Questions tagged [environment]

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

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votes
1answer
491 views

What if half the Earth was covered in lava? [closed]

Imagine that some kind of catastrophic event takes place on Earth, like a gigantic eruption, and half the planet ends up transformed into a hell-like hemisphere, with volcanoes and seas of lava (like ...
1
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3answers
187 views

How to scientifically dim earth's sky by environmental means, without killing humanity

It would preferably be something that will either last a fairly long time fifteen to twenty years perhaps, periodically and last at least some months between or last indefinitely. I do not require ...
28
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17answers
7k views

What could be a valid reason for an entire section of a continent to remain unexplored and undiscovered, by the rest of the world in medieval times?

How can a part of a continent (super or other) remain unexplored by the apparently civilized majority? The undiscovered part must be habitable but inaccessible, by land or sea, so that the rest of the ...
54
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24answers
10k views

What could make an area of land be accessible only at certain times of the year?

I've looked around here a bit, but I haven't managed to find a post that really answers my question (though if there is one, please let me know). I'm trying to write a story where the two main ...
2
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3answers
294 views

What sort of cybernetic/genetic enhancements would make sense for cold-blooded soldiers leaving their natural habitat?

In the world I'm building, there's a race of sapient, technologically advanced lizard people, most of whom live in an enormous, climate-controlled city. Based on the answers to this question, it seems ...
16
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7answers
2k views

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 ...
5
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3answers
424 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 ...
9
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4answers
537 views

Living on a Giant Tree - Houses

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 ...
6
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2answers
226 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 ...
5
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2answers
322 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 ...
-3
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2answers
172 views

Why the Aeolipilie/Heron Steam Device 10-07 AD, Never Come to Be a Useful Power Plant Today? [closed]

System of the Aeolipile Heron Steam device from Alexandria 10-70 AD
6
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4answers
463 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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8answers
3k views

Equatorial icecaps and polar jungles a fantasy or reality?

I am writing a science fiction movie script and a planet idea came to me a few weeks ago: A planet with equatorial icecaps and polar jungles. As interesting and intriguing as this is to think about, ...
7
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2answers
401 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 ...
2
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3answers
340 views

If the sun of a fictional world did not rise on random days, how would it affect its civilizations? [closed]

I previously asked about the possibility of a fantasy world that has a different sun every day and where, on random days, no sun rose: World with a different sun every day, and random days with no sun....
4
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4answers
343 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 ...
27
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7answers
4k views

What natural protections could a small oceanic island have against tsunamis?

In what ways could an island be protected from tsunamis, given the following constraints?: It lies in the middle of the ocean, at least several hundred kilometers from the nearest continent. It does ...
10
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3answers
951 views

What would cause male and female insectoid aliens to become highly dimorphic and live in different environments?

Something I was working on in the past involved a species of sentient insectoids. The idea was the two sexes usually live in two very different environments and rarely come into contact with the other ...
2
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3answers
200 views

How long before today's landmasses are submerged?

How long would it take for the earth's crust to move in such a way that we, as a species, will be forced to migrate to other different lands than the ones we inhabit today? The result being that our ...
1
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1answer
248 views

Could human life exist on (not around) a brown dwarf? [duplicate]

This is question #2 regarding the background art of Worldbuilding.SE The Question What human-made improvements would have to be made to a brown dwarf star for humans to be able to live on it? Also, ...
7
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2answers
634 views

What would happen if a large area had permanent cloud cover?

This question is not a duplicate of this question. They're similar, but this one has one very large difference: only a large area has permanent cloud cover, not the whole planet. If low clouds or ...
5
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2answers
412 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 ...
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1answer
271 views

How can a world have permanent cloud cover?

The inhabitants of my Earth-like planet live high up in the atmosphere at ~1500 meters. When they look down, I don't want them to be able to see the ground. I figure the best way to accomplish this is ...
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0answers
167 views

Effect of asteroid impacts on Earth [closed]

So specifically I'm looking at three asteroid impacts at once. Little backstory: It takes place over 100 years in the future. Population steady grew. For unimportant reasons aliens show up. Three ...
4
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1answer
524 views

What conditions would make a permanent turquoise sky?

How would this effect nature as a whole and our living conditions if it does? The color is not too far from blue so it should be more feasible and not change the Earth too much.
4
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4answers
1k views

Effects of rainy zone in the desert?

Suppose there's an Earth-like planet. In the middle of the desert, a wizard/sorcerer/etc has enchanted a 30-mile-long rectangular area, so that, for two hours a night, clouds form and gently rain in ...
-3
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1answer
154 views

We broke all the river dams. Does it reverse environmental damage/climate change? [closed]

A group of humans, called the Dams, became sick of political feuds involving water. They were completely tired of the wasteful wars the countries fought for water resources. These wars had created a ...
3
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1answer
404 views

Russia's Alternate Geological History

Since the geological history of the world's largest nation is as big as the nation itself, and since I don't have a master familiarity with Russia's formation over hundreds of millions of years, I'm ...
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2answers
732 views

A Younger Siberian Traps [closed]

Back home, the catalyst for the worst biotic catastrophe in the world, the Siberian Traps, don't have much left. 252 million years of erosion was more than enough to reduce the igneous province from ...
20
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6answers
2k views

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 ...
0
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2answers
4k views

What would happen if all the pollution in the world just disappeared? As well other stuff? [closed]

Let's say that somehow someway, all the pollution in the world just disappeared, along with the trash, oil and random junk that filled the ocean, as well as the all the sludge that filled fresh water ...
13
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11answers
3k views

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 ...
11
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2answers
487 views

What would be the minimum percentage of water for a livable earth?

I am writing a small piece of fiction for a game. I wanted to describe it as much as possible. The setting is Earth, more than a milenia after an event of cataclysmic proportions that made the planet ...
24
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2answers
1k views

What effect would liquid sulfur oceans, sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere have on visibility, sound propagation and other environmental information?

EDIT: I eventually managed to find the absorption spectra of SO2 online - it absorbs in the ultraviolet range only, not in the visible light range, so the only factor affecting light transmitting ...
9
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2answers
978 views

Extending the Kola Superdeep Borehole

In an effort to accurately map and predict earthquakes and tectonic plate movements, scientists wish to insert sensors through the earth's crust and into the upper mantle. Through some Excel wizardy, ...
6
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4answers
187 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 ...
0
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2answers
197 views

Room-Temperature (or near enough) Superfluids

Are there (or can there exist) a room-temperature superfluid that is not toxic or in other ways dangerous to humans? (A superfluid being a liquid that can crawl up the sides of objects and completely ...
4
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1answer
315 views

Most effective environment for coboglobin

So after reading over other blood colors and the benefits of other blood bases I wanted to create a species that used Coboglobin instead of Hemoglobin. Though based off of Jim2B presented of, On this ...
2
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3answers
582 views

The Bamboo Rainforest

Ecologically, when you're within the latitudes of 23.5 degrees, you'd find yourself in rainforests rich in diversity but poor in nutrition. The forest floor is a barren mess simply because the canopy ...
22
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3answers
816 views

How much land area do my land-based animals (herbivores) need for food?

I'm trying to work out the kinks of an ecosystem on a planet that is rather similar to Earth, but with some species of animal (both carnivores and herbivores) we aren't familiar with in our world. The ...
5
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3answers
542 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
votes
8answers
349 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 ...
29
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3answers
3k views

How tall can a tree grow?

In my fantasy world I want fantastically large trees, particularly in the height category. The tallest trees on earth grow just over 100 meters tall. Why can't they get taller? What circumstances ...
1
vote
2answers
86 views

If I have a giant structure from a satellite to another planet would the people below see it?

For this scenario Satellite means an object that orbits the planet, and my satellite is going to be a moon and the structure would be a giant tube going to another planet. What would the people on the ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

What could fill the crocodilian niche in colder climes?

In populating a fenland region similar to the Somerset Levels in England, I'm finding a need for an aquatic ambush predator to haunt the region and snack on the occasional disrespectful traveler who ...
14
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6answers
2k views

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 ...
10
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3answers
425 views

From Mushrooms To Menshrooms

Alternate question title: From Fungi to a Fun Guy So, I asked a previous question about which non-animal would be the likeliest to evolve sentience. The answer turned out to be fungus, since mycelial ...
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0answers
289 views

The Arctic Plate [closed]

In this alternate Earth, each ocean has its own plate, and the Arctic is no exception. Horizontally cutting Iceland in half, we can find the border three to seven miles off the coasts of Labrador, ...
9
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4answers
312 views

How would a hollow, layered lattice planet work?

I had the idea to make an artificially constructed planet which is terrestrial, but has the diameter of Jupiter. Instead of being a solid sphere, it would be five spherical layers, with land on the ...
0
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2answers
112 views

Turning the USA's Streets Into Miniature Canyons

It'd seem, looking at this map, that all the streets of the Lower 48 States are already interconnected, so the alternate scenario is already off to a good start. But let's look deeper. In this ...

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