Friday, April 27, 2018

The Planting Climate – Why it Matters

 "And it came to pass that we did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds;l yea,we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem. And it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance" (1 Nephi 18:24). Since Nephi took the moment to write this down on his "sacred plates," it would seem he had a purpose in doing so. Certainly, that a new crop in a new area was important to ancient man, especially upon landing in an unfamiliar and undeveloped area. So perhaps we ought to consider its importance as well.
    Most people know and understand that plants do better under certain circumstances, especially before modern technical planting assistance and methods were developed.
Modern technical planting aids and techniques that have improved crop production and climatic conditions

In addition are the modern use of microbes; bacteria; fungi' nematodes; and even viruses that aid in plant growth and production, as well as evolving molecular breeding for crop improvement. Obviously, scattering seeds across the top of the soil when planting wildflowers is sufficient, but not so when planting for vegetables. A much greater knowledge is available and required today. We now understand the importance of growing seeds in climate areas that are conducive to the type of seeds being planted. We even know today, that charting seeds where they were grown in the garden the previous year is important, as is knowing how well certain types of seeds did in the previous planting seasons. We understand much better today about plant size and yield, and how to mix plants together to provide plant-growing nutrients, phosphorous and potassium replacement, and shade automatically occurs from planting companion plant combinations. This includes the unlocking of phosphorus, nitrogen and sulfur in the soil and siphoning it back to the  host plant, like an I.V. of liquid fertilizer.
    Most importantly, how we understand planting seeds in appropriate climates to maximize harvests and production. Yet, despite all we know and how much better we can now learn to maximize planting and the results, there are those who, for some reason, do not think any of this matters. Take, for example and numerous comments we receive about the idea of climate, especially a Mediterranean Climate for Lehi’s seeds, brought from the Mediterranean Climate of Jerusalem, matters little or not at all. In fact, the lack of understanding about climates is at the basis of numerous criticism of some of our articles. Take the following:
    Comment: "As for climate you need to look at climates at the time Lehi lived. Fair winds." Miles M.
    Response: The idea that climate changes like the weather is inaccurate and ill-founded. In fact, geographers recognize a number of factors that affect a region’s climate:

These factors are long term and seldom change, even a little—latitude, elevation, temperature, precipitation  and atmospheric circulation are constants and do not change; short of calamitous and wide-spread events, a regions’ proximity to water, mountains and other features do not change 

    Together, these factors control the range of temperatures and the amount of rain and/or snow each region receives through the year. These factors control climate, and in turn, climate controls ecology—the types of native plants and animals that live in a region.
    This, among many other factors, led Russian German climatologist Wladimir Köppen to develop the now famous Köppen Climate Classification system that was based on long-term records of temperature and precipitation that revealed climate patterns across continents, as well as the range of native vegetation that thrives in a place, since plant species can only thrive within a specific range of temperature and moisture conditions.
    Köppen found, as most people know today, that climates do not vary much and exist over large areas. As an example, it is common knowledge that areas with moderate to high temperatures and abundant rainfall throughout the year are heavily forested (unless humans have cleared the land for agriculture!). And regions with not much rainfall and scarce vegetation are called deserts, or arid regions. In addition, soil properties like its fertility affect the vegetation. Highly fertilized, or humus soil is good for agriculture because it has abundant nutrients due to the presence of organic matter. However loose soil similar to sands is not suitable for plant growth. This is also true with concrete soils.
    In addition, vegetation regions can be divided into five major types: forest, grassland, tundra, desert, and ice sheet. Climate, soil, the ability of soil to hold water, and the slope, or angle, of the land all determine what types of plants will grow in a particular region. Natural vegetation in an area, meaning plants that have not been grown by humans) gets whatever it needs from its natural environment.
Thus, the biogeochemical cycles of natural vegetation, water, carbon, and nitrogen, converts solar energy into biomass and forms the base of all food chains. A desert is obviously a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and consequently living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life—such growth is often limited to: tumbleweed, Prickly Pear, Cacti, Saguaro Cactus, Mexican Poppies, Weathered Trees, succulents (agave, aloe, elephant trees, and many euphorbias) and Wildflowers. 
    The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of denudation, with about one third of the land surface of the world is arid or semi-arid. 
    In Köppen, published the first version of his map of climatic zones in which the seasonal temperature ranges were plotted. It led to the development of the Köppen Climate Classification system around 1900, which is based on the major climatic types, which are based on patterns of average precipitation, average temperature, and natural vegetation. Köppen kept improving this system classification for the rest of his life.
    The full version of his system appeared first in 1918; after several modifications, the final version was published in 1936. It is one of the most widely used climate classification systems in the world. It was first published by the Russian geographer, meteorologist, climatologist, botanist and paleoclimatology after years of studies and, after some modifications, and is still commonly used today. Towards the end of his life, Köppen cooperated with the German climatologist Rudolf Geiger to produce a five-volume work, Handbuch der Klimatologie (Handbook of Climatology). It was never completed, but several parts, three of them by Köppen, were published. After Köppen's death in 1940, Geiger continued to work on modifications to the climate classification system.
    This system, is made up of six major groups: A (tropical), B (dry), C (Moist Sub-tropical), D (Moist Mid-latitude), E (polar), and F (highland areas) with each category further sub-divided into sub-categories based on the annual and monthly averages of temperature and precipitation, resulting in 24 sub-categories. These major categories are given a Capital Letter in a three-letter code. The second letter indicates the seasonal precipitation type, while the third letter indicates the level of heat, so that a single climate group can have as many as six variances or sub-categories, within 12 Climate Regions:
The area of interest in this article is #5: Subtropical dry summer climates, also called a Mediterranean Climate. These subtropical dry summer climates feature warm to hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters, and occur on the west side of continents roughly between 30 degrees and 45 degrees latitude. The closer to the coast the area is, the more moderate the temperatures and the less the contrast between summer and winter temperatures.
    The Köppen system was revised in 1960 and again in 1980, as more meteorological information became available. But the point is, the system is based on long-term data collected over lifetimes of work by several people and represents as stable and accurate an understanding of climate as is currently available.
    While we do not have climate data at the time Lehi lived in the area of the Land of Promise, we do have climate data of the Palestinian area as recorded in numerous ways over the last three thousand years. We know, as a fact, that the area of the Mediterranean, that is the surrounding coastal region of the Mediterranean Sea is the best recorded date of climate anywhere in the world. The Mediterranean Climate is given a Csa, Csb and Csc classification, and two (Dsa and Dsb) Mediterranean-influenced climates classifications.
    The climate classification for where Lehi landed in Chile is classified as Csb, which is a subtype of Csa—the Mediterranean Climate in which Jerusalem is classified. Thus, the seeds Lehi brought from Jerusalem would have grown exceedingly well where he planted them in the Land of Promise, being in Chile.
The Köppen Climate Control System showing how various climates exist in the Western Hemisphere. Note that only Chile has a Mediterranean Climate, matching that of Jerusalem, in South America, and only areas of California have such a climate. Neither the Great Lakes or Heartland have matching climates, nor does Mesoamerica 

On the other hand, in Mesoamerica, particularly around the area of theorists claims for Lehi's first landing, City of Nephi and Zarahemla, the climate is Cwb, an oceanic Subtropical Highland Climate, influenced by Monsoon temperate oceanic climate, and not conducive to seeds from Jerusalem, i.e., they would not have grown there initially. The Great Lakes area is Dfa and Dfb, while the Heartland is either Dfa (humid continental climate) in the northern part or Cfa (temperate rainy climate) in the southern part and again, not compatible with seeds from Jerusalem in 600 BC.
    It should also be understood that seeds were always planted in the same climatic conditions as the plants that provided them. Seeds were never transported very far away from where they had been grown. Farmers in antiquity rarely moved about, and if they did to any extent, they were forced to purchase new seeds if the area was populated, or to nurse seeds through two or three growing periods to adapt a seed from one climate to another—a time consuming and difficult to sustain process that had to be supplemented with hunting and fishing for current and short term sustenance.
    While this is a well-known fact among farmers and those who depended upon planning seeds for their survival, modern man seems completely oblivious to the fact. However, cactus does not grow in the artic, Alpine plants do not grow in the desert, but in an alpine climate, which occurs at high elevation and above the tree line—this refers to the zone of vegetation between the altitudinal limit for tree growth and the nival zone (region of perpetual snow).
    Alpine plants are not a single taxon, rather, many different plant species live in the alpine environment, and include perennial grasses, sedges, forbs, cushion plants, mosses, and lichens, as well as Phacelia, Bear Grass, Bristlecone Pine, Moss Campion, Polylepis Forest, Pygmy Bitterroot, and Wild Potato. However, alpine plants do not grow in deserts.
    Again, and this cannot be over-emphasized—in 600 B.C., when planting and harvesting was accomplished with primitive materials, fertilizers, and farming aids, seeds had to be planted in like or at least very similar climatic conditions, soils, temperatures, and precipitation areas. When Nephi tells us his seeds, brought from Jerusalem grew exceedingly and produced an abundant crop, we need to understand that in his time, that could only mean he planted his Mediterranean seeds in a like climate, or another Mediterranean climate.
    The only Mediterranean climates in the entire Western Hemisphere are either in the area of Coquimbo/La Serena, Chile, or in central and southern California. They are not found, and nothing even similar is found, in Mesoamerica or Central America, or in the Heartland or eastern or southern United States—which is the reason so many theorists want to ignore this critical issue because it simply does not meet their model and narrative.

1 comment:

  1. You can bet your bottom dollar that IF the climate in the other model's land of first inheritance did match the Mediterranean climate that they would make a big deal about it. It is sheer self-serving that they do not.