Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Middle Earth Weather Report

A few years back there was a writer from Eastern Europe or Russia who wrote a version of the Lord of the Rings from Sauron's perspective, I think it was. That "Wicked"-esque stunt didn't attract my attention as much as that writer's claim that the geography of Middle Earth doesn't fit with its climate at all. I think that last comment would have rankled Tolkien (although he almost certainly didn't actually have climate in mind when drawing the maps, so he'd be right to concede the point!). It did sort of rankle me, because if you're going to make such claims you should back it up.

Yet here is a real climatologist analyzing the climate of Middle Earth and coming up with detailed weather maps of it. Lo and behold, it all fits together with Tolkien's description. The Shire's like some parts of England, and Mordor's like the Sahara and/or Los Angeles. Yeah, that works.

What initally caught my eye are two things: high CO2 levels from Mount Doom (which fits nicely with Tolkien's anti-industrial and even anti-auto bent) and how the global map of the planet looks suspiciously like our planet, if drawn by someone with the accuracy and perspective of the sea voyagers of the 16th century. Tolkien always claimed that Middle Earth was supposed to be part of our history, and that global similarity just confirms it to me.

So there you have it. Not only did Sauron cause the enslavement of peoples and the pseudo-eugenic experimental abominations of the Uruk-Hai (along with Saruman, yes, yes), he also caused global warming in Middle Earth. I knew it.

No comments: