Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The All Important Winds and Currents – Part V

In the first three posts of this series (Part I-III), we have discussed the winds and currents that flow around the globe, and especially between the Arabian Peninsula and the Western Hemisphere. In the last post (Part IV), we discussed one of the major findings in the Land of Promise according to Nephi and Mormon—that of gold, silver and copper and their abundance in both the scriptural account and the location of Chile and Peru in South America.

In this post, we will discuss “and we did began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem” (1 Nephi 18:24).

As any farmer knows, even today, seeds from plants grown in one geographical location seldom do well in a totally different geographical location when the temperature, climate, soils, and precipitation are totally different. Personally, having recently moved from a Mediterranean Climate in Southern California where it never snows, seldom rains, and where everything you plant grows profusely, to a totally different climate in southern Utah where it snows, freezes, has summer rainstorms, and where plants do not grow as profusely, it became obvious that the plants I loved in Southern California simply could not survive the winters in Cedar City, Utah.

Nephi’s seeds, grown in Jerusalem, a Mediterranean Climate, would not have grown just anywhere in 600 B.C. when agriculture had not developed the knowledge we now have of planting and growing. In the time of Lehi, seeds were seldom transported from one location to another because people did not colonize from one location to another. Most movement was done through war and conquest, where armies lived off the land of the areas they conquered, rather than bringing their foodstuffs with them as has been done in the 19th and 20th centuries.

And Nephi’s seeds would have needed a Mediterranean Climate to have grown exceedingly and provided abundant harvests (1Nephi 18:24).

Mediterranean Climates areas only lie between about 30º and 45º of latitude and they are all near the coast on the western edge of continents. Such climates are characterized by warm to hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. Mediterranean climate zones are associated with the five large subtropical high pressure cells of the oceans, the Azores High, South Atlantic High, North Pacific High, South Pacific High and Indian Ocean High. These high pressure cells shift poleward in the summer and equator-ward in the winter, playing a major role in the formation of the world's tropical deserts and the zones of Mediterranean climate polar ward of the deserts.

For example, the Azores High is associated with the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Basin's climate. The South Atlantic High is similarly associated with the Namib Desert and the Mediterranean climate of the western part of South Africa. The North Pacific High is related to the Sonoran Desert and California's climate, while the South Pacific High is related to the Atacama Desert and central Chile's climate, and the Indian Ocean High is related to the deserts of western Australia Great Sandy Desert, Great Victoria Desert and the Gibson Desert and the Mediterranean climate of southwest and south-central Australia.

Most large, historic cities of the Mediterranean basin, including Athens, Barcelona, Beirut, Jerusalem, Lisbon, Marseille and Rome, lie within Mediterranean climatic zones, as do major cities outside of the Mediterranean, such as Cape Town, Los Angeles, San Diego, Adelaide, Perth, and Santiago de Chile and La Serena Chile.

This obviously means that any location for the Land of Promise would have to fall within a Mediterranean Climate area—once again, outside the Mediterranean Basin, these are the southern tip of Africa, two southern tips of Australia, Southern California, and central Chile, from Santiago to La Serena, Chile.

And just as obviously, Mesoamerica, Baja California, Eastern United States, the Great Lakes area, do not qualify for areas where Nephi’s seeds would “grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance” (1 Nephi 18:24).

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