4th January 2017 – Scientists simulate the climate of Game of Thrones
Winter is coming…..as anyone who watches the hit TV series, Game of Thrones, knows. Some even have their own theories for what causes the strange extended seasons in that world of dragons, kings, queens, and magic. But scientists from the Universities of Bristol, Cardiff, and Southampton have gone one stage further, by using a Climate Model to simulate and explore the climate of the world of Game of Thrones.
The results show that The Wall, where the land of Westeros is guarded from the White Walkers, has a climate in winter similar to that of Lapland, whereas Casterly Rock, the stronghold of the scheming Lannisters, has a climate similar to that of Houston, Texas, and Changsha in China.
The climate model results also indicate the likely attack plans of invading dragon hordes from Essos, and explain phenomena such as the dominance of the seas by the Iron Fleet, the hibernation zones of White Walkers in summer, and the trading routes between Westeros and the Free cities across the Narrow Sea.
The results are published in a mock journal article (also available in Dothraki and High Valyrian), written by Samwell Tarly (@ClimateSamwell), who is studying to become a “Maester” in the Citadel in Oldtown in Westeros. Samwell shows that the extended seasons can be explained by a ‘tumbling’ of the tilt of the spinning axis of the planet as it orbits the Sun, in such a way that that the same Hemisphere always tilts towards the Sun. He also calculates the amount of global warming that would occur if concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were to be doubled (due to increases in carbon dioxide and methane emissions from dragons and the excessive use of wildfire).