Hobbits' Home Climate 'Like Lincolnshire'
The weather in the two English counties is similar to that found in the mythical home of hobbit Bilbo Baggins, while Mordor - the land of the evil Sauron - is more like western Texas, Los Angeles or Alice Springs in Australia.
University of Bristol scientists used a climate model, similar to those used in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, to simulate conditions on Middle Earth.
The work is intended as a "bit of fun" but has a sound scientific base, said Professor Richard Pancost, director of the university's Cabot Institute.
"Because climate models are based on fundamental scientific processes, they are able not only to simulate the climate of the modern Earth, but can also be easily adapted to simulate any planet, real or imagined, so long as the underlying continental positions and heights and ocean depths are known."
The investigation, penned by 'Radagast the Brown', also tries to explain other climatic aspects of Tolkein's famous world.
It says there is a dry climate east of the Misty Mountains because the range casts a "rain shadow", meaning that its peaks are so high that they prevent prevailing winds from bringing moisture to the region.
"It can be seen that there are strong westerly (i.e. coming from the west, towards the east) winds in the coastal southern regions of Middle Earth, in particular in the Bay of Belfalas," it suggests.
"Conversely, there are easterly winds in the north of Middle Earth. This may explain why ships sailing to the Undying lands to the West tended to set sail from the Grey Havens, situated in the region of these easterly winds."
The simulation, conducted in the scientists' spare time, was made using HadCM3L, one of the leading models used to predict trends in global warming.
:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602 and Freeview channel 82.
- Related Stories
- Lord Of The Rings Props To Go Under Hammer