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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

The weather


Alric
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Do we have any information about what the Dark One did to mess with the weather? Prolonged winter/summer can be achieved in several ways (at least in a fantasy universe). I can't remember that the length of the days were something people remarked so I doubt the DO could have messed with the positions of the planets. Nights were also warmer, so it seems the effect of the sun wasn't increased as that would have been noticed most in daytime (that could have been removal of part of the atmosphere or the output of the sun itself). Was the core of the earth made warmer somehow? An "earth shield" made by the Power? (wouldn't we have noticed it being put there?) Any theories?

 

Yeah, I know this is a bit "out there" but from what we know RJ is one of the few authors who seemingly thought of everything so I'm curious what people think.

Edited by Alric
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I apologise in advance if this sounds like a science lecture.

 

Ok, so the biggest unknown wiith the above question is whether or not the change in weather is reflected worldwide or not.

 

Winter is (scientifically speaking) kind of easy to explain. Say a volcano went off, erupted straight up, and released a lot of sulphur into the Upper Atmosphere. The sulphur is reflective and reflects sunlight away from the Earth, this has the result of potentially decreasing the energy in the Earths atmosphere. Hence longer Winters. IRL this has been observed several times with eruptions in Iceland and Indonesia resulting in an average global decrease. (It's also a possibilty that if Yellowstone was to have a big blow out it could release enough stuff into the atmosphere to end in nuclear Winter.) So we then need to look at to whether the DO could have done it. A volcanic eruption would be relatively easy, SG is supposed to be a volcano, it's where he's able to influence the world the most easily. I also think that the Winter has to have been caused by an 'event'. I don't believe he has the influence to maintain something ongoing. I guess we can also assume that something 'big' happened, as at the least the Forsaken were released. Whether thematically it would work or not, volcanic eruptions in stories tend to come at the end of the book I don't know, and how they 'fixed it' at the Eye is also up in the air. Another explanation could be sunspots, but I find it harder to explain how the DO could effect something so far away.

 

Summer's a bit more interesting. The warmth at night is relatively easy to understand, the earth absorbs energy during the day and tends to emit it at night, more energy increase during the day would therefore lead to more energy emission at night. But the rapid increase in temperature is hard to explain IRL. Theoretically I can think of three ways the Earths temperature could increase:

  • More energy could be emitted from the Sun, either increase in energy, or change in sunspot activity could explain this. As an explanation I don't like it, because it's so far away, but it has the benefit of having a quick response.
  • Planetary albedo could shift enough that it could reflect less energy away from Earth, and absorb more. The two biggest things that effect planetart albedo are ice caps and cloud cover. Presumably these could both be effected by the Power, but again it seems a massive amount of energy, and therefore unsatisfying - why use the energy that way if you had it, theoretically this could have a short-term response, but something big would have to happen to change the albedo that quickly.
  • Third, change the amount of time the energy spends in the atmosphere (effectively global warming). Increased industrial action (to produce weapons for a mass invasion, say) could result in global warming, unsatisfying due to time scales involved, depending on your pov humans have been changing the atmospheric content for 3000 years, significantly for the past 150 or so, but with little change and over a long timeframe.
  • Related to three, and on a shorther timeframe, if a volcano went off sideays, it would release gases into the Lower atmosphere which could result in higher temperatures over a shorter period of time.

I guess the shorter answer would be I don't know.

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Perhaps they somehow changed the winds so the extended winter they just didn't start to get the warm winds from the south any more. and with the long summer they continued to get the warm air from there, another way I guess is they got extra heat/cold and another area of the world got the opposite.

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WoT science is intentionally a bit wonky, someone can go track down the quotes (iirc Victorian or maybe earlier era science is how most things actually work).

 

Since according to Ishy weather was regulated by Bowl of Winds type objects in AoL, there's some low effort way to do it that doesn't involve the god-like powers of pushing planets around or micro-managing weather inputs. Plus there's the state of the world reflects Rand and vice versa stuff.

 

Something that caught my eye above was sunspots: those are caused by the sun's magnetic field and are an effect, not a cause but keeping an eye on them is predictive for some things I don't recall offhand. But that's our world, not WoT world so beside the point :)

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WoT science is intentionally a bit wonky, someone can go track down the quotes (iirc Victorian or maybe earlier era science is how most things actually work).

 

Since according to Ishy weather was regulated by Bowl of Winds type objects in AoL, there's some low effort way to do it that doesn't involve the god-like powers of pushing planets around or micro-managing weather inputs. Plus there's the state of the world reflects Rand and vice versa stuff.

 

Something that caught my eye above was sunspots: those are caused by the sun's magnetic field and are an effect, not a cause but keeping an eye on them is predictive for some things I don't recall offhand. But that's our world, not WoT world so beside the point :)

 

I agree it should be low maintenance, I just wish I could think of one :) Maybe they knew more than us about how water in the atmosphere affects weather, this could be set up to sustain either positive or negative feedback, but it still seems too complicated. Think I'll just accept that it's possible, having accepted that it's possible to talk to wolves, walk in dreams and wield saidin/saidir shouldn't be too difficult.

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