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I have a nagging question that has been eating away at me since I am figuring out the biomes that are present in the world that I am building. For all intents and purposes this world is basically an earth clone in axil tilt and orbit eccentricity with it being an earth with some added spice thrown in. The planet has a 396 day long year with an average temperature of 55 degrees F (12.7 C) during the summer and an average temperature of 50 degrees F (10 C) during the winter months, the world has a greenhouse effect 1.35 times of earth. I also calculated that the world receives roughly 80% of the Earth's Solar radiation intensity due to sitting slightly further away from its sun. I assume that these changes would make the planet more wet with a winter being 5 months long instead of earth's 4 month long winter, but I can't be sure. How do these factors affect the climate of the planet; does this mean that deserts are cooler and savannahs more lush grasslands, or does everything stay basically the same as earth? (Image of landmass position added below, a decent portion of the globe seems to fall into the tropical savanna zone on earth, and the black and white are major mountain chains formed from tectonic activity)enter image description hereenter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Can we help you narrow this question down? Addressing "the biomes of the planet" violates Stack Exchange's "book rule" (see this help center page) in that you're asking about every plant, every animal, every bacteria, literally everything that constitutes life on a planet. I believe if we can narrow this down to a chunk you'd have enough info to work out the rest, and if not, we can tackle individual problems one-at-a-time. For starters, what about the Alaskan, northern Canadian, and northern Russian climates (and their southern counterparts) don't answer your question? $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Dec 24, 2020 at 0:05
  • $\begingroup$ Alright edited the question to only deal with the climate of the Savannah and Deserts of the world. Hope this falls more in line with the rules as it narrows down the inquiry. $\endgroup$ Dec 24, 2020 at 0:14
  • $\begingroup$ That's MUCH simpler. Climate is still quite complicated, but I think the question can be reasonably scoped now. Thanks for the quick edit! +1. Be thinking about showing areas in question on the map, basic geology (where are the mountains), and some basic sea currents. Those are common requests for climate questions. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Dec 24, 2020 at 0:16
  • $\begingroup$ Ah I see, I'll add in a map like that and make those notes then, the map doesn't have sea currents but it shows mountain chains and where the biomes were originally placed. $\endgroup$ Dec 24, 2020 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ By a most fortunate coincidence, Earth itself was a little bit coolder in the not too distant past, say about 20,000 years ago. You may want to research whether during the Last Glacial Maximum the grasslands were more or less lush than at present. (And, anyway, it's nonsensical to speak of a planet's average temperature in summer and in winter; when half of the planet is in summer the other is in winter. Second, a planet's average temperature is a meaningless number: averaging the temperatures of Murmansk and Timbuktu is not useful.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Dec 24, 2020 at 1:04

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Winter actually tends to be much drier than summer due to moisture not having the energy to remain suspended in the air. Also, frozen water does not evaporate to increase humidity. A good portion of central Antarctica has pretty much zero humidity due to this fact. People living in northern climates will often have humidifiers for wintertime use to decrease nose bleeds. Decreased atmospheric moisture would result in less winter snowfall, which means that melt-water rivers will not last as long before the snow melt runs out. Deserts and savannahs would likely be larger as these areas would receive less water overall. While their overall temperatures might not get as hot, they would not be lusher without more water. Ground water would become a critical resource.

Warmer air holds more moisture. This is why climate scientists have stated that storms will become worse as the planet heats up. Heat evaporates surface water and adds it to the air. Cold causes the moisture to condense out of it. Much of the question about biome formation depends heavily on factors such as humidity, wind speed, local bodies of water, mountain ranges, and jet stream effects. If there is a mountain range which gets snowfall in the winter, it can release this water in the form of rivers and streams throughout the rest (or part) of the year. This water will only go so far, but will travel further if there is less evaporation due to a colder surface temperature. This means that biome formation on your world will rely more on river water distribution than rainfall.

There is also the chance that you will have a near permanent ice-age, with large glaciers forming and mountains remaining snowcapped with little summer melt occurring. White snow reflects light instead of absorbing it. This can prevent melting long into a summer season without hot surface air helping out. It will cause sea levels to fall as ocean water evaporates to become trapped as snow and ice. On the bright side, summer storms would be less of an issue as there would be less energy for hurricanes.

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We lack data to say anything definitive. Currently, Earth is warming. The climate models try to analyze the impact, and while they make consistent predictions in many aspects (more hurricanes, more extreme cold/heat events on average), what happens to biomes varies wildly. The Middle East gets everything — desert, jungle, Great Plains. That variance is caused some by terrain but also by life’s reaction to the changes. Life can massively adapt, and depending upon what lives and spreads, the ecology changes wildly. (A dominant grass can save soil/a dominant tree can trap moisture. We see what happens when species are killed today... effects are unpredictable.) So we can say a lot about what the temp/humidity/wind will be, but not much about the ecology.

Ask again in 10,000 years when we have a wider sample size. In the meantime, write what you want!

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    $\begingroup$ Of course we do have some data to say what would happen if the average global temperature was a tad lower than the historical average. After all, Earth did go in the recent geological past through extended periods of time when it was both warmer and cooler than now, and we know very well what kind of animals and plants lived where, what was the level of rain and snow etc. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Dec 25, 2020 at 16:59
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    $\begingroup$ Paleoclimatology is a thing, just because you don't know doesn't mean nobody knows. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Dec 25, 2020 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ @John we know what DID happen. We also know what particular thing WILL happen, even given the SAME STIMULUS, is very variable. $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Dec 25, 2020 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP Please re-read what I wrote. We can say strong theories about the climate regions that will form, but not the ecologies within those climate regions. $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Dec 25, 2020 at 17:28
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    $\begingroup$ From Britannica Kids: “A biome is a large region of Earth that has a certain climate AND certain types of living things.” So it really is both. $\endgroup$
    – DanPar
    Dec 25, 2020 at 22:21

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