So basically one feature of my world is that there are sleeping giants (ice and fire being the important ones here) and I want them to affect the climate around them, making places hotter or colder.

I'm focusing on the ice giants in this question (and might do a second one for the fire giants if the answers differ enough from what I'm expecting).

You can just assume that each giant is a house-sized object that absorbs heat from the surrounding area. Don't worry about where that heat is going, it's just gone (magic basically). This happens at a fairly consistent rate (though that rate is variable, whatever would achieve the effect I want), non stop.

So my question is, would this create a colder climate in the area around the sleeping giant? Would it turn an otherwise temperate region into tundra or would it create weirder weather conditions, storms etc. instead? Or would it have little noticeable effect at all?

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    $\begingroup$ "it's just gone" Send it to the Heat Giants!! :) $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Jan 14 '18 at 19:20
  • $\begingroup$ @RonJohn hehe, yeah that was my thought actually, but really this world already breaks so many laws I didn't see breaking thermodynamics too being a problem. $\endgroup$ – adaliabooks Jan 14 '18 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ Science-based magic has many problems, but "magic - any time, any where, without consequences" gets really boring, too, since it's no more than unlimited wishes. I like worlds where spell casting, wearing rings and amulets, etc have a cost (typically nutrition and "power level"). It's thermodynamics without the science... :) $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Jan 14 '18 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ @RonJohn I definitely agree. There will be other laws and rules so it's not boring but a lot of the real laws of physics and science don't apply (because it's quite hard to have a really interesting and different worlds without changing or dropping some of them) $\endgroup$ – adaliabooks Jan 14 '18 at 21:20

"a house-sized object" would not influence climate at all. You could have an area some tens of meters across where the flora is different, but not very much: the rainfall patterns and air currents would stay identical, and that's what counts the most.

If the cold is intense enough, you'd get a sort of "fairy circle" where nothing much survives - some stunted grass, perhaps lichens in the shadows. And you would get ice forming after a rainfall. Perhaps people would get the ground graded, turning the area into an ice skating rink, or put icehouses there.

A large number of giants underneath a valley, now, they could influence the local climate - not very much, again, but enough to make the valley difficult to live in, due to crop restrictions.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmm... that's what I'd worried. So the effect would need to be far far greater (and spread beyond the physical object itself) or the size would need to be bigger.. $\endgroup$ – adaliabooks Jan 14 '18 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, do giants need to have heat transfer coefficient similar to humans? And even if they have to, they could absorb energy awfuly fast at, say, 5 K. Wouldn't it be enough to cause vertical air currents? $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jan 15 '18 at 21:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Mołot in that case I suspect they would quickly become shrouded in solid air, then in a thick crust of ice, itself covered in rime. In the end you get an ice block as large as perhaps five or six houses; but ice is not all that good a thermal conductor, and the process would self-restrict. $\endgroup$ – LSerni Jan 15 '18 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ @LSerni oh, good point. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jan 16 '18 at 7:02

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