The Guardian reported recently that a researcher in the UK has developed a climate model for Middle Earth. Apparently he developed a climate model and ran it over six days in a super-computer at Bristol university, and has been able to identify different climate zones in Middle Earth. We now know that the Shire had a climate like Dunedin in New Zealand, and Mordor was like LA under smog. The paper contains some nice images of Middle Earth climate, you can see that the researcher treated it like a serious modeling task, divided the map into grids and ran a proper climate model.

For me this raises the immediate and obvious question: will industrialization in Mordor and Isengard lead to global warming, and if so how long will it be before all of Angmar is unfrozen? If so, should the peoples of northern Middle Earth be more worried about rising sea levels, or the undead beasts of Angmar being freed from the ice and descending like a scourge on Eriador?

Perhaps this is the real allegorical message of Lord of the Rings: that global warming will unleash Orcs. I wonder if Dr. Lunt included Orcs and Witch-kings in his climate model?

Or maybe Mordor is where the (illusory) “missing heat” is hiding … seems as good an explanation as any for such a fantasy …