The planet Arrakis in Dune could be habitable: research

According to climatologists, there are areas where temperatures on the planet Arrakis Dune are sustainable: the desert would be habitable

We have all (or almost all) seen Dune, the Denis Villeneuve's movie that has smashed the box office and is based on the book of the same name by Frank Herbert. We remember very well Arrakis, the desert planet on which much of the film is set. A planet that doesn't exist, but according to some climatologists has realistic characteristics and even the possibility of being habitable.

The reconstruction of the Arrakis desert

A team of climatologists at the University of Bristol, in the UK, has reconstructed a climate model of the conditions of the Arrakis desert based on Frank Herbert's book and the Encyclopedia of Dune, a book designed for fans.

So they identified a desert with 78-degree summers and -75-degree winters and no major water sources like the oceans we have on Earth and the ones we're looking for on Mars. Then the climatologists created a map showing which areas are rocky and which are sandy, and calculated the planet's distance from its sun and the tilt of its axis, to understand how that affects climate.

The result was a climate model with rare clouds, very low humidity, no vegetation and rain only on the highest mountains: all this would lead to heat peaks of up to 100°, a version in greater than the record temperatures that are now normal even on our planet.

A planet that may be habitable

In fact, the Bristol researchers found that, as on Earth, the most prohibitive temperatures are at the poles. On Arrakis, clouds are concentrated at the very ends of the planet, along with steam and a greenhouse effect that raises the temperature, as might have happened on Venus.

In contrast, the tropics are more livable, with temperatures on Arrakis reportedly hovering around 45° in the hottest months. The atmosphere is also similar to that of Earth, but with a higher concentration of ozone: it is responsible for global warming.

The biggest problem on Arrakis, however, is the lack of water: it does not rain and there are no internal water sources. In fact, the inhabitants outside the cities use special suits, which allow them to recycle the water produced by the body in the form of sweat.

So in conclusion: yes, life on a hypothetical real Arrakis is possible, as long as you do not live on the poles of the planet and you have the right tools to recycle and store the water produced by the body.