If you've ever equated the city of Los Angeles to a fiery hellscape, you're not entirely wrong.
A new climate study published by Dr. Dan Lunt at the University of Bristol has confirmed that the City of Angels has a climate consistent with that of Mordor - the fictional, charred region where the evil Sauron presided over his army of orcs and haunting ringwraiths. Western Texas also made the cut - as did a band that wraps through the south of Australia. In terms of the more hospitable Shire where hobbits dwell, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire and the UK - and, not surprisingly, Gore and Alexander in New Zealand provided the best matches.
"This work is a bit of fun, but it does have a serious side," stated Dr. Dan Lunt. "A core part of our work here in Bristol involves using state-of-the-art climate models to simulate and understand the past climate of our Earth. By comparing our results to evidence of past climate change, for example from tree rings, ice cores, and ancient fossils of plants and animals, we can validate the climate models, and gain confidence in the accuracy of their predictions of future climate."
Lunt's desire to map the climate models of Middle Earth was made possible thanks to the highly-detailed weather descriptions Tolkien included in his books. So adamant was the author about the elements' impact on his story, that he slammed an early 1957 script for an animated take that included "unseasonal" depictions.
"The main action begins in Autumn and passes through Winter to a brilliant Spring," wrote Tolkien. "This is basic to the purport and tone of the tale. `Z’s [Zimmerman’s] arrangements would, for instance, land us in a snow storm while Summer was still in. The Lord of the Rings may be a `fairy story’ but it takes place in the Northern Hemisphere of this earth; miles are miles, days are days, and weather is weather!"
Preach on J.R.! Check out the full results from the study here (translations also available in Elvish and Dwarvish). For your latest Mordor forecast (Saturday looks a bit dodgy for Sauron's eye), jump here.