Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [environment]

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

2
votes
4answers
256 views

Can an inhabitable zero-G environment occur in nature?

I want to set a story within a zero gravity environment wherein creatures can live, breath the air, fly and flourish. The environment should supply all the things living creatures (as we know them) ...
1
vote
2answers
157 views

How quickly would society be able to transform into utopia if everyone worked together? [closed]

How far into the future would my story have to be set in order for cities to change into an entirely eco-friendly and eco-intertwined utopia? A gas is released in every major city that is able to ...
2
votes
3answers
224 views

Making a Rainforest

Say you have a region that is not a rainforest, but you want it to be. What would you need to do to engineer a rainforest? My current best guess for what all you'd need is: relatively constant ...
33
votes
16answers
6k views

How could mankind of ancient times cause significant climate change?

They don't posses any advanced knowledge, their knowledge is in fact irrelevant, just their possible actions (it doesn't matter how irrational those actions might be) that would cause significant ...
7
votes
1answer
171 views

How would an ecosystem based around chemotrophs produce oxygen?

Outline A planet which is heated tidally by its Brown Dwarf parent and permanently dark needs to have native alien life which has [somewhat similar biochemistry to Earth] and also be [permanently ...
6
votes
2answers
442 views

Gravity/Ecosystem on a peanut-shaped planet?

I'm interested about whether or not and how gravity would be affected on deformed planets. You could think of this as whether or not mega-asteroids would be able to sustain life? If so, would ...
-1
votes
1answer
189 views

Is this a fairly decent description for a post-apocalyptic fiction story?

Okay so the story takes place up in the northern hemisphere around glaciers and polar bears and all that good stuff, its main character is named Xavior and he is a good human adapted to the ...
21
votes
10answers
4k views

What would cause a region of land to become barren over several decades?

I have a region in my novel called the Burren where some event many years prior caused the once relatively lush hills of farmland to become a barren desert. The desert expands little by little every ...
3
votes
3answers
207 views

Implications of Exporting Animals to Different Planets [closed]

I have recently read about exporting animals to different planets (Asimov's Foundation's Edge for example), and I wonder what impact that would have on the animals, both physically and psychologically....
3
votes
3answers
275 views

The Tree of Youth

There exists a single solitary tree at the mouth of a small river. This tree is basically a fountain of youth, granting immortality to anyone who eats it's grapefruit-sized fruits. As you can ...
24
votes
12answers
6k views

Killing the majority of humanity for ecological reasons

There are a number of movies, books and TV shows where the villain wants to kill nearly everyone on the planet because of ecological concerns: there are too many humans, we're using the global ...
13
votes
1answer
229 views

What sort of water sources could occur in a world tree?

I'm working on a fantasy setting that's literally a giant tree on a planetary scale. Magic is in effect, so concerns of how a tree that large could survive are irrelevant, but I need to figure out ...
118
votes
9answers
34k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
8k views

Is my world map unrealistic?

Just to say this first, the map is intentionally on a slant, and so the Northern cold areas are displayed at more of a North-West Angle, for example. I am designing the world from scratch, and am ...
3
votes
3answers
121 views

Where do we place a colony on another planet? [closed]

What would be the best place to put a colony on an extrasolar planet? This planet is earth-like, about the same age, and has sturdy trees that can be made into houses (demonstrated by the two people ...
-3
votes
1answer
102 views

What happens if Iceland disappears? [closed]

In 2018, as if by magic, the entire island of Iceland suddenly disappears, along with all ground and sea down to 1km below sea level, all air up to 1km above sea level, and everything in or on the ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Earth-like planet with tundra or taiga as dominant biomes?

What would be the hypothetical conditions for an Earth-like planet to have tundra or taiga as dominant biomes?
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Under what conditions would a society develop the idea that there is nothing out there but themselves

I am working on a sort of alien contact story in a fantasy world, where a society would be completely isolated from the rest of the world and thus develop the idea that there is no outside world as a ...
2
votes
6answers
131 views

How do I use explosives to erupt a small volcano and cause a pyroclastic flow and large plume? [duplicate]

I am evil and wish to destroy a town near a volcano and kill all of its citizens. The volcano is small - about 15 square kilometers in area. The town is even smaller. The thing is that I don't live ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

What kind of weapon would you need to level an entire city to glass? [closed]

Title says it all but let's be more specific: I'm planning a post-apoc world where our current civilization has been wiped out in a large scale war. The story takes place centuries after the ...
1
vote
4answers
223 views

What is the plausibility of settlements developed near rivers of lava

So, to minimize this to one question, I am avoiding asking about the geological plausibility of this set up but here it is: There are very tall mountains above the tree line where there is persistent ...
2
votes
10answers
593 views

Where can I easily/cheaply get a hundred square miles of land for a new country?

I'm looking to found a new country on a real-to-life Earth, and I need somewhere to put it. The country is going to be anywhere from 100 to 1000 square miles (250 to 2500 square km) in size. Assume a ...
6
votes
3answers
342 views

Can a 25 mile high volcano form naturally on a desiccated desert earth planet?

The enormous shield volcano that this question was based on was held up by magic or God. It presented some very interesting conditions for alternate worlds so I thought I would develop that train of ...
0
votes
2answers
283 views

Can we scientifically remove all air pollution from earth?

As the title states, is it even possible to remove hazardous air chemicals in Earth? I think I could list the pollutants which I think we could remove, these are the following : Nitrogen oxides (...
9
votes
3answers
708 views

How to craze the surface of a planet?

I want to generate a world with a surface that has the same sort of patterning is seen in the surface of a dried lake bed when the mud cracks, but greatly scaled up. Each individual plate/fragment of ...
5
votes
4answers
539 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
83 views

Ecosystem for air-based region? [closed]

In my world, there is a region of land that is highly windy, but at high altitudes. This makes it highly likely that many plants and animals of the region will use this to it's potential. I have ...
7
votes
3answers
402 views

Is it possible for a planet to have few metal ores but an overabundance of gemstones?

Background: The planet is very volcanic, having at least a dozen volcanoes on any landmass and even more in the oceans. I want the planet to have very few metal ores but a complete overabundance of ...
8
votes
2answers
249 views

Fusion thrusters on a planet. Problems with temperature and radiation!

I'm really in doubt if a fusion thruster could be used inside a planet (populated places). As i saw in the TV show "The Expanse", their fusion engines are really, really hot, hotter than the surface ...
4
votes
2answers
327 views

What would a world whose atmosphere is made up of primarily ammonia be like?

I'm trying to create a fictional world where the primary species breathes in gaseous nitrogen to survive (and hence relies on ammonia). I'm currently working with a planet that would be about the same ...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

Land coral and filter feeding

I had posted a question recently for my world building project concerning fungal lifeforms in place of traditional plants in a certain region of a tidally locked world. Had really good and informative ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

Biological transfer on a non-contact Rocheworld

I've been pondering for some time an alternate-history story where the Earth as we know it is replaced by a Rocheworld, of the canonical variety introduced in the eponymous Robert Forward novel where ...
54
votes
11answers
9k views

How could mushroom/fungi forests be possible?

I am currently working on a setting which is fantasy but based around a soft approach to speculative biology. It is a tidally locked world with the habitable region based around the terminator ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How would an organism drink water on a planet where the water is pH11?

Background: The oceans and waters in my setting have an incredibly strong pH between 11 to 14, this calcifies anything that enters them (not instantly but pretty quickly). I know in nature that some ...
8
votes
1answer
148 views

Could an organism as complex as a human breathe sulphur dioxide?

On my world sulphur dioxide makes up most of the atmosphere (42%). It comes from constantly active land-based and Hydrothermal vents. I know there are basic, or basic compared to a human, organisms ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I tell I've travelled 20 million years into the future?

Story starts out about 100 years from now. While in orbit around Earth preparing for an interstellar mission, our spacecraft encounters some hand-wavey spacetime anomaly such that we're still in ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

What would produce the most uneven but earthlike planetary surface?

What planetary parameters such as plate tectonics and volcanism etc would best encourage the most uneven planetary surface on an earth like planet? I want a world to be covered in very uneven terrain,...
42
votes
3answers
5k views

So we glassed it, now what?

"Glassing" a planet is a common ultimate tactic in Science Fiction, basically it consists in using high power energy weapons to destroy all life on the planet and reducing the soil and rock of the ...
2
votes
3answers
196 views

Boiling Underwater Layer on an Ocean Planet

I'm coming up with ideas for locations in my sci-fi story and I thought of an interesting one. Here's the scenario: A planet has a watery ocean sitting on heated bedrock. Temperatures range from 500-...
1
vote
3answers
124 views

What would cause the temporary migration of a carnivore avian species, normally inhabiting a temperate to tropical region, to a much colder one

What would cause the temporary migration of a carnivore/scavenger avian species, normally inhabiting a temperate to tropical region, to a much colder one. It's a seasonal migration, but also a rare ...
1
vote
1answer
133 views

What happens when aliens vaporize the Panama Canal?

On January 1, 2018 angry aliens decide to show humanity just who's boss. So they vaporize an area of land 1 mile deep and 10 wide, centered around the Panama Canal. Some preliminary facts that we ...
1
vote
2answers
216 views

How do people sustain themselves in a siberia-like environment? [closed]

The climate is very similar to siberia, there are boreal forests, steppes and tundra in the north. The winters are rough but there is a short growing season, fishing is possible. I am mostly ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Multi-colored Clouds

A little while back, I went to see Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (honestly unsure of what reaction this is going to get), and there was a particular scene that showed a desert planet's ...
2
votes
3answers
974 views

How long would it take for the planet to recover from an apocalyptic event? [closed]

The best example for what I am trying to describe would be the worlds of Adventure Time, and The Dark Tower series. These worlds both developed following a cataclysmic war that destroyed a ...
8
votes
12answers
6k views

How to protect culturally bald people from sunburn?

What are some ways that people in a culture where head shaving is common practice could protect themselves from sunburn and other natural elements?
-6
votes
1answer
1k views

What would happen if part of the nitrogen in the atmosphere were replaced with another gas?

I have this planet in my story that is similar to Earth in many ways. It is inhabited by humans, the flora and fauna are similar, the atmosphere is similar... except not quite. On Earth, the ...
13
votes
10answers
2k views

Wastelands on a non-desertic climate. What elements could create them?

I have asked previously how I could create an earth-like world with as many deserts as possible in it. With these tips, I've designed a continent with a lot of deserts in it. Trouble is, this ...
10
votes
4answers
352 views

Extremely huge dirigible/airplane hybrid feasibility

Hybrid dirigible airplane with an extremely large surface area on the top and bottom. Talking at least 100 km2. It would likely be several modular pieces put together, given its size. It would need ...
3
votes
7answers
318 views

How can I make the use of modern weapons and technology unreliable on a planet?

Let me say up front this is not a hard sci-fi book, it's character and story driven. So I just need some plausible answers. I'm trying to restrict characters to using basic weaponry and technology. ...
3
votes
4answers
558 views

Could a human colony persist long term on a planet with limited food and water resources?

Suppose a highly tectonically active planet, slightly smaller than Earth, has attracted the human race's attention due to its mineral wealth. Its landscape primarily consists of mountain chains, ...