The world of Game of Thrones is full of magic and mysticism. There are dragons, the undead, and evil witches. But Westeros has a few real-life problems, as well -- like the weather. And since there won't be a new season of Game of Thrones until 2019, you'll have plenty of time to read a new study, by Samwell Tarly of all people, that examines the weather phenomenon of the Seven Kingdoms.
For most of Game of Thrones, thus far, we've experienced the strange weather of Westeros. There are extended seasons (winters lasting for years) and major differences in climates, from southern Dorne to areas north of the Wall. Luckily, a new study by Jon Snow's BFF, Tarly, in conjunction with the Cabot Institute at the University of Bristol, examines the science behind what might create the weather patterns. Samwell had plenty of time to wonder about the exact science involved after studying at the Citadel, and he did so much research that he published a paper on the topic (which you can also read in High Valyrian and Dothraki).
It might seem like all fun and games, but Professor Dan Lunt from the Cabot Institute said that real science can effectively be used to simulate patterns in fictional Westeros.
"Because climate models are based on fundamental scientific processes, they are able not only to simulate the climate of the modern Earth, but can also be easily adapted to simulate any planet, real or imagined, so long as the underlying continental positions and heights, and ocean depths are known."
So when they say "Winter is coming," there just might be a reason for it.