Which among the following is / are correct statements?
1. In the temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere, the eastern edges of continents tend to be warmer than the western edges
2. Coastal deserts are generally found on the west side of continents
3. Most of the great deserts lie between 40° and 60° north or south latitude
Choose the correct option from the codes given below:

Answer: [B] Only 2

The question says that around the mid-latitudinal belt, only the western side of continents is normally occupied by deserts, while the eastern side is covered by forests. The reason for this has to do with the global circulation of ocean currents: gravitation from the sun and the moon pulls air and water on the earth’s surface and tends to make them lag behind, relative to the earth’s rotational movement. We know that the gravitational drag is greatest in the equator, where the centrifugal speed of the earth is fastest. Thus, as the earth turns, ocean currents and winds flow in the equator from east to west, tugged by universal gravitation, forming the equatorial currents and the easterly trade winds. As the westbound surface waters move away from the continents, they pull cold, nutrient-rich waters to the surface that generate a cool, stable coastal atmosphere, with little evaporation from the sea and very low rainfall other than morning fogs. In the coasts neighboring these oceanic upwelling, typical coastal fog deserts tend to develop, forming some of the driest ecosystems on earth. Thus, the large-scale circulation of the ocean is the main reason why coastal deserts are always found on the west side of continents. In this question, all except 3 are needed to explain the phenomena. We have read in our modules, how Coriolis force affects both atmospheric and Oceanic currents.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module