This website contains archives of the Tolkien Discussion Group from 2009 to early 2013.

The discussion group continues to meet
in Second Life in Alqualonde the Swanhaven. Contact AelKennyr Rhiano in Second Life.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Climate of Middle Earth

1.  Climate of Middle Earth

In which we learn that the climate of the Shire is very similar to Lincolnshire and Leicestershire in the UK {no surprise there}, but also to Belarus, and a few spots in New Zealand.  

Much of central Middle Earth would naturally tend to support dense forests -- as Treebeard said was once the case.

The climate in Mordor was hot and dry, even before Sauron moved in, and tends toward low scrub vegetation.  It resembles the climate of Los Angeles or western Texas in the US, or New South Wales or Alice Springs in Australia.

{This might be a good point to refer back to Tolkien's own ambivalence. One the one hand, Middle Earth was intended to actually be Western Europe, at a much earlier era.  On the other hand, the early history of Arda, as described in the Silmarillion, is quite different from our world.  Tolkien never resolved this to his own satisfaction.}

2.  Carbon Emissions
In which we learn that a dragon has a surprisingly small overall environmental impact, much less than, say, the industrialization of Isengard.  The carbon footprint of the warhorses of Rohan is estimated to be 68 times greater than that of a dragon.

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