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Dune: we simulated the desert planet of Arrakis to see if humans could survive there

By Alex Farnsworth, Senior Research Associate in Meteorology, University of Bristol
Michael Farnsworth, Research Lead Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub, University of Sheffield
Sebastian Steinig, Research Associate in Paleoclimate Modelling, University of Bristol
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Dune, the epic series of sci-fi books by Frank Herbert, now turned into a movie of the same name, is set in the far future on the desert planet of Arrakis. Herbert outlined a richly-detailed world that, at first glance, seems so real we could imagine ourselves within it.

However, if such a world did exist, what would it actually be like?

We are scientists with specific expertise in climate modelling, so we simulated the climate of Arrakis to find out. We wanted to know if the physics and environment of such a world would stack up against a real climate model.


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