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What problems would perpetual fog cause to a country roughly the size and environment of Ireland?

The country has all modern infrastructure such as power plants, roads, factories, hospitals, etc.

For just over half the year the fog is very thick and only allows for around 200 m of visibility. The rest of the year the fog is mild, but the weather is often cold and rainy with odd days of sunshine.

The lengths of time the fog is bad is sporadic, sometimes lasting a few days others lasting a few months.

If any more information is required please let me know in the comments.

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  • $\begingroup$ What's the area like the other half of the year? $\endgroup$ – AndyD273 Nov 4 '15 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ Current answers don't address the constant humidity. Fog generally means 100% humidity, so everything will be wet. All the time. $\endgroup$ – JPhi1618 Nov 4 '15 at 19:17
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    $\begingroup$ @JPhi1618 I did want to know what effects this would have on the infrastructure. For example i would assume that roads and building suffering this climate for an extended period of time wouldn't fare too well unless they are maintained. $\endgroup$ – Terry Nov 5 '15 at 0:39
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    $\begingroup$ While I don't have enough information for a full answer, I would say that mold would be a major issue in such an environment. $\endgroup$ – unknown Nov 5 '15 at 7:29
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First, visibility of 200 meters is really...really dense fog, reducing things to 50 meters is almost unheard of. This is especially true over the size of landmass you are talking about. I find that the idea stretches plausibility to the breaking point if confined to 'natural causes'.

That said a few things come to mind.

The transportation network.

  • Aircraft. Weather you are talking about planes or helicopters both will be impacted, though helos likely more so as they function at lower, fog impacted altitudes. Landing larger jets would also be tough and it would pretty drastically impact an airport's ability to handle aircraft in any significant volume.

  • Vehicles. Speed limits would be a whole lot slower, at least for half the year. This would impact everything from personal transportation to commercial goods transportation. Personal transportation could be outright banned during the foggy times of year for safety reasons, and transporting goods would get more expensive due to the increased amount of time it would take.

People

  • Depression...well it would be like winter blues, but for six months at a time. I can see drastic differences in spending and such between the foggy and not foggy portions of the year.
  • Tourism would be non-existent during the foggy time of year...

In short there would be major impacts on productivity half the year. Things would be slower and people less...awake so to speak. Though the six months fog free would probably be very vibrant and productive...so there you go.

Oh...and solar and wind power are not things that are going to function on this landmass.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer. I've edited my question slightly to make some points more clear. $\endgroup$ – Terry Nov 4 '15 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ Commercial air traffic would not be greatly affected. They already routinely land in these conditions using their instruments. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrument_flight_rules for more info. Helicopters would be more impacted, but large jets would shrug it off. $\endgroup$ – Carl Kevinson Nov 4 '15 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlKevinson I agree that it can and is done pretty regularly. The difference (in my opinion) is that in this scenario the fog is really really thick and it lasts for months at a time. So while I agree it can be done, the volume of traffic would have to be reduced for safety reasons, even on the ground when jets are moving around to/from the flight line. $\endgroup$ – James Nov 4 '15 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ Obviously, you've never driven in Kinglake, Victoria, Australia during a heavy fog. Visibility can be so short that you can't see more than 3 or 4 lines down the centre of the road, meaning that visibility is under 50m. It happens a few times each month. $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Nov 4 '15 at 23:06
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I see rail being an attractive transportation option, since visibility is less important when you don't have to steer.

Plants and Crops would also be effected, and imported warm weather food stuffs would be a big trading opportunity.
If you have to deal with low light half the year, then the plants will be the type that grow well in the Taiga biome, which has a growing season of around 150 days. There would be some differences because the temperatures are warmer than the tagia.
During the nice months crops would include a lot of cereals like wheat, barley, rye and oats, and fruits that have a short growth season. There might be isolated areas where geographic formations would cut down on the fog and allow for longer growing periods.

It would be a bit like Alaska, except half the year it would be foggy instead of deathly cold.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer. I've edited my question slightly to make some points more clear. I can see it having an effect on the population, especially if it has been going on more many years. $\endgroup$ – Terry Nov 4 '15 at 17:20
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To add to the answers a autonomous vehicles ill have a big boom. Even autonomous walkers can become an option.

But most effects on economy ill be drastic.

Health

Humam body needs a bit of sun to produce vitamins, sun lamps can be a common place on house and even publis solariumns can start to popup. Sun deprived depression become a major puplic healt problem.

Aircraft

Airports and aircrafts demands expensive systems to operate at no visiblity conditions. Small planes and airports become impratical. The big airliners are not impacted.

Emigration

People don't like to live that way and can depart to more sunny lands. Tourism to tropical contries become a wealthy business.

Economy

There are a major impact in a lot of major crop cultures. Cattle is also affected even indoor flocs are affected by the lack of cheap ration.

Culture

Indoor entertainment are the only option. Big indoor stadiums and event places arises around. The few sunny days become instant hollidays tahnks for flash mobs

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