Questions tagged [environment]

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

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Is it possible to have a habitable planet unsuitable for agriculture?

I want to have a planet similar to earth with 45% axial tilt when hunter gatherers have an advantage over agriculture. The only thing I could think of is far north(Siberia, Alaska) & Sahara desert,...
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9answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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17answers
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Avoiding preventing your own birth in a time travel paradox?

Assume a world with no multiverse theory, just a single unbroken timeline. If you were to go back in time to the town your parents lived in on day of your conception, the air displacement due to your ...
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9answers
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What would be the state of decay in an abandoned city?

I'm writing a novel which takes place in a Middle-ages-type world with magic. The heroes come across an abandoned city in the middle of a deciduous forest. The climate is temperate with rare snowfall ...
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3answers
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How effective are bomb shelters for nuclear attacks

I was wondering how effective nuclear shelters actually are? If you assume that your house is equipped with a bomb shelter (aka fall-out shelter). The construction of the shelter is not over the top, ...
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6answers
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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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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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7answers
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Suddenly, you live in the dark!

Imagine that you lived in this world: The planet has a diameter of 5000 km. The rotation time is the same as the orbital period. And here it comes: the orbital period is 1027 years. The planet's ...
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6answers
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How do I figure out how many people my domed city on a hostile planet can support?

I have a colony of humans on Mars, living in enclosed cities to maintain breathable air. (If they need to leave, they suit up.) Assuming modern-day technology, how do I figure out how many people a ...
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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 ...
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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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4answers
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Can a world sustain constant low-pressure and high-pressure areas?

Would a world be able to sustain a constant low pressure area such that there would be a constant wind from one side to the other? Imagine that on one side of the world is a desert with some rocky ...
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4answers
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Could moose/elk survive in the Amazon forest?

In my story, there is a civilization living in the Amazon rainforest. They need some time of mount that is adapted to the forest. I don't think horses can survive by themselves in there, so I was ...
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9answers
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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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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 ...
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4answers
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Can Deserts and Plainslands be geographically close?

Deserts are defined by their hostility to flora and fauna and a distinct lack of rain. Plains are simply relatively smooth areas of land. My question is how much area would be required to have a shift ...
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5answers
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Can visible light be blocked while still allowing for light for plants to survive to pass through?

What I'm thinking for this question is that some kind of filter is put around the sun by aliens that prevents some kinds of solar energy from passing through but allows other types. Like if it ...
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3answers
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Could ancient seeds buried deep in subsoil sprout given the right conditions?

A friend of mine was telling me about a story where a man clear cut a diverse ecosystem of plants in an area similar to size and shape of a small caldera (not necessarily a caldera itself). ...
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3answers
694 views

A World Without Bugs

Winter is finally upon us! With winter comes a delightful break from the year-round torment of bugs flying your face. Winter is cold - as a result, you can peacefully breathe the winter air without ...
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2answers
833 views

Food sources for an undergound city

Lets assume a city exists underground, either in natural caves or synthetic tunnels. Are there any food sources underground, and what kind of population can they support?
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6answers
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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, ...
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What would push a civilization to terraform a planet considering the complexity of this process?

Terraforming is the process of transforming a celestial body to become habitable by Earth-like life. Even when I try to imagine an advanced civilization, the cost, time and complexity to terraform a ...
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6answers
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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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6answers
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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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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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7answers
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What would be the next technological step for a civilization after it has depleted all resources that allow for conventional technologies?

Imagine a world that reaches the end of its resources in silicon, petrol, coal, metals... everything that allows for conventional technology — even before it has found a way over it (renewable energy ...
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16answers
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How to cause an exodus from the west coast of the United States inland?

What I Need I need to bring about a scenario where most, if not all, of the west coast has been abandoned before the alien-robot-zombie apocalypse wreaks havoc on the world. Sweet, sweet havoc! ...
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14answers
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Is a world with two different types of air possible?

Is it possible to have a world that meets the following conditions? • There are two types of air (in term of its gas mixture) • Each type of air has its own creatures which cannot survive in the ...
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7answers
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How large can an Earth species be in 2016 without being discovered?

Preface With all technology discovered prior to this question, on today's planet, there are still some things we have not observed - which may be used to justify introducing new life forms, right here ...
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5answers
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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,...
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5answers
632 views

World Map - How can I tell if the Ecosystems are realistic?

I'm trying to create a world map for my fantasy novel. My problem is that I love designing things, and I'm finding myself bogged down with figuring out how desert A got where it is, and how plain B's ...
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18answers
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How can a nation of amazons avoid being invaded by their neighbors?

There is a large island populated entirely by women. Men are not allowed on the island and are killed or taken prisoner if they attempt to land. These females train to be warriors from the day they ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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. ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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2answers
186 views

Primary environmental concerns of a new coastal settlement

A group of settlers from a mid-renaissance era have setup an initial settlement along a coastline. Materials for shelter exist and fishing serves as the initial food source. What are the primary ...
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3answers
876 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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5answers
761 views

How can I figure out the territorial needs for my Werewolves?

There are lots of different creatures that are loosely based on wolves. The most prominent one is probably the Werewolf, a mix of a human and a wolf. But there are also others, such as Dire Wolves or ...
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11answers
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Architectural considerations for a city in a wind tunnel

A city-state has developed in the middle of a (magical) desert which is subjected to a constant wind and always regenerating its sand. This wind is gale force, always blows in a straight line from ...
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7answers
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What would happen if a society dumped radioactive nuclear waste into their oceans?

Assuming a planet with (water) oceans and technology similar to that on (current) earth, but instead of storing the radioactive waste in caves, they just dumped it into the ocean (in strong, heavy ...
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6answers
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Keeping someone warm in a freezing location with medieval technology

A quest line in my game features the kidnapping of someone from The Hotlands to an area known as The Ice Hills. The people from The Hotlands require a hot body temperature to function correctly, and ...
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7answers
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Is there a scientifically plausible way to wipe out power & communications in an urban-fantasy Earth?

In this question, I asked what would happen if a supernatural EMP hit an urban-fantasy Earth. The answers pointed out a flaw in my assumption: an EMP, supernatural or otherwise, would not likely have ...
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5answers
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Is there a limit for plant growth speed?

Now I know that there are limits technically on size of plants as seen in this post, but what I want to know is what limits a plants speed? I'm guessing it has to do with the soil, but is that all? ...
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3answers
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What would have to happen in order to force us to live in the ocean?

What kind of a scenario would have to occur in order for human beings to seek survival on the sea floor? It could be man made or natural, ice age or heat apocalypse, sudden disaster or gradual ...
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1answer
855 views

How would a solid shell surrounding Earth affect the climate?

(First time posting on worldbuilding, be gentle!) For reasons currently unimportant, Earth has been encased in a solid shell which is for all intents and purposes completely invulnerable. The shell ...
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6answers
563 views

How would technology develop differently without astronomy?

Imagine if Earth's atmosphere was shrouded in a perpetual layer of clouds or haze. Enough sunlight gets through to make agriculture still possible, but people are completely unable to see the stars. ...
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11answers
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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 ...
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10answers
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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 ...