Middle Earth Study Analyzes Carbon Emissions of Dragons

Middle Earth Study Analyzes Carbon Emissions of Dragons

Turns out, horses beat dragons when it comes to methane output.

Previously, Tolkien scholars and climate scientists determined that Lincolnshire is most like Hobbiton, while Texas is more like Mordor. That was done by creating a model of Middle Earth's climate and mapping it atop our world. While in our world we have a few hundred million cars zipping about, emitting carbon, Middle Earth has huge dragons which burninate the countryside. Now, the Climate System Analysis Group at the University of Cape Town has taken a look at the environmental impact of dragons. Turns out, dragons aren't nearly as impactful as you'd think.

The analysis is one of those awesome thought puzzles every grad student wishes to publish one day. It starts by assuming that a Smaug-like dragon has the proportions of a Komodo dragon, but scaled up. They theorize that dragons use methane for fuel, and then make some calculations on exactly how much a single dragon can produce. According to the CSAG, a single dragon can output 1.43 kg of methane a day, or 260.6 tons over its 500 year lifespan. That might sound like a lot, but it's nothing compared the Riders of Rohan, which they estimate have the same environmental impact as 68 dragons.

"Given the dragon species' status as an apex predator, we can conclude that their likely efficiency of combustion, coupled with low population numbers resulted in minimal impact on carbon emissions in Middle Earth," the article concludes. Additionally, it notes that the death of Smaug (spoilers!) doesn't come close to offsetting the industrialization of Isengard, the deforestation of Fangorn forest, and the volcanic activity of Mount Doom. While none of that is particularly good for the future of Middle Earth, I think that in the meanwhile, they might have larger issues to tackle first.

Source: CSAG

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Seriously? People actually spent time and effort (and possibly money) on this?

Wait a second. Did anyone ever really consider the methane emissions of dragons to be hazardous to the fictional environment?
I mean they are not as common as our cows...

Ishigami:
Wait a second. Did anyone ever really consider the methane emissions of dragons to be hazardous to the fictional environment?
I mean they are not as common as our cows...

Well in some fictional universes you get dragons bigger than volcanoes and enough of those ones spitting out methane everyday it could do some damage.

But Smaug can even beat out 1 volcano on it's own.

So that would be a study of Smaug smoke smog?

"which burninate the countryside"
Plus 20 for the Trogdor reference!!! :D

Captcha is: "What is your household income?", with a drop down menu.
WOW!!!!!!!!! Talk about privacy issues!!! :O

Doesn't the dragon first needs to absorde the carbon via food?
doesnt that even it out?

Or do dwarves get so old they count as a fosil fuel?

Trogdor was a man. I mean, he was a dragon man! Or maybe he was just a dragon. But he was still....

TROGDOR!

i'm more interested in sci-fi psuedo-science, not fantasy. i love when studies come out that outline the Environmental Impact the Death Star had on Alderaan, or similar studies.

martyrdrebel27:
Trogdor was a man. I mean, he was a dragon man! Or maybe he was just a dragon. But he was still....

TROGDOR!

i'm more interested in sci-fi psuedo-science, not fantasy. i love when studies come out that outline the Environmental Impact the Death Star had on Alderaan, or similar studies.

Well, i'm pretty sure there were no more carbon emissions.

Angelous Wang:

Well in some fictional universes you get dragons bigger than volcanoes and enough of those ones spitting out methane everyday it could do some damage.

But Smaug can even beat out 1 volcano on it's own.

as far as toxic emisions go Mount Doom probably beat the rest of middle earth combined. Volcanos do emit MASSIVE amounts of crap.

Ishigami:
Wait a second. Did anyone ever really consider the methane emissions of dragons to be hazardous to the fictional environment?
I mean they are not as common as our cows...

Fairly-recently, a barn with 90 cows in it had a methane explosion in it, 'cause unknown'. Well, the report says they don't know what happened, but everyone who knows anything about cows figures it was methane. No animals were killed, but one was lightly burnt. Whether this means 90 cows or more is enough to reach critical mass or not is unknown, however.

As for dragons, I would assume their emissions were actually low, since every gas coming out of them burns up. They sleep on gold (in lore) because it's one of the softer metals...something that won't instantly combust from accidental fire discharge, or worse...

...DRAGON FARTS!!

 

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