I've already made a Koppen climate map of (the relevant parts of) my world (see below) and I was wondering where most of the civilization and agricultural development should arise here based on that. Which Koppen climate types would be best and which would be worst for a nascent, agriculture-based civilization to rise in, and why?

Note: assume native flora/fauna similar to Pleistocene Australia combined with modern New Guinea and southeast Asia in corresponding climate regions/biomes.

enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ignoring the impossibility of your climate map. local wildlife and mineral availability matters more than climate, as long as it is both mild and water plentiful. $\endgroup$ – John Sep 24 '20 at 21:15
  • $\begingroup$ @John The reasoning for the strange mix of climates is due to the Coorabar Alps (the tallest mountain range in the known galaxy) fringing the archipelago (hence the ice cap, tundra, subpolar oceanic, oceanic, mediterranean, cold steppe/desert, and subtropical highland zones) $\endgroup$ – The Weasel Sagas Sep 24 '20 at 21:31
  • $\begingroup$ All the more reason there will be no subtropic nor Mediterranean between then and a desert. It would all be desert. Nor would there be rainforest on all sides of them, the western side of all of them would be desert. the taller the mountains the more severe the rain shadow. $\endgroup$ – John Sep 24 '20 at 22:07
  • $\begingroup$ The map aside, is there some reason your inhabitants wouldn't develop agriculture in the same climate we did? The fertile crescent was semi-arid. $\endgroup$ – rek Sep 25 '20 at 4:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Rek: (1) It was less semi-arid than it is today. The climate all around the Mediterranean was quite a bit different in the Antiquity. For an easily remembered example. consider that in the golden days of Rome the City depended on imports of grain from Sicily and North Africa. (2) The availability of rivers with adjacent irrigable plains was a very important factor. It doesn't matter that rain is (and was, even then) very scarce in Egypt and Mesopotamia and Syria, as long as they had the Nile and the Euphrates and the Orontes. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Sep 26 '20 at 21:47

Tropical rainforest.

Because you need taro and bananas and tropical rainforest is what they like. For civilization you need agriculture and ideally a good starchy plant. Starting with the flora and fauna of New Guinea / Australia means it will be taro and bananas - two of the oldest domesticated crops and so will fill the role for your civilization that maize, rice or wheat did for other world civilizations.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! That is a lot of bounty for a pretty short answer! $\endgroup$ – Willk Sep 30 '20 at 0:16

Pretty much anywhere except for deserts (except in river valleys), ice caps, and tundras.

First of all, we need to determine what crops are available to your people. You provided three regions with identical crops: Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and Australia.

Here is a list of staple foods available in these three areas: Asian rice, Job's Tears, lesser yam, air potato, white yam, taro, bananas/plantains, breadfruit, kangaroo grass, and murnong.

All of the above crops grow in tropical/subtropical climate conditions except for kangaroo grass and murnong, which grow in more arid conditions.

The only areas on the map that do not fit this description are deserts (outside of river valleys) and ice/snow covered areas.

The most economically valuable of these staple foods are likely going to be grains, as they last the longest in dry conditions. These include Asian rice, Job's Tears, and kangaroo grass. Asian rice is the most productive of these three crops, which grows in tropical and subtropical regions.

Potential animal domesticates are the water buffalo, Bali cattle, and the now extinct diprodont.

Inhabitants of the desert and tundra regions not near river valleys would likely survive through pastoral nomadism, herding Bali cattle for milk and meat through the desert while gathering food in the wilderness.

The ice cap regions would likely be uninhabited, as they are largely lifeless.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.