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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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3answers
198 views

Brine pool ecosystems

(Question in highlighted text) So, the chances are that you've heard of brine pools, which form when methane erupting from the seabed expose ancient salt deposits - the concentrated salt mixes with ...
2
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1answer
51 views

What would the effects of rapid tectonic movement be?

So once again the world is in the Pangaea formation and the plates are moving on the same trajectory to form the continents that the world is in today (I'll refer to it as Modern). Instead of moving ...
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11answers
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How can Ganymede have an Earth-like gravity without us having realized it?

Imagine a small primitive humanoid civilization that developed independently in caves under the surface of Ganymede. We can assume there's enough light that filters through the crystalline surface to ...
11
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7answers
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Do hunter-gatherers move or stay put in the winter?

A hunter-gatherer society exists in lands similar to that of Bavaria. There is plentiful game in the forests and glades, and there are many rivers with edible aquatic life. Smaller rivers can freeze ...
5
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2answers
216 views

What are reasonable rotation rates of an Earth-like world?

I have the radius, volume, mass and density figured out. It does not have a moon. I do wonder how that will affect the rotation. The Earth's rotation was considerably faster before the creation of the ...
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1answer
99 views

How can changing environments make my super-villain super-powered while causing chronic (extreme) pain? [closed]

I have a super-villain who is from another environment( e.g. aquatic, extra-terrestrial, extra-dimensional ( Bonus points for the least extreme from populous land-locked earth )) They are not a ...
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 ...
4
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4answers
251 views

Can a continental scale creature develop it's own ecosystem? How?

I am designing a monster that is as large as a continent. It flies across the planet very slowly and has basically a snake form. Life cannot exist on the planet's surface so the animals are drawn to ...
8
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4answers
370 views

How would flora be affected by longer night than day cycle?

Night/Day Cycle I'm trying to make a fantasy world with a longer night cycle than day. With the advice of Renan, 12 hours of proper night, 4 hours of near/partial dark and 8 hours of good light. ...
18
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11answers
5k views

How can a portal that connects two planets affect the environment?

In my world there are two planets within the same solar system, which are connected approximately every seven cycles through a portal that opens for a few days. The planets are very similar. The ...
0
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1answer
77 views

What circumference would a no season temperate climate planet have

Imagine a planet, 3/4 water and 1/4 landmass. No axis tilt so the climate is moderate throughout the year. IE peak temperatures at 100°F at equator. It orbits a sun about the size of ours and has a ...
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0answers
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How would a swamp based society gather food? What perils would they face? [closed]

I'm writing a fantasy book where the main group of humans live in a "swamp world." Picture Arrakis from Dune, but swap the desert for a swamp. I don't want these people to have fire. I want them to ...
3
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2answers
85 views

Effect of sunset-like sky colors on human psychology

The scenario is as follows: a habitable planet is being colonized. The conditions are fine, in spite of differences in the parent star. The star is smaller than our sun, either an orange K-star or a ...
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1answer
60 views

Planet Size Disaster [closed]

What kind of disaster could be large enough to wipe out an entire planets life and leave it like a complete wasteland, similar environment to what Mars is? Nuclear warfare or meteors are what I have ...
3
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3answers
177 views

What's the most effective clothing in a pre-industrial world of aggressive plant (and animal) life?

I'm building a highly verdant, "garden" world where fruit and vegetation grow so easily and naturally that they can be easily picked in passing by the relatively small human population. So, imagine an ...
18
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9answers
5k views

Why build underwater outposts, rather than ocean-surface settlements?

Suppose we've colonized a planet with 99% of the surface area covered by oceans. It has submerged continental crusts, averaging 200-500m underwater, with the average depth of open ocean being 1000-...
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21answers
8k views

If we can have “all the comforts of home” in space why would we settle planets?

This is something that is starting to bug me, I'm creating a universe in which space travel is cheap and comfortable and space habitats can be built roomy enough that no-one actually needs to live on ...
2
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2answers
107 views

How would giant penguins affect the arctic/Antarctic ecosystem?

So, I was reading about the Colossus Penguin and was wondering how adding them to my world might affect the arctic ecosystem in my world? Obviously, they would need to eat a lot of fish, squid, and ...
0
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1answer
103 views

Could a planet's ecosystem function to serve the balance of all, rather than survival of each one?

I'm currently designing an alien world that has a rich biosphere. Now, one thing about the lifeforms of this planet is that they have a completely different genetic code than us. Apart from being ...
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1answer
145 views

Carrying out Self replication of humanoid to create versions of itself

Premise: I have a character that is trying to replicate himself into offsprings that will accomplish his task. He is a major character with immense levels of power/energy. My character has to create ...
18
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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 ...
49
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27answers
13k views

If a large space ship crashes on a planet, what could kill passengers without obliterating the ship?

The situation I'm considering is as follows: A large research vessel with a crew of about 100-200 attempts to land on a potentially habitable planet, but something goes wrong during the descent. A ...
5
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4answers
339 views

Would a denser atmosphere hold in more moisture even if the temperature was exactly that of Earth's surface temperature? (Atmospheric Density)

(My world's details) I have a super-earth world. The surface of the world is shallower due to extra gravity, so shorter mountain ranges and fewer ocean depths. The world orbits a binary star system at ...
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6answers
5k views

Can a habitable planet have two separate crusts, both of which can sustain life?

Can a habitable planet have two separate crusts, both of which can sustain life? I am wondering if through the planet's creation, over time through some form of mantle cooling/erosion combination, ...
5
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2answers
181 views

Is a Continent of Karstic Plateaus Feasible

The Tsingy National Park is popular for its unique karstic plateaus. These karstic plateaus are thousands of large sharp pillars or needles that stretch towards the sky, creating a wide variety of ...
37
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9answers
11k views

What are the effects of slicing the Earth in half with a particle beam?

Scenario: An exact copy of our world is sliced in half by a particle beam. The beam has a diameter of 40 meters and moves at a speed of 0.999c. The beam slices the earth from top to bottom in 600 ...
10
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6answers
458 views

Man-made mass extinction that benefits arthropods

Context To revive the Carboniferous period of earth one man and a group of other scientists have been genetically engineering and breeding land arthropods into giant sizes and exotic shapes since the ...
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3answers
205 views

A Temperate Deciduous Monster--Too Big?

What is a flower or shrub back home is a tree in an alternate Earth, and vice versa. That is something worth exploring. For example, Taraxacum officinale can grow from stems typically up to 5-40 ...
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3answers
192 views

How Long Can a Burnt Postapocalyptic Forest Be Barren?

Lately, I have been reading word that our latest epidemic of firestorms is so severe that "trees won't plant themselves naturally", according to the Arbor Day Foundation. Indeed, the picture of a ...
3
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2answers
87 views

What Other Types of Broadleaves Would Grow in Subarctic Conditions?

As it turns out, conifers are not the only trees to grow in boreal forests, or taiga. At the southernmost ends, the evergreens are mixed with such deciduous trees as: Birch Alder Willow Poplar Maple ...
7
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3answers
94 views

Terrestrial ectotherms outside the habitable zone

Premise We have found extremophiles of the aquatic and microscopic types here on Earth, but so far large terrestrial extremophiles are the stuff of conjecture only. This makes it somewhat challenging ...
9
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3answers
230 views

Feasibility of Giant Fungi

I have a temperate rainforest environment within the arctic circle of my planet. What is the feasibility of fungi storing nutrients from dead matter during the daylight hours, then erupting to create ...
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1answer
81 views

Could the city of Boston, Mass avoid rising sea levels by building levees? [closed]

I have seen similar proposals to deal with potential sea level rises in New York City, which would work by constructing levees around the east river and the barrier islands surrounding Staten and Long ...
27
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7answers
4k views

Relative Super Powers

The origin of Superman is fairly well known. A baby is sent to a planet and gains super powers from being in the environment (technically the sun, but I believe you catch the gist). I'd like to make a ...
1
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1answer
128 views

What would the effects of zones of differing gravity be on a large volume of open atmosphere

My question has to do with living inside a spaceship, which is mostly made up of a force field containing a breathable, earthlike atmosphere. There is a constant outward pull of something like 0.3 ...
15
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3answers
864 views

Under what pressure/temperature conditions could ammonia or hydrogen fluoride play the role of water in an alien ecosystem?

From my understanding, many of the features of water that make it very important for Earth's ecosystem are a result of oxygen's high electronegativity, which results in hydrogen bonding. As nitrogen ...
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3answers
2k views

Could excessive fracking over long periods of time cause tectonic plates to shift significantly?

Trying to create a future earth which has been thoroughly abused by the excesses of modern capitalism. Extreme weather, rising sea levels, massive droughts, that sort of stuff. My question is: ...
1
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5answers
181 views

What mechanism could be used to create an eternal night?

My question is how a species, given sufficiently advanced technology - could block out all - or most - visible light to a generally earthlike planet without rendering it uninhabitable. The only ...
100
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28answers
25k views

How fast can I flood the Netherlands entirely and permanently?

I want the Netherlands to be flooded entirely, and I want the event to be of such a scale that it goes faster than hydroengineering can keep up with. This will mean that I need a sea level rise of ...
2
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2answers
125 views

Cyborg adaptation to a high pressure environment

I'm currently working on a science fiction comic about humans marooned on an alien world for generations. This world is slightly larger and more metallic than earth with greater gravity a higher ...
2
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3answers
115 views

What would night look like on a distant planet covered in volcanic ash clouds?

If a planet was both covered in volcanic ash clouds/in the middle of nuclear winter and either had gone rogue or was the farthest point possible from its sun, what would “night” look like? How dark ...
7
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2answers
148 views

A snow sea: How to make water snow light/smooth enough to obtain fluid properties under 1 gravity

A roughly earth-size planet orbits a cool G-class star, but barely within its circumstellar habitable zone ("Goldilocks zone") allowing liquid water. It has a shallow inclination and and lackluster ...
6
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3answers
205 views

Can a planet have warm or temperate climates within its polar regions?

Note: an edit has been made to the main question at the bottom A couple of years ago, I had a worldbuilding project which I have recently revived. I was relatively new to worldbuilding back then, ...
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3answers
179 views

Is it possible to build cities on Argentine and Brazilian swamps?

I'm creating a developed country in South America with its development similar to that of Canada or Australia (little behind the US) with population around 160M in 1850, growing to 346M in 1925 and ...
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5answers
130 views

Can Pinnipeds Fit in a Worm Forest?

In an alternate Earth, coral has been extinct for over 400 million years. In their place were the following: Bivalvia (clams, oysters, mussels) Cirripedia (barnacles) Canalipalpata (bristle-foot or ...
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14answers
7k views

In a post-fossil fuel economy, what could natural gas pipelines be used for?

The United States (as well as many other countries) is covered in a vast network of tubes: These tubes vary greatly in diameter. Some could hardly fit a baseball, while others are large enough to ...
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5answers
5k views

The polar ice caps are melting. Can I replace them with icebergs made of pykrete?

Pretend I'm writing a story about a world exactly like our own. Real world physics, no magic, modern technology. Suddenly an eccentric world leader comes up with the idea to replace the melting ...
2
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4answers
158 views

Why would men find fedoras especially practical on a distant planet? [closed]

This question is a bit silly, I know. As an author my base motivation here is stylistic preference and a shameless attempt to evoke a flavor of golden era setting of so many great adventure and ...
12
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5answers
2k views

Nuclear propulsion: viable long-term launch strategy?

So recently there was this interesting theory -the paper itself is quite readable, but here's an article link that expands on it. Basically, it states that aliens on those very habitable but massive ...
10
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3answers
285 views

Determining climate and biomes in a non-planetary setting

I'm currently playing with a geographical setting that's flat rather than round and thus doesn't follow a lot of the same rules as one modeled as a planet. I've found resources concerning climate in ...