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Alternate History

Climate (Arrival)

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The climate of Planet Earth has been significantly altered for the better with the Arrival of the Aash'n. The Maghreb is now a fertile farming region and most deserts have ceased to exist. Many artificial lakes have been created with the extra rainfall in the region and rivers now criss-cross the Maghreb.

Taming the deserts

Cloud seeding

Cloud seeding is used in many areas where deserts have been pushed back.

For some 45 years human and Aash'n have cooperated to develop crops that can inhabit the desert. This process was initiated in the Maghreb region of Northern Africa but has since been applied to almost every desert around the world, with the exception of Antarctica. The climate in these regions is sustained with careful use of irrigation, cloud seeding and orbital mirror arrays to keep temperatures acceptable. This has led to a small number of deadly incidents though, such as the Caspian Disaster of 1986. Nonetheless the taming of the deserts has led to the end of starvation across the globe and the switchover of most vehicles and power plants from reliance on fossil fuels to biomass alternatives.

The Maghreb

In the Maghreb, the Aash'n proceeded with intense genetic modification programmes to create strains vegetation able to colonise the deserts. These were initially seeded around the Aash'nite vessels, but by 1970 the development of desert-hardy crops meant that tracts of near-coastal desert had been colonised. This led to a population explosion in the Maghreb. Due to coinciding with the height of the Green Revolution, techniques of pest control and usage of fertiliser ensured maximum yields from these early crops. As the inner deserts were explored with new infrastructure, irrigated with massive desalination projects, and similarly tamed to produce crops, a greater variety of plants were introduced, both engineered and natural. The result was to create a eclectic mix of biomes, carefully engineered, ranging from a Mediterranean climate to rainforest. Terran plants and animals dominate the Europe-sized green zone but it is interspersed with many Aash'nite species. In some places the 'normal' wildlife gives way entirely to bacteria farms and reserves of both Saharan and Aash'nite life. The region varies, with a mountainous west and naturally fertile Nile Valley in the east. This has been supplemented with extensive canal and river construction, along with an ongoing process of desalination and orbital manipulation with geostatioanary satellites.

North America

It has also helped in other parts of the world, most noticeably in North America, Australia and India. In America, Texas and New Mexico now house many hectares of farmland, with the crops mainly to feed the population of the country and the surplus to be exported and most of Mexico is now fertile farmland, with enough produce for export to other parts of the world.

A new delta has formed

Australia

In Australia, the handful of farmers first farming the land has grown to a very large number with the creation of desert-hardy crops by the Aash'n and Egyptian scientists. Most of the interior is no longer desert and Mount Isa is a major Australian city, mainly being responsible for the trading and selling of the crops grown in the countryside around it.

India

India has seen a surge in agrarian produce as modified crops were grown in the mostly dry central region of India and in the Thar desert. Over the years, most of the Thar desert disappeared and successful harvest followed successful harvest as increased rain and better crops helped the only bettering situation in India.

Tundra

The same genetic modification technologies pioneered in the deserts have been reversed to provide crops hardy enough to cope with colder environs, such as Siberia and Canada. While such technologies have been resisted to some extent in North America, where ecological groups oppose 'spoiling' parts of nature, the technologies have been far more readily accepted in the Soviet Union. Following early trials in the late 1970s, large-scale usage of 'Siberiaphile' crops and plants began in 1982 and led to the ballooning of the population of the Soviet Union to 400 million by the year 2000.

Sea levels

The extra rainfall and more water in the water cycle has, however, had an effect on the oceans. Most oceans are now (no.)cm lower than they were in 1963. This is mainly regarded as beneficial as the lowering of the oceans has not impacted marine life or coastal areas much. However, some areas have required engineering works to maintain water levels, such as Venice.

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