Questions tagged [environment]

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

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4answers
345 views

Aside from low gravity, what conditions favor dramatic terrain?

Fantasy and sci-fi works often are set in worlds of dramatic terrain, because, well... it's dramatic. A few examples of the kind of thing I'm talking about: I understand that Earth has some ...
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2answers
482 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 ...
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How would a floating island work? [duplicate]

Your basic, average floating sky island. How would a floating island 1. Get up high, and 2. Stay up. Here's the info you need to work with: The planet is Earth-like (supports earth like life) The ...
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4answers
451 views

Is waterwalking possible?

I am working on a world situated on the Earth. There is normal gravity, normal conditions of living - normal everything, except the human population itself. The situation: Humanity as a species ...
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4answers
248 views

Could a nomadic hunting society survive in a country without wind?

This question is similar to What would happen if there was no wind?, but the lack of wind is confined to a small portion of the planet. To make things concrete, the affected region is roughly circular ...
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3answers
567 views

Could “normal” human development lead to a sufficient air pollution to make gas masks mandatory?

I'm starting a story taking place around 2080, and I'm wondering if the key element -global pollution- is plausible. In my storyline, the XXIst century brings no huge technological advances (I mean ...
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5answers
829 views

Could Bamboos Evolve Into Trees In the Past?

This question is based on a scenario on DeviantArt. The presented image is here: The description is as follows: By the start of the Cryocene, bamboo has become one of Serina's most successful ...
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6answers
167 views

How to remove most signs of past civilizations without destroying all life? [duplicate]

I am trying to generate broad ideas as to how to create a society with a refresh start. Where most signs of an advanced society (slightly more advanced then today's society) are gone but without ...
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2answers
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What would a world with a 45 degree axial tilt look like

If an alternate Earth had an axial tilt of 45 degrees, what would the seasons look like? Being the most extreme tilt a planet can have before simply replacing North/South with East/West, obviously ...
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220 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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361 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 ...
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4answers
673 views

What kind of event could destroy a major part of the infrastructure but leave the rest intact?

I have a certain vision for a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk world in which civilization itself is collapsed, but technology and structures are still existant. 98% of human population is wiped out by a ...
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Can enough CO2 be captured, in order to reduce global warming, to reduce oxygen levels to suffocating levels?

In a comment to a recent question, it was pointed out that Biosphere II failed in part because too much CO2 was absorbed by the concrete, leaving insufficient oxygen in available CO2 to be released by ...
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1answer
304 views

Could lakes of mercury exist on an Earth-like planet?

I am working on a planet that has insignificant (almost 0 degrees) tilt, no moon, rotates twice as fast as Earth. I intend to create quite an exotic "biome", so to speak, in a subtropical desert zone ...
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3answers
182 views

How to have people and big bugs at the same time

There's been a few questions about making big bugs before and the consensus in they can't get much bigger than 3ft or so (which in reality is still huge). Catch is, you need quite a bit of extra ...
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3answers
128 views

What cosmological/biological event could cause most if not all humans to go nocturnal?

I'd like to keep this as science based as possible. I'm not even sure if this sort of question fits this exchange. Is there a possible world wide affect that when triggered (by human/cosmological ...
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2answers
328 views

Humanoid evolution

Background We all know that our species evolve during and after the last ice age, (or is it sufficient to say that they evolve at the end of ice age?). A. Initial Condition Suppose I had another ...
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5answers
751 views

Postapocalyptic, Venus-like planetary atmosphere

This question is about the same postapocalyptic future setting as this one, so you might want to refer to it, if you have any questions… about my question: What species, if any, would survive this ...
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1answer
146 views

What tree type grows into the most dense forests?

"Tree" is (apparently) not a very well defined term as far as scientific classifications are concerned, so I'll put my own restrictions on it for this question: Typical healthy adult specimens must ...
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2answers
350 views

Could a plant-like forest or jungle form in an underground lava dependent ecosystem?

Could an alien underground macroscopic ecosystem including human sized plant-like organisms evolve around lava as an energy source? These organisms could use heat and/or light from the lava to ...
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3answers
247 views

Environmental/meteorological effects of a superstructure

If there was a supermassive structure built on earth (30km tall, 10km wide/deep tower with slightly slanted faces), what sort of effects would this cause on the surrounding areas? Specifically, what ...
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4answers
167 views

A world without permanent water on the surface?

I'm building a small, naturally inhabited world where usable water is scarce or difficult to access. Is it possible to have a planet with groundwater, ice caps, temporary rivers and lakes, seasonal ...
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2answers
766 views

How would Weather and Regional climate work on a Flat world?

For my WIP's setting I'm using a variation of the Sky World concept. The cosmos looks very similar to the Astral Sea. The shape of the cosmos akin to a torus and filled with a silvery ether a thin, ...
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2answers
200 views

What ecosystems and possible sentient creatures would form in subterranean pockets?

I am building a science fiction universe, and I am currently thinking of many different unique sentient alien species that would populate the galaxy. I have thought of a rocky planet with Earth level ...
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1answer
230 views

Underground cities in a Glacial Climate Transition?

My story is based on a Glacial Climate setting or an Ice Age. However the transition is gradual and humanity was given some time to adapt. The transition began in our real-world technological ...
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4answers
147 views

What would be some differences in the environment if the sun were always at the same point in the sky?

My fantasy world consists of a flat plane, with the sun affixed to a point directly over the main continent. This sun powers down to create night conditions, and then powers up again in the morning. ...
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3answers
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Taming our creations

We escaped the galactic government and we have created life, and sentience. We have created marvels and spectacles. We have let it loose. How can we control and monitor the growth and evolution of our ...
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3answers
357 views

how will an underground city state work?

In my upcoming book, nuclear war broke out and the survivors were forced to live underground indefinitely. How would a subterranean city operate, especially in regards to accommodation, movement and ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
201 views

Effects of a river that flows through the air to a desert mountain?

Suppose there is an Earth-like world with magic. Someone (maybe wanting a mining city or an isolated power base), thousands of years ago, wanted to build a city on a certain desert mountain, five ...
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233 views

A Completely Different Kind of Reef

In this scenario, corals, sponges and bryozoans have been extinct for 65 million years. In their place as reefbuilders are echinoderms, bivalves, barnacles and worms of the infraclass canalipalpata. ...
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1answer
121 views

In what ways would the earth's orbit/atmosphere/ocean currents have to be different in order to create summer with long nights?

As far as I know, summer and winter are governed by the amount of sunlight absorbed per unit area, where longer days would increase the temperature along with a higher sun angle. To elaborate on the ...
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1answer
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Effects of Red Dwarf CME (Flare) on Biological Life and Atmosphere

I have a planet circling an M-Class star (M3/M4). I'm trying to figure out what the effects of flaring on the planet's biosphere might be. Background: As some of you may know, M-class stars are ...
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6answers
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Can I have a forest in the rain shadow of a mountain range?

I've pretty much finished the map of a world I'm building for a fantasy novel, but I've realised that on one of the continents I need there to be forest on both sides of a large mountain range. I've ...
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3answers
6k views

How can I kill all the flies in the world? [closed]

I am a mad scientist who has discovered a way of efficiently killing all sorts of annoying flies, from mosquitoes to fruit flies, and want to unleash my creation upon the unsuspecting buzzers. However,...
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4answers
585 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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3answers
499 views

How would merfolk go to the bathroom?

By Merfolk or mere-people I mean sapient beings who share have some physical traits with terrestrial humans (a humanoid upper body and opposable thumbs at least, if that's not specific enough), live ...
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3answers
373 views

Could an entire civilization live in an upside down forest?

How it begun: In my world, the surface has become inhospitable due to the ozone layer depleting and excessive levels of air pollution. Life migrated to a giant cave (roughly the size of north America)...
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2answers
102 views

What environment would be required for a species that communicates through electrodes?

I want to develop an intelligent species that communicates almost exclusively through touch. Their entire epidermis serves as a conductor like an electrode, so that when they touch they share thoughts....
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6answers
473 views

How to prevent large groups of animals from destroying my land? [closed]

I've created a world that is filled with beings and creatures that are very specific that can be easily separated and recognized. In this world there are seven (7) basic types of lifeforms (not ...
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1answer
262 views

How long would it take to choke the world in CO2, if sunlight were blocked?

Humans require a pretty particular ratio of CO2 in their atmosphere. Plants use oxygen to live, and only become net producers of oxygen when they're photosynthesizing. If the sunlight were cut off ...
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6answers
604 views

What complications would arise from a world with an internal atmosphere and environment?

For a long, long, long time I have had a concept of a world that exists on the inside of a hallowed-out sphere. The basic construction of the world is like this: It is a large world, at the center ...
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8answers
331 views

Industrious uses for a perpetually strong-flowing magically circular river

So in my fantasy world I have a river that is in the shape of a perfect circle if viewed from above. Lets say the diameter of the interior is about 10 km, and the width would be wide at about 200 ...
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4answers
637 views

What are some of the ramifications and consequences of this world's'“exoticness”?

For my Science-Fantasy WIP I am considering using a single artificial planet (roughly the size of a Dyson Sphere) and its moons (of which only three are large enough to exert any real influence) as my ...
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3answers
184 views

Plausibility of purple oceans

Alright, so I've been meaning to write out a planet with golden/yellow fields and a violet / purple ocean. What I was thinking about is having the water of this world is so clean and nourishing that ...
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4answers
374 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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3answers
311 views

Would total reliance on Solar and Wind energy sources lead to climate change?

If Humanity were to suddenly come to its senses and stop relying all together on fossil fuels and start relying on wind powered and solar energy sources, wouldn't this lead to some sort of climate ...
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2answers
162 views

How would weather change if the distribution of land were very uneven?

I have a map for my new word but I am not sure how the climate and weather would realistically work on this map. Axis tilt and position to Sun is the same as Earth, with two moons.
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2answers
511 views

What if every animal as large as, or larger than, a horse, went extinct during the last Ice Age?

Inspired by this comment: What if every animal as large as, or larger than, a ice-age vintage horse, except for those that are acclimated to cold climates, went extinct during the last Ice Age? Ice ...
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1answer
129 views

Rainfall - poles versus hadley cells

I am attempting to build an earth-like planet using this blog post (mentioned to me by @MonicaCellio). The post is great and I've been able to quickly and easily create a world. I've had a slight ...