Photosynthesis, Global Warming, and Plants. Chapter Three.

Nov 10, 2020

Fertilization by Nature.

As we move on past the plant types and how they work and yadda yadda along those lines, we will now look to how they get nutrition and just how nature takes care of its own. Although we are looking at Photosynthesis and Plants specifically in each chapter, and in this chapter, we will still look at the Global Warming and why it is a natural phenomenon as it has taken place before man had a chance to intervene and it will continue long after men and women have run their course. We are going to talk about the desert setting/aspect for a while.

Thirty-Three percent (33%) of the world is considered to be under desert classification. and Twenty Four percent (24%) is considered Mountainous. So with those figures and the figures of 2/3 of the world's surface is covered with water, and of that remaining 1/3 is landmass, we see that, well generally, that 43% of that 1/3 of the landmass is used by humans on an active living basis, as in the deserts and mountains we find very few people living there. So in reality very little of the earth's surface, roughly maybe 1/2 of the 1/3 of the landmass is used by humans on an active on-going basis. Just remember that 2/3 of the planet is covered by water. So people are not really covering that much of a footprint on the whole earth.

What do you know about the deserts of the world? Likely not a lot, other than they are hot, dry, and have primary CAM type plants. That is about right I am guessing. Well, guess what? This is your lucky day. We will focus on Deserts and explain how it all works into the whole of these chapters. As I was looking up various points to verify some technical points for this chapter, I learned something new. I learned that the two biggest deserts in the world are not of the typical, hot, dry, and blowing sand areas. The Two biggest deserts in the world are the Antarctic and the Arctic. The Antarctic consists of 5.5 Million Square miles and the Arctic consists of 5.4 Million Square miles. Both are classified as Polar deserts, which are defined as; "Polar deserts are areas with annual precipitation less than 250 mm and a mean temperature during the warmest month of less than 10° C". They also consist of bedrock and gravel plains, most of which is usually under snow or ice. Since we are in the US, that 250 mm translates to about 6.95 inches of water. (1/4 inch = 6 mm). So in a real sense, a really cold and dry place. Next on the list is the Sahara Desert. It is located in the northern area of Africa and mostly runs east and west. But it does consist of about 3.5 million square miles. On average it gets up to about 3 inches of precipitation per year with some years not getting any at all. It has been growing by about 10% per century over the past 100 years. So it is still growing, as it is still a young desert and will continue to age and mature. Interestingly about 2 Million people live there with the majority being Nomads, yet there are permanent communities there as well. It is not all just flat ground with blowing sand. There are mountain ranges with a lot of various animal life as well. You have the normal collection of desert living animals, such as Snakes, Scorpions, Insects, Rodents, etc., but the biggest danger for visitors and animal life there does not come from the before mentioned, but from Wild Dogs and Cougars. Then we move to the next largest desert in the world and considered by most people as being an extension of the Saraha Desert. They are actually split by a large body of water. That desert is the Arabian Desert. It consists of about 1 million square miles. The average rainfall in that desert is about 4 inches per year and many years up to as high as 20 inches of rainfall per year. Of course, when that happens the flash floods are as they say, torrential. Both of these deserts are considered Sub-Tropical deserts. Then we have the Gobi Desert. It comes in at about 500,000 Square Miles. It is located in Northern China and Southern Mongolia. They estimate that the population density of the area is about 2 to 3 people per square mile. So perhaps between 1 and 1.5 million people live there, by the estimations. It is really cold there and the biggest dangers listed are being trampled by livestock and getting run over by off-road vehicles. You can just picture the Nomad wandering along herding his goats and cows and some crazy city dweller comes roaring along on his Off-Road ride and runs the poor old Nomad over. Life there isn't much different than here.  The Gobi Desert is not sand dunes, although a few do exist there, other than a few sparse sand dunes the area is largely desert basin terrain and mountain ranges. For the most part, the people living there are nomads and make their living by herding cattle, goats, and camels. Cashmere wool/hair is of primary economic concern. The Gobi Desert is considered a Cold Winter Desert. From this point on I am going to go into a new paragraph because we are going to look at a Desert that I actually live in and we will look at some in-depth stuff here.

Have you ever heard of the Great Basin Desert? I live here and it consists of about 190,000 Square Miles. This desert is located between the Sierra Nevada Range on the west, the Rocky Mountain Range on the east, the Columbia Basin on the north, and the Sonora and Mohave desert on the south. People are scattered throughout the basin with the 2 largest cities being Reno on the west side and Salt Lake City on the east side with a small line of cities strung along on either the north or south of these cities. About 4 or so million people live in these metro areas with another 1.5 million or so scattered throughout the rest of the area of the basin. The Great Basin is a closed ecosystem. The Basin has no outward drainage of the water. There are many lakes and water storage reservoirs throughout the area. Agriculture is widespread and of major economic value. But what is even greater is the mineral extraction from the area. There is a wide range of micro minerals as well as macro minerals mined or extracted in various areas of the basin. Just about every domestic animal in the US as well as wild desert-dwelling animals can be found in this basin. But what is more important is the plants that grow within this basin. This is why I wanted to focus on this particular desert is for an illustration. But first, let's look at an important aspect of this desert thing and Global Warming.

What we have and we can clearly see a pattern if you step back and take an unbiased look is this; What happens is that in an area that is a wet swampy area, plants are growing like gangbusters. Animal life is abundant. But as the life of an ecosystem matures, it follows a life that is not much different than any other kind of life system. As the ecosystem matures it uses up the available nutrients. As the nutrients are used up, life dies off, and then much of the foliage changes as well as the animal life changes. As it does this, it kind of becomes a "sand trap" of sorts. Basically, all aspects of it revert back to natural elements to be recycled for a new future.  I am sure that many of you have seen where you have a thriving energy life system and then for various reasons life moves on and nature reclaims the area. Think of Ghost Towns. As they die, nature will then eventually reclaims the area to the point that they no longer show signs of being in existence. This is the concept. Many forces move this whole structure/energy force if you will, and things change.

As life changes, it changes from an acidic environment to a more alkaline environment. As the alkaline environment overtakes the setting, you begin to have an accumulation of nutrients, IE; minerals, for example. When this begins to happen, humans usually begin to scream about the sky is falling, IE; Global Warming, We need to tax people so we can sound the cry louder. Not a bad gig, good business as you get more and more people selling the message. But the one factual aspect is that these people do not have a clear understanding of how nature actually works.  What we see over time is that various nutrients begin to accumulate as there is little to no plant or animal life, as compared to a Rain Forest, for example, to use up those nutrients. An interesting side note here is that the Amazon Basin/Rain Forest will someday be a vast desert. In fact, I live very close to a section of land in the far eastern part of the Great Basin Desert that was once a tropical rainforest. Although the original cause of its demise might be a slight bit different than the demise of most rainforests, the following events and activities clearly follow the patterns.

I make this prediction as I doubt the Earth will change its historical patterns as it evolves and as it moves forward into the future. Some other places will be the new Amazon Rain Forest. However, I seriously doubt that any of us will be around to see that day. No, I don't know where the new Amazon type Rain Forest will be located, as the man upstairs, or nature itself, hasn't checked in with me for me to OK the new location. (You are supposed to laugh at this point).

As time moves on, as in the millennial not century, we see an eventual change take place. But during this time in between, we have winds whipping up and transporting some of these nutrients to other areas. For example, A few months ago, a lot of people were freaking out because winds had whipped up a huge dust storm in the Sahara Desert and that huge dust cloud was a little larger than normal. It was being carried westward, as normal, but because of the size, many people were afraid that it would blanket the area north of the Gulf of Mexico as it drifted over land. What they don't understand is that this is nature moving nutrients around to where those nutrients are needed. Usually, this annual dust storm brings the dust, which consists largely of various nutrients, such as Born, Selenium, Iodine, Magnesium and the list goes on and on. Normally this is how the areas of the Caribbean Islands get their nutrient recharge. It is not any different than a typical farmer fertilizing his fields every year. Only in this case, it is done by forces of nature.

In the larger parts of the US, we get a recharge several times a year from the Gobi Desert. The winds whip up there, dust accumulates in the upper atmosphere and is carried by the winds and then dropped on the mainland US. Some studies have indicated that travel time is as short as four days. The amount of fertilizers applied by the farmers is a small percentage of the fertilizers applied by natural forces. There are many deserts on each continent and dust storms develop and the dust/nutrients are carried and deposited elsewhere. Over time these newly deposited nutrients give rise to new animal and plant life and the old areas of life will then revert to deserts and things change and evolve. Part of this change also includes the elevations of the land changing. This has been the pattern that has taken place for the whole time of the development of the planet earth. Indeed the concept of one day in the life of this planet is like a thousand years of our human life, applies in this setting.

When it comes to the Natural Products/Herbal solution people, they have a traditional saying that you can find everything that you need for healing purposes within any ecosystem where you live. Among the most important nutritional minerals are Iodine and Selenium. There are a number of plants that are rich in Iodine and Selenium. Normally we have a very difficult time obtaining a really good source of plant-sourced Iodine other than turning to the sea vegetables, such as Kelp. Within the Great Basin, we find a plant called Iodine Bush, (Allenrolfea occidentalis). This is a plant that is very salt-tolerant, as reported as being salt tolerant of up to 56 d5/m. The translation is very salt tolerant. But this plant is a plant that works another aspect of nature and this movement of nutrients. What this plant is involved with is, now we have a new term; Phytoextraction.

What Phytoextraction means is that the plant takes up large amounts of nutrients and then volatilizes them into the atmosphere. In the case of this plant, it takes in large amounts of Selenium and Iodine and then through volatilization, disperses those nutrients into the air and the wind then carries them to other places. So if you are aware of these plant and their contributions, you can then get what you need where ever you are. Many times you will find a given nutrient that you are looking for in a shrub, in another place you might find it in a tree, and yet another place in the root system of a grass plant. So in this case, you can obtain a good solid assimilable source of both Iodine and Selenium in a shrub that is found in this Great Basin ecosystem. What is interesting is that these two minerals are needed in a combination of the two for many immune functions. For example, if you had a level of these two nutrients that are far from being deficient in your system, and by adding Boron and Vitamin D, well, so those 4 elements, then a virus is not likely able to find a home within your system. Can you connect the dots here??? In light of current conditions??? So we have been provided a solution and it is not the source's fault that we don't understand the solution. Among other plants that are similar are the Pickle Weed, (Salicornia bigelovii) and the plain old Grease Wood (Glossopetalon spinescens) plant that is normally found in this Great Basin area. Although there are several different Grease Wood plants with different Latin Names, most of which grow in the Great Basin, as well as other versions of these plants in most any desert, anywhere in the world. What is really cool is that in these deserts, there is a hyperaccumulation of these nutrients over time, then as plants evolve to accumulate these nutrients, we are able to take advantage of what they have to offer. BTW, according to most sources, the Iodine Bush and Pickle Weed are both C-4 plants. It is surprising as the appearance of them would lead you to think that they are a CAM type of plant. But in areas of colder and higher elevation deserts these plants have evolved to follow the C-3 pathways, yet still presented by the appearance of more likely being a CAM type plant than not, by all appearances. This is very interesting how this deal works. But in reality, these plants started out as C-3 plants and have clearly evolved into C-4 plants in some areas and when needed they function like a CAM plant, using the C-4 pathway, as we learned earlier. So these plants appear to have a very strong will to live.

Another interesting aspect to this is that the Pharmaceutical world, ( I am being vague here as to not wanting to be responsible for someone getting a bright idea to make their own), they have developed an injectable solution for use in a number of indications by collecting the pollen from these Iodine Bush plants and then making an Iodine extract which is then administered to humans by injection. Obviously, since they are making an extract from the pollen, then the Iodine has to be in the plant. If they were just using the pollen as a non Iodine ingredient, then that may be another story. The propaganda didn't say it but in connecting the dots of the uses with what Iodine and Selenium are used for in these indicated situations, as primary nutrients do, and then comparing to the use issues... well, just connect the dots yourself.

Interesting, very interesting, to say the least. So some takeaways, first off. We see this whole Global Warming thing as being just a part of the evolution of the normal functioning of the earth. You can take some ideas by cherry-picking an observation here and there and then try to make it say what you want it to say. But from all appearances, this planet was doing what it is doing long before animal life ever made its appearance. So it is hard to blame mankind for his burning of fossil fuels and cows farting, It will continue to make its changes or growing to maturity by doing what it is doing. How these evolutionary changes will continue, regardless of what any animal life form does or doesn't do. This planet will make adjustments as needed to maintain a balanced balance according to its specifications, not ours. As we close this chapter, let's throw out there an interesting idea. Have you ever gave this any thought, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Coal, Wood, etc., all of these various forms of fossil fuels are totally organic. By their very nature in their original forms are Organic. Now once they are broken down by element and reassembled, according to man's intervention, then they essentially become GMO. So push that concept around for a while. Aside from my commentary here, let's remember that the earth will always seek balance and will use the forces of nature to do whatever it has to do to correct and work with any imbalance.

However, I do see an interesting idea for developing here. Based on the statistics given and the pictures that I found in doing research on the Sahara and Gobi deserts and then compare and contrasting this data with the Great Basin, we are basically only a slight bit wetter than the Sahara Desert and pretty much on par with the Arabian Desert. Translation of this idea is this, we, that are living in the Great Basin are basically living in the Arabian Desert. Comically we are trying to act like we are living in almost a tropical environment by the grass that we plant, the trees that we plant, and so on. Anytime people will try to act as they live in the "Arabian" desert by the types of plants they try to grow, they usually run into opposition from some legal authority, as in Zoning for example, or even from their neighbors. All the while both of these entities are screaming about everyone is using too much water. Well, except for them, of course. Then on the other side, we have in some places in this Great Basin where we have huge agricultural farms and the primary crop is Alfalfa. This plant does fantastic in the Alkaline soils but uses a tremendous amount of water. Since this is a C-3 type plant, it should not, in theory, do well in this hot desert setting, but because of the amount of water that is used in growing this crop, it helps to keep the leaf temperature lower than the threshold of pushing this plant into dormancy on the top side. On the low side, this plant does run the danger of going into various stages of dormancy and then full dormancy as the temperatures drop. Now to make a point about the Arabian Desert, I have a friend from Texas that holds a Doctorate in Animal Nutrition. He has clients in many parts of the world. Some of those clients are in the Arabian Desert. Instead of having Cattle feedlots as we have here in the US, they have Camel feedlots there. He has told me that some of those feedlots go on for as far as the eye can see. Even that aspect of life isn't a whole lot different in the Arabian Desert than from life in the Great Basin Desert. Until next time, have a good day.

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