Questions tagged [environment]

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

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6
votes
2answers
205 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
236 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
138 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
107 views

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 ...
5
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4answers
382 views

A fictional island on Earth with “longer” springs and autumns

I want to write a story on Earth as it is now, with the sole exception of one large island nation. I plan to introduce elements of mysticism into the story as well, but I would like to keep these ...
5
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7answers
306 views

Is development of technological civilization without ecological damage possible?

A god once created a beautiful planet and populated it with all kind of plant and animals. He brought up humans, because no world is complete without them. But then he paused. Not because he needed a ...
5
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6answers
1k views

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 ...
5
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4answers
605 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 ...
5
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3answers
513 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 ...
5
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3answers
376 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)...
5
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2answers
103 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....
5
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6answers
481 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 ...
5
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1answer
264 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 ...
5
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2answers
190 views

Post nuclear apocalypse fauna

The chicxulub asteroid impact caused climate change, and the climate change caused a mass extinction. But many land-based animal groups survived, crocodillians, lizards, snakes, turtles, frogs, ...
5
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6answers
612 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 ...
5
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8answers
343 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 ...
5
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4answers
650 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 ...
5
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3answers
319 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 ...
5
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2answers
164 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.
5
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2answers
515 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 ...
5
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1answer
132 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 ...
5
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3answers
408 views

Living on a Giant Tree - Animals

This is one of a series of questions centered around living on a giant tree. The setting/scenario is described below: In my fantasy world, elves live on a giant tree, very similar in structure to ...
5
votes
3answers
528 views

What weather patterns would occur on this map?

First, for scale, this map is about the size of the continental US. Assume that the mountains are about the size of the Rockies. These mountains are jagged on the outer edge, and more sloping on the ...
5
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3answers
436 views

All conditions being ideal (gravity, ecosystem, etc), what are the physical limits of tree growth on earth? [duplicate]

I ask the question, not as a subjective "well, Dale, what do ya reckon?" but as a perfectly factual question about tree growth here on earth provided a finite set of physical (natural, real) ...
5
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2answers
2k views

What cultural traits are common across biomes? [closed]

My question is: What are the cultural commonalities between peoples living in these biomes/terrains? The biomes currently factoring in my world-building include the following: Grasslands (including ...
5
votes
1answer
217 views

Bay evaporated by a volcano

In the world I am designing, I want to have a bay with a tight bottleneck, filled with salt water from the ocean. You can think of the bay as river shaped. To avoid creating a "C" shaped island I want ...
5
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2answers
261 views

Hot and Cold Reversed - Where should the line be drawn to prevent making the Earth uninhabitable?

In our universe, the energy of the sun generates heat and light. This helps keep the earth warm enough for life and drives much of the earth's climate. Warmth slowly bleeds off into the coldness of ...
5
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2answers
535 views

What would be the consequences of detonating all nuclear weapons on the edge of space?

In today's Dr McNinja, the Vice President of the US (who is also a wizard) detonated all of Russia's nuclear weapons on the edge of space at once: Copyright belongs to Christopher Hastings, 2015. ...
5
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4answers
215 views

Connecting Biomes

I'm in some urgent need of advice about linking together biomes in a realistic manner. Can a taiga connect to an alpine tundra to the north, and a steppe to the south? Then what would branch off of ...
5
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2answers
385 views

What would be the fastest method of detecting and destroying drone intruders in a geomagnetic storm area using modern technology?

In my world, I have a geomagnetic storm generator that conceals an island from major governing bodies in an Earth-like setting. I learned that exploratory drones would be unable to transmit findings ...
5
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2answers
312 views

Living on a Giant Tree - Resources

This is one of a series of questions centered around living on a giant tree. The setting/scenario is described below: In my fantasy world, elves live on a giant tree, very similar in structure to a ...
5
votes
2answers
373 views

What would the weather be like underground?

In my world, a population of about a billion people lives in an underground cave that has growing grass, a forest of trees, an immensely deep lake to allow for rain to flow through the water cycle, ...
5
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2answers
476 views

Could Two Planets Form A Binary System?

For my current purposes, assume we have two planets identical to earth. So, could two of these planets form a stable binary system, and still be close enough to see the green foliage on the surface of ...
5
votes
2answers
232 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
196 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
340 views

Mountaineers With Big Hearts and Even Bigger Lungs

No matter which mammal you are talking about, be it a rodent or a bat or a cat or an elephant or a whale, all have the same lung size--7% of the entire body volume. In this alternate scenario, there ...
5
votes
1answer
322 views

What is the largest dragon that could take off without destroying the planet?

Inspired by this answer: Suppose there is an enormous dragon sleeping underground (let's not worry about the biomechanics of how such a creature could exist). One day, it wakes up, shakes the earth ...
5
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2answers
169 views

Would a More Extreme Icing of Antarctica Create an Extinction Event?

55 million years ago, the world was literally a jungle. It was so warm that plants like the bald cypress and the dawn redwood have been found at Ellesmere Island, right inside the Arctic Circle. ...
5
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2answers
354 views

How can a world have permanent dense fog?

I recently asked a question about how a world could have permanent cloud cover. The answer was to turn the world into venus. However, my purpose for cloud cover was to have the people living above ...
5
votes
1answer
186 views

How much time is needed for a belt of migrating vegetation?

If an earth-like planet was slowed down to very nearly match its orbital period, so that instead of being tidally-locked to its star, the planet effectively had an immensely long day. Akin to Mercury'...
5
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3answers
279 views

Metropolitan Mollusks and Seagrass Serengetis

Knowledge has come to me recently that mussels can suck up pollutants, making them crucial cleanup crews in the New York filth. This knowledge is the inspiration for this alternate scenario, in which ...
5
votes
0answers
634 views

How would medieval civilizations be changed if lands were seas and seas were lands? [closed]

If we lived on Earth, but with land and sea swapped, how would this affect civilizations on Earth? This would include a total topographic inversion of Earth, so The Mariana Trench would become the ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

Are non-terrestrial ecologies possible? [duplicate]

I'm working on a story where interplanetary travelers occasionally have to deal with space spore contaminating their ships.  It's a very old form of life, and has spread throughout much of the ...
4
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10answers
529 views

How can I make the Solar System uninhabitable?

For the Universe I am creating humanity has devolved into groups of scattered tribes. This is due to the fact that we ran afoul of a really nasty alien race, who decided to leave us homeless. A ...
4
votes
4answers
641 views

What would make light pollution lethal or prohibiting?

Question I need something to make a city shut down any illuminating activity at night. Considerations The city is on the center of the a crater as on the picture except that the crater is in the ...
4
votes
8answers
972 views

What would cause a planet to be continually dim, yet still have heat?

You have a planet about the size of Earth. It needs to be continually dark, with just the slightest bit of light. Or no light at all. It makes little difference to the aliens that live there. But, ...
4
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4answers
332 views

Can a small island realistically have all these environments?

Would it be realistic for a (relatively) small island nation to have these features: A Forest A lake A snowy mountaintop A desert A bustling modern city How large would this island have to be in ...
4
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7answers
759 views

Impact on the sciences with helium instead of nitrogen

Suppose we have a planet whose atmosphere has roughly the same gaseous proportions as Earth, but helium replaces nitrogen, and has a strong hydrogen presence in the upper atmosphere; has a ...
4
votes
6answers
352 views

Can I have a glacier on a tidally-locked shallow-sea planet?

I have a planet that is tidally locked to its sun. The ocean is shallow (a few hundred meters) and was artificially created in the past by harvesting the system's Oort cloud or outer-system ice ...
4
votes
4answers
235 views

Is Earth-like habitable planet with erratic climate possible?

The conclusion of my question Is it possible to have a planet unsuitable for agriculture? was that the most plausible reason for preventing agriculture from developing (beside nomadic herding) was ...