Thursday, October 27, 2022

Ecological Regions of Olympia

Our fable land of Olympia stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Volga River and from the Gulf of Finland to the Gulf of Sidra.

Northern and West Central Olympia: forest

Northern Olympia is dominated by the North and Baltic seas. Plains border their northern and southern coasts. Farther south come the lowlands, highlands, and mountains of central Olympia. Both northern and central Olympia have a temperate climate: to the northwest, oceanic; to the northeast, terrestrial; the dividing line, in the middle of Germania. But whether northern or central, plains or mountains, the temperate climate north of the Mediterranean Coast, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea, nurtures the growth of forests: broadleaf, needleleaf, and mixed. More water means more trees. Less water reduces forests to woodlands, scrublands, grasslands, and finally deserts.

Six thousand years ago, when Yahweh created Earth as well as Heaven, he blanketed northern and central Olympia with one vast forest. For most of our human history in those parts, that vast forest limited convenient trade and communication to rivers and seas by boat.

East Central Olympia: grasslands

North of the Black Sea coast and the forested Caucasus Mountains, and expanding as one moves farther north and east, we find the legendary steppes of Slavia: plains, yes, but also grasslands. We also find steppes in Caucasia on the southern side of the mountains.

Mediterranean Coast: woodlands and scrublands

In most of the lands bordering the Mediterranean, characterized by a climate of mild winters and hot dry summers, woodlands and scrublands dominate. In the past, we would have found far larger forests and woodlands, but centuries of human use have largely eliminated this ecological complexity.

Southern Olympia: woodlands, scrublands, and desert

The Atlas Mountains in southwestern Olympia share the Mediterranean climate with Iberia across the Pillars of Hercules and consequently similar woodlands and scrublands. East of these mountains, and south even of them, we have desert (Sahara and Arabian) from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf.

Olympia: human ecological regions

Across Olympia, we find four types of ecological regions created by humans: settlements, croplands (including cropped forests), rangelands, and wastelands. They are now largely integrated into one Global Technological System. Through its exponential growth, we humans increasingly reduce the natural ecosystems of forest, woodland, scrubland, and grassland, as well as ourselves, to parts of it.

Copyright © 2022 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.