Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What Did Nephi Mean “They did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance”

In the last post the #1 item on the list was that “ Crops that grew in abundance (1 Nephi 18:24; 2 Nephi 5:11).” Everyone who reads the Book of Mormon passes over these statements with little pause and seldom even a second thought, but as we have pointed out time and again on these pages, that was not a common occurrence anciently. 
    Seeds from one clime did not grow in another clime, or if they did, they did very poorly for a few seasons until the seeds became accustomed to the new conditions of soil, precipitation, weather, temperature, etc. 
    We know, for example, that the seeds Nephi planted were those brought from Jerusalem. He tells us upon landing that they “did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought form the land of Jerusalem” (1 Nephi 18:24).
Koepper’s Climate  Classifications showing the various climates of the World
As an example, the temperature of seeds that grow in Jerusalem fit a unique pattern or climate referred to agriculturally and climatologists as a Mediterranean Climate in the science of climate, which is a branch of the atmospheric sciences and a subfield of physical geography, which is one of the Earth Sciences. This field dates back to Shen Kuo in 1031-1095 near the Yan’an Shaanxi province, but more modern men such as Edmund Halley (1686) and even Benjamin Franklin, who first mapped the ourse of the Gulf Stream, with Francis Galton (1822-1911) invented the term anticyclone, and Helmut Landsberg (1906-1985) fostered the use of statistical analysis in climatology, which led to its evolution into a physical science.
    The study of contemporary climates incorporates meteorological data accumulated over many years, such as records of rainfall, temperature, and atmospheric composition. Knowledge of the atmosphere and its dynamics is also embodied in models, either statistical or mathematical, which help by integrating different observations and testing how they fit together. Modeling is used for understanding past, present and potential future climates.
Historical climatology is the study of climate as related to human history and thus focuses only on the last few thousand years. 
World’s climate categories: Tropical, Dry, Moderate, Continental and Polar. A Mediterranean Climate falls in the Moderate category 
    Present climate is the characteristic condition of the atmosphere near the earth's surface at a certain place on earth. It is the long-term weather of that area. This includes the region's general pattern of weather conditions, seasons and weather extremes like hurricanes, droughts, or rainy periods. Two of the most important factors determining an area's climate are air temperature and precipitation.
    World biomes are controlled by climate. The climate of a region will determine what plants will grow there, and what animals will inhabit it. All three components, climate, plants and animals are interwoven to create the fabric of a biome.
Showing the extent of the world’s  five Mediterranean climates including the Mediterranean Basin and showing that there are only two in the entire Western Hemisphere: California and central Chile
    One of the unique world climates is the Mediterranean Climate. It is a climate typical of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate. It is “a climate distinguished by warm, wet winters under prevailing westerly winds and calm, hot, dry summers, as is characteristic of the Mediterranean region and parts of California, Chile, South Africa, and southwestern Australia.” In fact, it is generally accepted that the Mediterranean climate occurs in southern and southwestern Australia, central Chile, coastal California, the Western Cape of South Africa and around the Mediterranean Basin. The largest area with a Mediterranean climate is the Mediterranean Basin, which has given the climate its name, although stretches of the Mediterranean coast (in Egypt, Libya and part of Tunisia) are too dry to be thus classified. More than half of the total Mediterranean-climate regions on earth occur on the Mediterranean Sea. This means that the rest of the world’s Mediterranean climate is found only in a few locations, as indicated above, making those climates outside the Mediterranean Basin indeed unusual or unique.
    As an example, the Mediterranean areas of California and Chile are constricted to the east by mountains closes to the Pacific coast, though in Australia and South Africa, where monsoon troughs may bring summer rainstorms, the Mediterranean climate extends further inland.
    The seasonality of the Mediterranean climate differs profoundly from that of latitudes to the north or south. Writers, especially those from the north, tend to rave about the attractive features of the climate as "one continuous summer," "an ever-blue sky," or "everlasting sun."
Showing the Mediterranean Climate Bands along the latitudinal lines 
    As an example, in Mediterranean climate winter, periods of rain alternate with warm, sunny days. Later the splendid spring display is brought to an abrupt end by hot, dry winds and rising temperatures, which cause seeds to ripen and disperse. When the glorified “continuous summer” arrives it is painfully long, so that plants retire into dormancy, making us believe they are about to die. Indeed, a long, hot summer is required by most Mediterranean bulbs if they are to go dormant and ripen in the dry ground. But that summer must be preceded by cool seasons (winter and spring) with soft rains that let the bulbs grow and sprout, so that their juicy stems and shiny foliage can develop in a humid soil before their jubilant spring display. These contrasts are characteristic of the Mediterranean climate.
    This climate of mild, rainy winters and dry, warm summers is found only in California, Central Chile, the Cape Region of South Africa, the southwestern part of Australia and the Mediterranean Basin, an area that covers less than two percent of the world’s land mass. If you eliminate the Mediterranean Basin (since that is where Lehi’s seeds came from in Jerusalem), then you have perhaps ½ of 1 % of the world’s land mass or less—an area that restricts the location of where Lehi’s Land of Promise could possibly have been located,i.e., either in the California coastal and inland basin, or coastal central Chile, since seeds from one climate, especially in 600 B.C. would not have grown in another climate, certainly not exceedingly to the extent of providing an abundant crop.
    It is information like this, ignored by most people who read the scriptural record, that can tell us where Lehi landed and where the Land of Promise was located.

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