The Climate Of Middle Earth

Middle Earth ClimateHave you ever wondered what the climate of Middle Earth was like? Well, researchers at the University of Bristol did, and so they used similar climate models to those in the recent IPCC to determine the weather and climate of Middle Earth, comparing it to “Modern Earth” and “Dinosaur Earth”. Apparently, Mordor is a lot like West Texas in climate terms (Scientific American).

The results are presented in a scientific paper, which can be found here. The abstract is shown below:

Abstract. In this paper, I present and discuss results from a climate model simulation of the ‘Middle Earth’ of elves, dwarves, and hobbits (and not forgetting wizards such as my- self). These are put into context by also presenting simulations of the climate of the ‘Modern Earth’ of humans, and of the ‘Dinosaur Earth’, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth 65 million years ago. 

Several aspects of the Middle Earth simulation are discussed, including the importance of prevailing wind direction for elvish sailing boats, the effect of heat and drought on the vegetation of Mordor, and the rain-shadow effects of the Misty Mountains. I also identify those places in the Modern Earth which have the most similar climate to the regions of The Shire and Mordor. 

The importance of assessing ‘climate sensitivity’ (the response of the Earth to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations) is discussed, including the utility of modelling and reconstructing past climate change over timescales of millions of years. I also discuss the role of the Intergovernmental/Interkingdom Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in assessing climate change, and the responsibilities placed on policymakers.

It’s actually pretty interesting to read. As an extra touch, they’ve also created the report for elves and dwarves, which is rather precious. Onwards!

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