I recall in the last PDC course Penny Livingston mentioned some interesting things done by folks in Jordan, and I'm thinking there must be some other hot, arid zones with clay soil. Anyone know?
excerpt from an article I wrote a while ago that charts climate but not soil:
Usually similar latitudes have similar climates. This holds true at the same latitude in the Southern hemisphere. But as you can see from the climate map [linked] above this is a very rough rule of thumb and definitely not always true and can be disturbed by bodies of water, mountains, glaciers and valleys. Interestingly prevailing soil and vegetation can also influence a climate, just as they can a yard.
For example, in Phoenix, we have a hot dry desert climate but due to unique dual rainy seasons of the Sonoran Desert plants from the Mediterranean area, with its warm, long growing period, and dryness can also be readily adapted here. There are Mediterranean climates in parts of Europe (duh), Southern Australia, isolated parts of Central Asia, Central Chile and parts of Africa that have plants that usually do well here. Other climate's plants may also do well too---again in Phoenix due to the lack of freezing most sub-tropical and tropical food plants do well here as long as they get well watered and have excellent drainage....
That is a nice map, Powell. Some years ago I attempted to map areas in the US (like parts of California) and also Austrailia that were identical in climate (I used Sunset zone 13 as the basis) and came up with a list of cities in California and areas in Austrailia that were similar. Your map has some good references points, I had not seen in that manner :-)
We can learn a great deal from Israel. LOTS success with barren desert with little water !
In terms of climate, latitude, soils, pH, and rainfall...you might want to look at the Great Victoria Desert of Australia.