journal d'O.


horse latitudes, 3.

"Horse latitudes or Subtropical High are subtropical latitudes between 30 and 35 degrees both north and south, characterized by light winds and hot, dry weather, caused by descending air. The belt in the Northern Hemisphere is sometimes called the “calms of Cancer” and in the Southern Hemisphere it is called the “calms of Capricorn”. The phrase's etymology is uncertain. Supposedly, the term originates from ships traveling to the New World that were often stranded in this region and forced to kill onboard horses in order to preserve precious water supplies, or for their meat and blood, but this may be apocryphal.
Another theory is that the winds in this region are so mild that onboard livestock (such as horses) would be jettisoned in order to lighten the load and allow the ships to move.
The warm, dry conditions of the horse latitudes also relate to the existence of temperate deserts, such as the Sahara Desert in Africa, the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, and parts of the Middle East in the Northern Hemisphere, and the Chilean-Argentinian-Peruvian desert, the Kalahari Desert, and the Australian Desert in the Southern Hemisphere."

source : wikipedia

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mardi 21 novembre 2006