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Questions tagged [environment]

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

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10
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4answers
1k views

Size of the volcano that ends the world

One of the theories behind the extinction of the dinosaurs is the eruption of one or a series of volcanoes. Supposedly the ash expelled by these eruptions blocked out the sun, killing plants and thus ...
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1answer
96 views

Effects of global oil rig failure and/or pipeline failure

If there was a cataclysmic event that wiped out most of the population and sent technology back to basic mechanics (electronics destroyed), what would potentially happen to the existing oil rigs? I ...
7
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3answers
884 views

What is the expected terrain for an arid highly eccentric Earth-like planet?

For this question lets take a trip to Slyo Dacas: Slyo Dacas (sil-yo-dak-iss) is a world roughly the same size of Earth with a decent magnetic field and no moons. The world is a bit drier than ...
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3answers
887 views

How could a Dyson Sphere imitate a natural world?

I'm imagining an impossibly massive, diverse world that could only fit on the inner surface of a Dyson Sphere/Ring or similar megastructure. Would it be possible to design a system such that from the ...
8
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2answers
579 views

Let's build a Super-Habitable Earth

How do you go about boosting an already-habitable planet's habitability? I want to maximize biomass, hopefully cover the whole planet surface in luxuriant jungles and forests, brimming with insects, ...
5
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1answer
159 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 ...
5
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2answers
532 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. ...
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3answers
2k views

Can a planet with a dead core still generate a strong magnetic field?

Imagine a world with a dead core, like Mars, but covered in water. This world has managed to hold on to its atmosphere and quite a bit of its water as well. I'm sure the prodigious life there would be ...
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4answers
574 views

What natural defenses might an ecosystem evolve against dragons?

In a world in which dragons (as animals, minus magical associations) existed, what natural defense mechanisms might other animals or plants evolve in response? How would a creature as devastating ...
13
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1answer
631 views

What is the maxiumum depth for an Earth like atmosphere?

I am sure most of you have seen Star Wars. In Episode IV: The Empire Strikes Back our heroes travel to Bespin, a gas planet with a habitable zone to refuel at the floating cloud city. Well of course ...
29
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4answers
4k views

Less boring classifications of earth-like terrain when making maps

When creating a map for a fantasy world, I typically add broad top-level descriptions for terrain. Mountains here, forests there, a river, a swamp etc. Watch any nature documentary, and each terrain ...
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5answers
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The shortest possible distance between a boreal area and a hot desert?

Let's assume a planet like ours, same size and same conditions. My characters live at approximately 60° North, in a boreal forest, with a climate much like the Nordic countries in Europe. They are ...
3
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2answers
416 views

Asia vs. the Americas

For 10,000 years since Beringia, the bridge connecting Asia to North America, had vanished, the Asian and Native American races show great distinction. But if Beringia has persisted to this day, ...
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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. ...
3
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3answers
772 views

What would an Earth-like binary system be like?

I've been interested in binary systems lately, and I was recently wondering what Earth would be like if it was in a binary orbit with another Earth-like planet. Both planets exhibit the following ...
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2answers
221 views

Northern lights all the time? [duplicate]

What creates the northern lights? I know it's something to do with the poles and their magnetic field. On my world I need northern lights that: Don't fade Can be seen all around the world Can be ...
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2answers
521 views

What would we buy for our new planet? [closed]

I recently read that the combined wealth on earth is £146 trillion. If we divide that by the worlds population of 7 billion we get approximately £21k. My question is If the human race was transported ...
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5answers
2k views

What would happen if the Earth starts revolving around the sun in the reverse direction? [closed]

Scenario: Some major gravitational changes occur between the Sun and the Earth. As a result, now the Earth starts revolving around the sun in the reverse direction Timespan for this gravitational ...
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5answers
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Red colored world

It would be useful for a story I'm working on to color the world or various dominant parts of it red. I'm trying to look into the following alternatives, but am open to further suggestions. ...
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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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1answer
175 views

An Even More Northern North America [closed]

If I move both the North and South American mainlands (meaning the islands stay right where they are) north by a latitude of five degrees, what kinds of climates would I be looking at?
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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 ...
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1answer
163 views

Best place for human population of 2 million?

As my previous question(s) was too broad, I've decided to ask only one part of it: The situation: all of humanity in its beginning is on a single island roughly the right size to support 1/2/3 ...
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0answers
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Ideal cities in future [closed]

Because of population growth, space for living will become a problem in the future. Either we could build lots of skyscrapers or we could build underground cities. And I think underground cities would ...
4
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2answers
164 views

The Mystery of the Missing Ginkgoes

In my alternate Earths, the plant class Ginkgoopsida has retained its prehistoric diversity, unlike back home, in which only Ginkgo biloba remains. In order for that diversity to be possible in the ...
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4answers
107 views

What do you suppose the environmental impact assessments should be in near future?

Inevitably, we will be colonizing and impacting other planetary bodies, whether for establishing life or drilling/mining. Today, you can expect on Earth there will be environmental requirements for ...
6
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3answers
488 views

A city where it doesn't rain in the day, for a month, and can farm on the outskirts

I'm trying to figure out if a certain city, with these characteristics, is possible, geographically: Assume the city's the size of Renaissance London... With Renaissance London technology Doesn't ...
6
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2answers
337 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 ...
2
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3answers
627 views

What would happen to an urban fantasy Earth hit with a supernatural, planet-sized EMP?

Assuming a modern urban fantasy setting (thus, the world is "ours" in the present time, with the known continents, cities, technology, and general environment), what would happen if a supernatural EMP-...
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2answers
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Could the moons of a Gas Giant all be habitable if that planet was in the habitable zone?

I ask this as a basis for a World (in this case Moons) Building I'm doing. I came up with a couple of different problems and some possible solutions to those problems: All of these questions presume ...
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4answers
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What would the weather on this continent be like?

I am developing a world on this continent: To know the world, I have to know how the weather works. Inside the white line is the continent. The blue arrows denote the flow of water. Up is north, down ...
3
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0answers
366 views

Extra continent between Europe and North America [closed]

How would earth's history have played out if there was an extra continent in the middle of the Atlantic, about the size of India, between Europe and North America? Columbus would have landed there ...
25
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4answers
7k views

What if the seas had fresh water in them?

In a future world, where there is almost no fresh water resources left, a radical scientist comes up with an idea to turn all the oceans into fresh water. The general idea is to be able to ...
6
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5answers
768 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 ...
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 ...
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3answers
3k views

How long would a planet take to recover from a large asteroid impact?

As part of my world's planetary history, an asteroid impact has delivered a sizable quantity of a previously unknown metal to the planet Earth. By sizable I mean a deposit large enough to sustain a ...
3
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1answer
435 views

Long-term ecological effects of a global (but strategic) thermonuclear war

I'm currently toying with a post-nuclear apocalypse, with most, if not all, human survivors living in underground bunkers or vaults, and probably away from previous population centers—my test case is ...
13
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5answers
883 views

Could a species evolve intellgence and technology without Love?

There are lots of posts speculating about a planet (or whatever) where life evolves intelligence and goes on to produce technology, under different differences lacking something or another that is ...
8
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1answer
916 views

How would an intelligent race on a methane world achieve a fire equivalent?

Linked: What would the conditions on a methane world be like? What would animal life on a methane world look like and how would it evolve? Background: Okay, an intelligent race has evolved on a ...
9
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3answers
776 views

How would the global environment of a completely urbanized city-planet be affected?

Related: How would a completely urbanized city-planet support its population? How a completely urbanized city-planet be maintained? Why would a completely urbanized city-planet exist? The properties ...
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1answer
853 views

In a world without electricity, can we still go to space?

A weird question. But let me define "a world without electricity": It's not that we haven't discovered electricity. But rather, electricity doesn't work anymore. Nothing conducts electricity. ...
5
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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 ...
9
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2answers
535 views

Resolving Environmental Implications of an Extremely Massive Mountain

I am doing some work within the setting of the Exalted tabletop role-playing game. In broad brush strokes, the defining feature of the world is the five elemental poles: Water (west), Wood (east), Air ...
6
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4answers
677 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 ...
2
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4answers
964 views

How many people would I have to convince to rebuild their home under ground before it becomes standard practice? [closed]

Background: My goal is to rebuild my own home under ground to save energy and reduce risk from environmental hazards. I plan to make my home carbon neutral. It will be self sustaining and designed ...
9
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3answers
494 views

What would be the overwhelming smell of life in my domed city?

I am writing a YA adventure novel that takes place in a domed city. For my model of the dome, I am using the Mir mine project design: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-11/17/russia-domed-...
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7answers
3k views

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 ...
17
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7answers
2k views

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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5answers
4k views

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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0answers
284 views

Living in a world with no mechanical friction [closed]

What effects would produce living in a world with no mechanical friction, with all surfaces slick and clean?