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Questions tagged [environment]

For questions about an environment or aspects of it such as geographical, atmospheric or climate.

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If the Earth stopped spinning, what's the ideal point for it to stop to ensure the most people survive?

Say the Earth were to stop spinning, and became tidally locked (or rather, stop spinning 366.25 times a year, and only once a year), through the machinations of a superpowered alien visiting down on ...
iolim5678's user avatar
  • 173
3 votes
4 answers
188 views

What is the feasibility an inland sea situated inside a mountain range be?

I am currently creating a map. It has two landlocked inland seas. However, I want to make them interesting. I am still learning, so please bear with me regarding my formatting. The approximate height ...
Rory 02's user avatar
  • 161
5 votes
3 answers
203 views

True living fossils?

Could there be a living creature that is so old that part of it has fossilized? Here are some criteria I have for the thing to be described as a fossil: It has to be over 10,000 years old. A portion ...
Nitrogen-8's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
863 views

What fauna can survive a permanently dark sky?

A few days ago I asked this question. In it asked about flora that could survive under a permanently dark sky. In this regard this regard this question is quite similar. Though now the question is ...
Fallenspacerock's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
484 views

What flora can survive a permanently dark sky?

The Scenario After an apocalyptic events my world was permanently covered in dark clouds. They seem to have unique property of absorbing most of all light. Even worse is that these clouds stick around ...
Fallenspacerock's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
56 views

Using real examples, how long might it take for the species in a forest/jungle to respond to sudden climate change? [closed]

In my world, thriving forests/jungles experience abrupt and permanent shifts in climate. They remain wet enough to avoid desertification, but some species that thrive in one temperature range would ...
spraff's user avatar
  • 2,239
5 votes
2 answers
96 views

Growth rate of super moss

Following an answer to aprevious question I posted, this world does is filled with moss and lichen fields that make other plant growth (and crop cultivation) impossible. But after researching mosses ...
Rhomaioi's user avatar
  • 1,331
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Could an ecosystem entirely made up of parasites be possible?

One of the settings for a story I'm writing is gigantic worm-like animal. Being so large it stands to reason that there would be comparatively smaller animals living within and on the surface of it. ...
Graham Payton's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
112 views

Characteristics of a moon harboring huge flying creatures?

I’ve been thinking for a while about an extraterrestrial species I had in mind that more or less resemble very large four-winged four-legged birds, and in the name of ensuring I don’t handwave an ...
controlgroup's user avatar
  • 4,676
1 vote
3 answers
179 views

How would humans evolve in this star system?

Say that a large amount of humans settled in this system and have been living there for a few tens of thousands of years. The system is a binary system with two stars, a sun-like yellow dwarf and a ...
OprenStein's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
183 views

How could an ecosystem remain stable for millions of years?

I am trying to create an isolated microcontinent where Cretaceous era dinosaurs/and maybe flora (specifically somewhere like Hell Creek) continues to survive with relatively little evolutionary ...
Cato's user avatar
  • 41
6 votes
2 answers
144 views

How might the surface of a tectonically active planet appear without a global ocean?

I hope this is "specific" enough, and sorry I don't really know formatting rules yet. I'm trying to build a habitable desert super-Earth, where water can only exist seasonally around the ...
Pseudosapient's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
562 views

How expensive to take 80% of plastics out the ocean?

Suppose that all the world would work together to take plastic out of the ocean. Here I include microplastics, which are much harder to remove. How expensive would it be to remove 80% (in wheight) of ...
Riemann's user avatar
  • 230
2 votes
3 answers
426 views

An ocean-planet made out of deadly, non-water chemicals

I'm currently working on a comic-series set in a solar-system that isn't ours, and i'm reworking most of my planets. One of them, a cold ocean-planet below freezing temperatures that orbits its k-...
NimRad's user avatar
  • 1,222
4 votes
3 answers
349 views

Effects of breaking down the oceans plastic within 5 years [closed]

The oceans are full of plastic. In a story about the morals of DNA changes, one scientist meaning well creates a group of super bacteria/microorganisms (afterwards just called bacteria for simplicity ...
Trioxidane's user avatar
  • 37.1k
0 votes
0 answers
42 views

Can nature adapt to life without constant access to sunlight? [duplicate]

I create a world where the sun's rays no longer reach the planet, due to the clouds completely covering the sky. Nature must therefore adapt to life without constant access to photosynthesis. I haven'...
batatich's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
501 views

How many impacts to kill 90% of the human race?

Present day Earth is attacked by a volley of relativistic impactors. Each is designed to hit the surface1 with a yield of 1 gigaton TNT equivalent. They're also poorly aimed. None are destined for any ...
BMF's user avatar
  • 6,788
11 votes
8 answers
3k views

An industrial revolution without overt, visible pollution/alternatives to coal?

BACKGROUND Fantasy setting, highly rural/pastoral. Social landscape is significantly more egalitarian (but far from idyllic) with no serfdom tying a peasant class to the land. Magic exists, but ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
138 views

What would cause a large & long lasting regional increase in rainfall?

So after the answers on my last question, I got some very useful information about why the idea in the question wouldn't work. I looked into it more and figured that the best solution to the problem ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,496
6 votes
5 answers
2k views

How many airborne bacteria can I put into the air while keeping it breathable?

I have a setting where I want the atmosphere to basically be filled, heavily and consistently, with a bunch of small, airborne bacteria-like cells/microscopic biomatter. For the sake of keeping the ...
inkwell87's user avatar
  • 941
3 votes
3 answers
159 views

Would the substellar point on a tidally locked planet with a large continent over that point and oceans around the edges be covered in rainforest?

I have been working on a tidally locked planet for some time now. During this time I have worked under the assumption that the substellar point would be arid because of the constant bombardment of ...
treeg886's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
135 views

Plausibility, habitability and conditions of shell-system

I have some questions regarding the feasibility of this planetary shell-based construction. I have read other questions about shell worlds, but this case has some unique elements, so I thought I would ...
Three Shells's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
149 views

On a planet with Arrakis-style sandstorms, could a single windbreak protect much of a city?

Planet has wind that flies at an indistinct speed - fast enough to fling razor sharp debris around though that's what I have built. I will tweak it as necessary but they are considered life ...
Quinn's user avatar
  • 1,206
12 votes
15 answers
5k views

How can kaiju exist in nature and not significantly alter civilization?

I'm building a world where kaiju-sized creatures exist alongside regular-sized creatures. How these kaiju don't crumble under their own weight doesn't matter, and can be explained away by them being ...
M Arif Rahman Winandar's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
245 views

If we were to discover an alien ecosystem that has a D-configuration of proteins, how would it react to our L-sided biology?

I'm working on a hard-sci-fi story where a scientist discovers microorganisms in our solar system with disastrous results. I was thinking about how any cross-contamination with an alien ecosystem ...
user avatar
12 votes
9 answers
5k views

What are some reasons for the population of a small, relatively unremarkable area to suddenly boom?

In the semi-democratic Empire known as the Aurean Dominate, the small peninsula of Sparteia has seen a population explosion over the past two centuries or so. Located in Argentolia, the most populous (...
The Weasel Sagas's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
288 views

What could Kaiju do to stop us from travelling into deep space?

The world's overrun with Kaiju but, while they kill many and cause much destruction, our civilization continues, migrating inward, away from the coasts where the Kaiju typically occupy. Question is ...
Luke Duffy's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
90 views

How the sky will change with stratospheric aerosol injections?

The world I am designing has successfully survived the event of the almost complete depletion of natural oil reserves. By "successfully" I mean that cities are densely populated, the stock ...
FrogOfJuly's user avatar
  • 1,148
10 votes
5 answers
3k views

What would happen to earth if atmospheric escape were completely stopped?

One day, the earth suddenly gets covered by a spherical barrier that allows waves (light from the sun, radio, etc.) to pass both ways, but not matter. Let's ignore the feasibility of that kind of ...
Drentel's user avatar
  • 103
7 votes
2 answers
193 views

Appearance of sky in space habitat with low (50 m) ceiling, using mirrors and blinders

Background I have considered rotating space habitats of various forms for my worldbuilding projects (i.e. cylinders, rings/torii, spheres) and recently discovered this intriguing design by physicist ...
sevenempest's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
356 views

Breathable air on large space habitat with no water?

I am theorising a scenario in which humans land on a continent-size space habitat of alien origin (probably a rotating habitat). The gravity is similar to Earth's (96/97% of Earth's) and the air is ...
Haiwas's user avatar
  • 113
0 votes
4 answers
246 views

Would it make more sense to terraform a planet with a single climate or multiple varieties of climate?

A human civilization in my story has terraformed hundreds, possibly thousands of planets across their galaxy to support life. They have done this by changing the atmospheres, adding minerals into the ...
Kal Madda's user avatar
  • 1,851
3 votes
1 answer
179 views

Magnetic levitation train vs ordinary train: which migh fare better in Martian environment?

I'm refining my previous question about magnetic levitation trains on Mars. In my story, set on Mars, two settlements are connected by a railway line. Currently, it is an ordinary train of the type ...
Krišjānis Liepiņš's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
479 views

Is there reason for a large subterranean area to be cold?

There is a roughy 2500x2500x500-1000ft / 750x750x150-300m enclosed subterranean area. The roof is ~250 feet / 75 meters (at most) from the surface. I understand that the thermal gradient will largely ...
Sebastian's user avatar
44 votes
14 answers
5k views

How can I make the rules of my Faerie Portal free from contradiction?

On the hilltop in the field near my house, there lives a coven of witches. Or, more accurately, there is a coven of witches living in a pocket of the Faerie Realm which has recently become attached to ...
Daron's user avatar
  • 66.2k
7 votes
3 answers
285 views

Can ecological collapse happen in a person's lifetime?

I'm writing a story for a character who is a an old monster hunter. In his younger days, he used to make a living by hunting the most dangerous monsters which are basically the story's equivalent of ...
M Arif Rahman Winandar's user avatar
12 votes
6 answers
3k views

Space with a breathable "atmosphere" - How to make it kind-of believable?

The idea in its simplest form is that a stellar system of planets is within a transparent gas cloud that includes oxygen. The gas cloud is so incredibly dense (around sea level earth pressure) that ...
Jarrad's user avatar
  • 326
3 votes
6 answers
122 views

How do my genetically altered people survive a smokey environment?

I have a world heavily polluted. A war long ago sustained by automated factories has kicked up a significant amount pollution and debris into the atmosphere. This has caused a permanent mist/fog of ...
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,153
3 votes
1 answer
180 views

Things to Consider When Creating a Fantasy World Map [closed]

If I have a world that follows the same rules as Earth, (Same size, gravitational pull, age, same equator, etc.) what are some rules with geographical features that this world would need to follow? ...
RootBoi66's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
477 views

Would a carnivore that can only see in infrared be an effective predator?

I'm trying to design new animals. One animal I came up with is a type of nocturnal & carnivorous predator that is shaped like a very large wolf. This predator sees in infrared light instead of ...
Rhymehouse's user avatar
  • 3,657
-2 votes
1 answer
254 views

If humans all disappeared would it be good for the environment? [closed]

SIGNIFICANTLY UPDATED I've seen similar questions, but not the answer I'm looking for (kinda - obviously all answers are...well...answers). Yes, I am aware that what I'm asking is really multiple ...
roryhewitt's user avatar
7 votes
6 answers
1k views

Balancing ecosystems with monsters [closed]

When worldbuilding, I am trying to fill my world's nature with a lot of dangerous monsters. However, there was something I realized I forgot to do, and something that I notice many fantasy creators ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 2,605
4 votes
2 answers
121 views

What would my Sun look like to fit the properties of my Earth? - Part 2

Continuing on a previous post of mine (link: What would my Sun look like to fit the properties of my Earth?) where I wanted my planet to orbit around its Sun in 365 (Earth-)years. However this did not ...
KjVdB's user avatar
  • 403
0 votes
2 answers
152 views

How can intelligent insects defend themselves from the cold?

The world is an icy wasteland, populated only with dark fungi burrowing through the irradiated earth. The last plant life in this desert is cultivated in great cities of ants and honeybees. A few ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 16.1k
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Can I Have a Semi-Liquid "Sea" of Sand?

I am thinking of adding an element to my world that is primarily desert that consists of a semi liquid sea of possibly high silica sand that's inundated with salt water. Would such a mixture have the ...
zane brain's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Could an ecosystem exist where no rain falls (only snow and ice)?

I am trying to create a boreal, alien ecosystem loosely based on Northern Siberia. Liquid rain never falls here, since snow and hail fall instead for most of the year, and the short, hot summers- the ...
Mark Price's user avatar
  • 2,458
7 votes
4 answers
832 views

What would my Sun look like to fit the properties of my Earth?

I want to have a realistic solar system as a home for my planet. My planet must look like Earth, with the exception that each orbit around its sun takes 365 Earth years. Hence a season would last ...
KjVdB's user avatar
  • 403
1 vote
1 answer
60 views

What planetary orbit and geology would speed up an ice age?

I have a first-contact scenario where I would like an ice age to be occurring rapidly. All the things that could change to make a fast ice age more credible: orbital period (403.42 local days), length ...
dsanford0's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
74 views

Would a permanent, but semi opaque, planet wide cloud coverage cause an ice age/dramatic temperature drop?

On Earth over the course of time, a permanent cloud envelops the planet due to various reasons. However, unlike a nuclear winter or permanent ash cloud situation that completely blots out the sun, ...
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,153
2 votes
6 answers
264 views

Environmental Conditions for an Inland Saltwater Swamp

I'm running a game where players can choose from a customizable list of traits and features for the terrain in the world, and one thing they've created is a saltwater swamp. However, they didn't ...
Onyz's user avatar
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