Thursday, October 1, 2020

Comparing Climates in the Land of Promise

We have been asked several times what we thought when comparing the climate of Jerusalem with that of Chile both at 30 degrees Latitude, with the climate of the land to the north (Cusco) and , as well as the Jaredite seeds in the Land Northward, the latter being much closer to the equator. It has been suggested that both seeds (Nephites and Jaredites) came from the same place; however, that is not the case, since the Nephite seeds initially came from Jerusalem (1 Nephi 8:1;18:24) and then La Serena, while those of the Jaredites came from Mesopotamia (Ether 2:3).

The Köeppen Climate Designation divides climates into five main climate groups, with each group and subgroup represented by a letter


First of all, Cuzco (City of Nephi) has a subtropical highland climate, which is generally dry and temperate. These subtropical highland varieties of the oceanic climate exists in elevated portions of the world that are within either the tropics or subtropics, though it is typically found in mountainous locations in some tropical countries.

Despite the latitude, the higher altitudes of these regions mean that the climate tends to share characteristics with oceanic climates, though it also tends to experience noticeably drier weather during the lower-sun "winter" season. Consequently, it is important to note that without the elevation, these regions would likely feature either tropical or humid subtropical climates, like that of Central and Mesoamerica.

The area of that falls within Mesoamerica has 7 different climates: (Cwa) humid subtropical; (Cwb) subtropical highlands; (Aw) Savanna; (Af) Rainforest; (Am) Monsoon; (BSh) Hot semi-arid; (BSk) Cold semi-arid. On the other hand, Guatelmala, also in Mesoamrica, has 6 climates: (Cfa) Humid subtropical; (Cfb) Oceanic; (Af) Rainforest; (Am) Monsoon; (Aw) Savannah; and (BSg) Hot semi-arid.

None of these climates would grow seeds brought from a Mediterranean Climate of Jerusalem.

As for the Heartland: there are two climates: Mostly a (Cwa) Humid subtropical; (Dsa) Hot summer continental. The Great Lakes also has only two climates: (Dsa) Hot summer continental; and (Dsb) Warm summer continental.

Again, none of these climates would grow seeds brought from a Mediterranean Climate of Jerusalem.

There are only six Mediterranean climates in the world, only two in the Western hemisphere


Once again, none of these climates would grow seeds brought from a Mediterranean Climate of Jerusalem. Nor do any of the sites along the northern Florida coast, or Georgia, Mississippi or Louisiana. Nor in Tennessee, Illinois or Iowa—all part of the North American theorists’ locations. Yet, Nephi makes it quite clear that when first reaching the Land of Promise, “we 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 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, emphasis added).

Not only that first planting very successful, but Nephi tells us that “the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind” (2 Nephi 5:11, emphasis added).

By the time the Nephites had been in the land for some 400 years, their plants were still growing exceedingly

Nephites tilling the ground and planting their seeds


And we began to till the ground, yea, even with all manner of seeds, with seeds of corn, and of wheat, and of barley, and with neas, and with sheum, and with seeds of all manner of fruits; and we did begin to multiply and prosper in the land (Mosiah 9:9). Not only that, but by this time, the Nephites had learned how to domesticate teosinte into corn, or learned how from the Mulekites in Zarahemla. In addition, they learned to domesticate two other plants from numerous species of perennial or annual herbaceous flowering plants known as goosefoots, into Chenopodium Quinoa and Kwichi grains on a par with wheat and barley.

As for the climate of Cuzco, because of the elevation, they are Csb (Köppen climate classification) making it more like a Mediterranean Climate (Csa and Csb)—that is, both La Serena, in Chile, and Cuzco in Peru, are a variety of subtropical climates. Thus the Cuzco climate has two defined seasons—the dry season, lasting from April to October (average temperature: high 67º, low 36º), with abundant sunshine, and occasional nighttime freezes; and the wet season, lasting from November to March (average temperature: high 66º, low 42º) with night frost less common. July is the coolest month.

Because most regions with a Mediterranean climate are near large bodies of waster, temperatures are generally moderate with a comparatively small range of temperatures between the winter low and summer high, which is also the case for Cuzco, Peru, though it is about 600 miles inland, it is at an elevation of 11,000 feet

Consequently, we should find that seeds from La Serena, Chile, a Mediterranean Climate (Csa/Csb) should grow well in Cusco, Peru, a Subtropical highland climate (Csb). They would not have done well along the coast in Peru, say in Lima, or anywhere in Mesoamerica.

Fertile Crescent, the large arc of rich farmland, contains the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers known as Mesopotamia


On the other hand, the fertile land along the rivers in Mesopotamia grew wheat, barley, sesame, flax and various fruits and vegetables. The climate itself was hot and dry summers coupled with cool and wet winters—Summers in ancient Mesopotamia were hot and dry while winters were cooler and wetter. Average summer temperatures fluctuated between 70º to 85ºF, but could get hotter. Winter temperatures sank as low as 15 degrees in the mountains and 50º to 60º in the plains.

In fact, the Köeppen climate designation lists both a portion of Mesopotamia, especially around the delta of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, and a portion of Ecuador occupied by the Jaredites after landing as Cfa climates.

The Mesopotamian plains received 20mm rainfall annually, sufficient to allow for a rich agricultural industry. It was almost like a “Garden of Eden” because of the constant flooding of the two rivers that left behind rich and fertile soil. Seeds from such an area would likely have done well in Ecuador, a country on the equator that was also hot and dry, especially in the mountainous areas.

Thus, we see that the seeds from Jerusalem would have grown exceedingly in La Serena, Chile along the 30º south latitude, and again when transporting those seeds to the Cuzco region. We also see that Lehi’s seeds would not have grown in Mesoamerica nor the Heartland/Great Lakes areas, or anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains, where only three climates exist: a (Cwa) Humid subtropical; (Dsa), and (Dsb) Warm summer continental—none of which would have grown seeds from Jerusalem.

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