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I am currently creating a country located in a place which experiences only subarctic/arctic climates in the real world. I would like to know how the region's climate could be artificially changed without causing change to the rest of the world. For example, I am thinking about a giant geyser powered by the Earth's core which generates massive heat. If that is not physically possible, what could be the other solutions?

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    $\begingroup$ You mean like an urban heat island? $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ You mean like a Shangri-La, but that wasn't explained in the film (Lost Horizon). I've not read the book. I'm creating something sort-of similar so I'm [watching]. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ (1) With the money needed to change the climate of a subarctic country to temperate you can buy a poor country located in a much happier climate, with the bonus advantage that you won't have to pay the recurring costs to keep the technological solution running. (2) Quick estimation: you want to change the climate of a 100,000 km² country from subarctic to temperate. This means you need to supply the difference between about 350 W/m² and about 150 W/m², or about 200 W/m². That's about 175 TWh per year. At about 100 USD/MWh, that will cost you about 17.5 trillion USD per year. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ P.S. If you actually have a natural source of energy which can supply those 175 TWh per year, why would you bother to change the climate of the country? Use the natural source to produce electric power and sell it, then simply divide those 17.5 trillion USD per year to the population. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 19:56
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    $\begingroup$ The constant geothermal outpourings at Yellowstone have not noticeably affected the climate of Wyoming, nor have the volcanoes of Iceland done much for it's winters. The Gulf Stream, on the other hand, has made much of northwestern Europe pleasant to inhabit, though it shares latitudes with far harsher Siberia and Canada. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 20:21

2 Answers 2

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All sorts of things cause local climates to vary (sometimes quite sharply) from their immediate surroundings. If you're wanting to make subarctic/arctic into tropical? That's going to be extremely difficult without some way to isolate airflow.

If you're not warming it beyond cold-temperate, then a body of water located centrally and deep enough to be warmed by near-surface volcanic activity is a good start.

Physically speaking, any energy (heat) present in the area will eventually move into the surroundings, causing changes in the global environment. If the area in question is kept smaller, that effect will be lost in the background noise of the rest of the climate. But if the region gets quite large, then you're going to have noticeable impacts on regional and possibly global scales.

Artificial methods to accomplish this would involve mountain sculpting to impact rainfall/prevailing winds so that airflow exchange is reduced, the ability to change color scheme on a day/night cycle so that you get good absorption during the day but reduce radiative losses at night. Maintaining a high moisture content in the area will help retain heat once it's been warmed up in the first place.

And, of course, any form of heating system can keep an area warm. There will be losses, but it's doable with enough energy - air-source heat pumps are a good mechanism because the energy you're loosing into the air surrounding the region is heat you took away from it in the first place.

All of this will require levels of understanding of climate dynamics beyond what I'm aware of us having, but at a theory level it's possible.

A MUCH simpler solution, however, would be an enclosure. A good enclosure isolates the airflow and powerfully reduces energy losses and energy demands.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm expecting a warm-summer continental climate, would the same methods you mentioned go well? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Bangerblade Anything is possible without enough energy, but the more energy you spend adding heat to the region, the more heat escapes the region. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 16, 2022 at 12:54
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Bring the ocean

You will make your land coastal, by excavating and moving away lands that lie between your country and the ocean coast. The presence of large bodies of water in proximity to the land moderates the climate - this can be seen with Britain which is warmer than inland places at comparable latitide as well as San Diego which is cooler than sites only a little ways inland.

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    $\begingroup$ It's not the presence of the ocean in general which makes the climate of Great Britain and Ireland so mild; it is specifically the Gulf Stream which brings a lot of heat from the tropics. Great Britain is at about the same latitude as the Sakhalin island, the Kamchatka peninsula, or the Labrador peninsula; and those other places are also surrounded by ocean, but they don't have the Gulf Stream and are very cold. (Fun facts: London at 51°30′ N and Edinburgh at 55°57′ N are actually farther north than Vladivostok at 43°08′ N and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky at 53°01′ N.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 1:14

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