Questions tagged [environment]

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

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9
votes
5answers
2k views

How would flora behave on a two continent planet?

Note: This question is a follow up to this question, and hence forms part of a bigger complex of questions about geology and biology in this certain scenario. Meta: The planet consists of two ...
29
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3answers
3k views

How tall can a tree grow?

In my fantasy world I want fantastically large trees, particularly in the height category. The tallest trees on earth grow just over 100 meters tall. Why can't they get taller? What circumstances ...
22
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3answers
784 views

How much land area do my land-based animals (herbivores) need for food?

I'm trying to work out the kinks of an ecosystem on a planet that is rather similar to Earth, but with some species of animal (both carnivores and herbivores) we aren't familiar with in our world. The ...
36
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8answers
9k views

How extensive could a habitable twilight zone be on a tidally locked planet?

If a planet always faces the same side to the sun, so that it has a permanent night side and a permanent day side, it will have a twilight zone in between the two sides. This will be a band around the ...
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5answers
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Does living without access to sunlight for extended periods have known physical or psychological effects on humans?

Humans (even programmers :-) ) are used to having some access to natural light, but in a colony in space, on the dark side of a tidally-locked planet, or underground (for example) this won't happen. ...
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7answers
4k views

How long can an abandoned, semi-sheltered computer remain bootable?

Simply put, what's the expiration date of a computer? The reason I ask is for the sake of a society recovering from some sort of cataclysm and trying to reclaim lost technology. However, I could also ...
118
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9answers
35k views

Releasing a T-Rex into a modern ecosystem wouldn't be that bad, right?

T-Rex Forever LLC has a mating pair of Tyrannosaurus rex. They're a bit shady on how they got them, time travel, cloning...they won't say. Third-party biologists and paleontologists have examined ...
42
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10answers
4k views

How would societal development be impacted if humans were not an apex predator?

We are used to a world where humans are basically an apex predator; we don't really need to worry much about becoming some other animal's next meal. If that wasn't the case, and humans had to be wary ...
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17answers
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What society might survive the 3 generation rule

A not widely accepted psycho-social phenomenon but one our descendents might sometime face, the Three Generation Rule states: that the degree of social discipline needed for a space habitat to ...
24
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8answers
3k views

Equatorial icecaps and polar jungles a fantasy or reality?

I am writing a science fiction movie script and a planet idea came to me a few weeks ago: A planet with equatorial icecaps and polar jungles. As interesting and intriguing as this is to think about, ...
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6answers
4k views

Is there a man-made or natural event that can cause an abrupt climate change within hours/a day?

Meaning, cause a seemingly normal winter to suddenly take a turn within hours or a day/two into a completely frozen territory? From what I've read, abrupt climate change happens from ocean currents. ...
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5answers
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Is it possible for complex life to evolve on planets without oxygen?

*By complex life, I mean something more complex than microorganisms. Something closer to what we have on Earth. similar to this question: Is it possible for life to evolve on planets without water? ...
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4answers
387 views

Why would an antigravity abyss exist in a deep cavern?

[Here's some writing. It will explain some aspects of the abyss in a way I can't otherwise.] "It's beautiful", uttered Ivan, in a rare moment of appreciation. "Rocks and platforms and chunks of ...
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3answers
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What Color Can the Sky Be?

A good friend of mine, who's a doctor, is very well traveled, and he told me he's seen skies of different worlds take all the colors of the rainbow (and the grayscale to boot). I suspect that he might ...
25
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5answers
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What if an Earth-like planet had no axial tilt? (impact on ecosystem)

The Premise The Earth rotates on its own axis, which is tilted by about 23 degrees. The setting for my fantasy novel is an earth like planet without the axial tilt, all other factors remaining ...
36
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18answers
8k views

Benefits of or reasons why a species would have only one eye?

Traditionally, a Cyclops has one eye, as well as some other aliens in fiction. My question is simple: Would there be any situations, Earth-like or otherwise, where a creature would benefit from ...
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Could humanity survive the sun going dark?

The sun inexplicably ceases to give light. It's still there and continues to have a gravitational pull keeping us in orbit. The solar system continues to operate as normal, but the sun has gone dark ...
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6answers
2k views

Is it possible for life to evolve on planets without water?

*By life, I mean something more complex than microorganisms. Something closer to what we have on Earth. similar to this question: Is it possible for complex life to evolve on planets without oxygen? ...
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4answers
2k views

How to create the eternal storm?

The Great Red Spot on Jupiter and the numerous Great White Spots on Saturn are storm systems that encircle the globes and last for decades, centuries in Jupiter's case. These are formed on Gas Giants ...
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8answers
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Mr. Fusion reality has a global warming problem

The movie Back to Future revealed that Mr. Fusion (MF) produced by Fusion Industries (FI) was in widespread use in 2015. What the movie did not reveal was the FI was privately funded by Bill Gates. FI ...
20
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12answers
925 views

Can massive military land vehicles be made practical?

The largest self-powered vehicle in the world is the NASA crawler-transporter, a 2700 ton machine designed to transport the Space Shuttle a short distance and in a straight line. During WW2, German ...
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3answers
774 views

How would the global environment of a completely urbanized city-planet be affected?

Related: How would a completely urbanized city-planet support its population? How a completely urbanized city-planet be maintained? Why would a completely urbanized city-planet exist? The properties ...
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3answers
246 views

How would animals “see” in a superdense atmosphere?

The obvious hitch with a superdense atmosphere is that, even without being super deep as well, it absorbs light. Just as the bottom of the ocean is dark even just miles deep, an atmosphere as dense as ...
8
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4answers
785 views

Semiliquid atmosphere - Is my premise/conclusions correct; and will it get the result I want?

I'm writing a graphic novel on the premise of a world that has a liquid or semi-liquid atmosphere, separate from a true liquid sea. But since I don't want 'Magical Underwater Adventure!' I've decided (...
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4answers
589 views

What methods might an ancient civilization take to extract fresh water from great depth?

I previously asked What measures might an ancient civilization take to protect itself from extreme heat? The answers gave some useful suggestions as to how cities could be adapted. For convenience in ...
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2answers
914 views

How would tectonics behave on a two continent planet?

I am working on constructing a world which is basically (from the northern pole to the southern pole): smallish frozen over ocean huge land mass encompassing the northern hemisphere tremendous ocean ...
2
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3answers
621 views

What would happen to an urban fantasy Earth hit with a supernatural, planet-sized EMP?

Assuming a modern urban fantasy setting (thus, the world is "ours" in the present time, with the known continents, cities, technology, and general environment), what would happen if a supernatural EMP-...
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1answer
262 views

What would be the effects on the enviroment if a Giant walked by in a world with Earth like physics?

I recently came by the many questions of scaling creatures and the square-cube law in real world physics right here, and it piqued my interest a bit to make this question. Think of it as an exercise ...
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10answers
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Is there a real life substance like movie acid?

Is there a real life chemical or compound that exhibits the characteristics of stereotypical movie acid? From what I know of most acid, it is usually clear or just a little cloudy, but I'm looking ...
41
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22answers
11k views

Can guns be rendered unusable by changing the atmosphere?

I have an idea for a story in a post-apocalyptic setting where guns and other explosive devices unusable or otherwise impractical. Is it possible to do this by changing the atmosphere (either by ...
17
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6answers
2k views

So we've survived the apocalypse. What's next?

The year is 2032. The location, rural midwest North America. A decade ago, a plague wiped out almost every living human. There weren't even enough survivors to bury the dead. Secondary plagues rose ...
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12answers
8k views

What is the next dominant species?

If humans didn't exist, what species would populate the earth? Would an animal gain human-like intelligence if humans weren't here? What animal would gain dominance?
23
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4answers
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What if the seas had fresh water in them?

In a future world, where there is almost no fresh water resources left, a radical scientist comes up with an idea to turn all the oceans into fresh water. The general idea is to be able to ...
19
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7answers
2k views

Could a moon or planet exist with “puddles” of breathable air in deep craters?

Could a moon or planet with otherwise no atmosphere maintain gas pockets in sufficiently deep craters, and could it be habitable by humans without pressure or space suits? I found this similar ...
15
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6answers
3k views

Planet with dual core

My premise involves a habitable planet with a dual core: it has two masses similar in composition to Earth's core, which revolve around each other over the course of hundreds of thousands of years. ...
15
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6answers
7k views

What are the most important raw resources for a human colony?

I'm working on colony development. The word is similar to the earth around 5000–4000 B.C. and humans basically known how to hunt, farm, build houses/structures and share their knowledge between ...
13
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11answers
4k views

At great altitude, what conditions are needed to support a human community?

In my part of this (Earth-like) world, there is a stable community of completely isolated pre-industrial humans, numbering perhaps 1,800. They live at an altitude of (at least) 25,000 feet (7620 ...
9
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2answers
3k views

Could the moons of a Gas Giant all be habitable if that planet was in the habitable zone?

I ask this as a basis for a World (in this case Moons) Building I'm doing. I came up with a couple of different problems and some possible solutions to those problems: All of these questions presume ...
7
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4answers
676 views

What would life around a hydrothermal vent on Europa be like?

Hydrothermal vents are thought to exist on Europa. On Earth, these vents are surrounded by all manner of freakish and bizarre looking creatures, mainly various worms, crabs and octopodes. Europa's ...
6
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1answer
3k views

Can you help me design a realistic climate map for my world (alternate Earth)? [closed]

The setting is a sci-fi/fantasy future Earth ( ~5 million of years in the future) so mountain chains and general elevation is more or less the same of our own Earth, just out of position due to a ...
21
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3answers
3k views

Effects of a non-rotating Earth

Earth has stopped rotating. Maybe Superman started flying around the Earth backwards to turn back time, but hit a wall of kryptonite just when the Earth stopped rotating. Or Stupendous Man hit the ...
21
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9answers
2k views

Polar Heat, Equatorial Cold - Climatic Effects of Inverted Global Temperatures

How does inverting global temperatures affect climate? Here exists a fantasy world similar to earth in all important ways. Except, however, that global temperatures have been flipped; it is coldest ...
9
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3answers
10k views

If Earth's gravity suddenly became stronger, how would we cope?

If the force of gravity at the Earth's surface suddenly became 2 times stronger, how would the environment and humans cope? I'm guessing a lot of flying creatures would suffer, but what would happen ...
9
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6answers
1k views

What kind of animal could grow quickly enough and produce enough offspring to replace agriculture as a food source?

In my world, for reasons that are unimportant for now, there can be no agriculture. Because of this, civilization can not depend upon agriculture, as we practice it, for a food supply. A solution for ...
8
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1answer
910 views

How would an intelligent race on a methane world achieve a fire equivalent?

Linked: What would the conditions on a methane world be like? What would animal life on a methane world look like and how would it evolve? Background: Okay, an intelligent race has evolved on a ...
13
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5answers
878 views

Could a species evolve intellgence and technology without Love?

There are lots of posts speculating about a planet (or whatever) where life evolves intelligence and goes on to produce technology, under different differences lacking something or another that is ...
12
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3answers
466 views

Building Noah's Ark

The current topic challenge is apocalypse, so I figured I might as well come up with a question about surviving one. A man named Noah somehow learns that there will be a large flood within one year, ...
7
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5answers
1k views

Constructing a desert area

I'm trying to construct a most realistic desert possible. I've made a continent with my little knowledge and may ask further questions about climate and similar stuff, but now I want to center on a ...
4
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2answers
437 views

Tidal forces of tidally locked moon orbiting a gas giant

My setting is a habitable moon with freestanding water orbiting a gas giant. Originally I thought the gravity of the jovian world would tend to draw water toward the tidal bulge of the moon itself. ...
11
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8answers
2k views

What would cause termites to be the dominant herbivores on a savanna?

Problem statement I am building a world where the flora and fauna is based on that of Gondwana, the lost supercontinent that consisted of South America, Africa, Madagascar, India, Australia and ...