) captured a NASA image of the snow-capped Gobi Altai Mountains and neighboring plains. reports.

The afternoon sunlight casts long shadows of the mountain peaks on the plains below. Numerous steep valleys cut into the massif, or mountain mass, whose rugged appearance contrasts with the flat plains that stretch across the top of the picture. The plains are a semi-desert grassland or grassland that provides grazing for pastoralists in the region.

A small dry lake area appears in the upper left of the image. In wet years, the lake’s waters feed Lake Oroak, upper right out of frame. This and other nearby lakes form part of the Lakes Valley Waterfowl Conservation Area, which is protected as a Ramsar site.

In addition to horses, cattle, camels, goats, and sheep, Mongolia is home to the yak-cattle hybrid known as the yak (Kainak in Mongolian). Since 2000, four severe winters have resulted in significant losses of livestock, mainly due to unusually deep snow or snow preventing access to grass. Herd size grew rapidly after 1990, increasing the number of animals vulnerable to harsh winters.

The grasslands surrounding Masib are classified by scientists as a cool semi-desert. At an elevation of about 1,250 meters (4,100 ft), the annual temperature is much lower than in the mountains. The highest peak in the massif, Ig Boght (also known as Dergen Boght), reaches almost 4,000 meters (13,000 ft). With average annual temperatures below freezing, the climate in the peaks is classified as a polar tundra. Asia’s main tundra region is located in Siberia, 2,800 kilometers (1,750 mi) to the north, on the shores of the Arctic Ocean.

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