Questions tagged [environment]

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

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10
votes
8answers
3k views

How to avoid infinite gravity

I have a world I want to put together but I ran into a problem. Description This world is a cube infinite in all directions, exactly half of it is full of earth and half is space (where we see ...
7
votes
3answers
185 views

Preserving the mammoth steppe

During much of the Late Pleistocene stage, the world's most widespread biome was the so-called "mammoth steppe" - a cold, dry grassland which spanned eastward all the way from Spain to Canada. It was ...
2
votes
3answers
150 views

House blimp living [closed]

What problems might I run into if I live in an airship? I would like to entertain the possibility to park tethered to a sky scraper in an unpowered airship in order to save money and travel time. I ...
6
votes
2answers
115 views

How to calculate the average temperature of a planet with greenhouse gases?

I am creating a planet with an orange dwarf as its host star and which is at a certain distance from it in such a way that it receives 1 % of the light received by the Earth from the Sun. Obviously, ...
8
votes
7answers
421 views

Where to Put Self-Reliant, Rugged Individualists?

In fiction that tries to provide a wide diversity of cultural stances on the collectivism-individualism stances, there is often a trope that self-reliant, no-nonsense, rugged individualists (as a ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

How can an environment with an absence of predators be prevented from ecological damage?

The circle of life is a philosophy that represents the infinite nature of energy, meaning if something dies it gives new life to another. Of course, this is merely a cover for the Lions true purpose ...
5
votes
4answers
224 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
224 views

How could a small civilization move about normally, tactically, and quickly in a large swamp?

This is a small civilization (more than just a town or two) almost under the shadow of the regional hegemon. The dominant civilization knows they are there, but don't go too deep into that swamp ...
36
votes
8answers
9k views

How extensive could a habitable twilight zone be on a tidally locked planet?

If a planet always faces the same side to the sun, so that it has a permanent night side and a permanent day side, it will have a twilight zone in between the two sides. This will be a band around the ...
7
votes
6answers
379 views

How can chaotic entities be prevented from spreading beyond their domain?

This is a follow up question to one I asked earlier:How can religions be structured in ways that allow inter-faith councils to work? So, these gods are basically artificial intelligences that are ...
4
votes
10answers
538 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
387 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
votes
2answers
194 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, ...
12
votes
9answers
4k views

What kind of world would drive brains to evolve high-throughput sensory?

Here on "Earth" organisms tend to evolve only enough mental processing power to handle sensory inputs in modest amounts. Taking "human" brains for a quick example, even though we have millions of ...
57
votes
9answers
15k views

What impact would a dragon the size of Asia have on the environment?

Without going into unnecessary detail, one of the races of my world believe that the land itself is a dead god, and that by resurrecting it, it will ascend to the cosmos and carry the faithful upon ...
5
votes
1answer
325 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
427 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

What environment would goblins be best adapted for?

Goblins in my setting are around four feet tall, with batlike ears, a keen sense of smell, and lithe, dexterous bodies. They are omnivores, eating slightly more meat than the average human, and their ...
9
votes
1answer
161 views

What plant colours other than black could be available on a red dwarf planet?

Hello! I'm no scientist so I've reached the limit of my knowledge. I was wondering if any of you smart beans out there would be able to help me figure this out? Here are the specs of my system; ...
4
votes
4answers
372 views

Plausible homeworld for an insectoid-ish alien species?

I have a planned species of aliens that have many commonalities with longhorn crazy ants (cooperation with colonies of the same species, can live in a large variety of environments, and have the ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

Biomes and landscaping this odd-shaped planet (part 2)

I'm still working on world map of this pear-shaped planet for my alien race, so I think land-to-water ratio would be something 40/60% or 30/70% (I don't know which one makes creatures much bigger), ...
6
votes
1answer
140 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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
461 views

Is it possible to farm in a swamp?

In my world they live in a swamp similar to the Okeefenokee swamp in Georgia. My question is, would it be possible to farm certain plants like wild rice, milkweed, and lilypads in these conditions? ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

What construction and physics implications would there be for life in an underwater “high rise building?” [closed]

I'm working on a project in which part of the story takes place on a planet that is mostly ocean. There is a small continent with some manufacturing and refinery structures, but the rest of the planet'...
6
votes
4answers
929 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
171 views

Equatorial oceanic river caused by tides

The setting: A planet with two main landmasses, each one's center located more or less at each pole of the planet. Liquid water ocean in between them, wrapping fully, if not directly (due to the non-...
10
votes
6answers
298 views

What type of chemical catastrophic event might reduce the bioavailability of iron?

I am imagining a world where an astronomical event occurs, like Earth collides with a comet, and humanity is all but wiped out. In their desperate attempt to recover, humans enter a form of stone age. ...
15
votes
9answers
6k views

Could a Weapon of Mass Destruction, targeting only humans, be developed?

Specifically, if deployed on a town. The buildings, animals (flora and fauna) would be completely untouched, but not a single human would survive the blow. Secondly, if this is possible, what gene, ...
23
votes
8answers
7k views

How can a valley surrounded by mountains be fertile and rainy?

We all know about Rain Shadow - And if you don't now you do - and that the inner side of a mountain as compared to the ocean would be drier. Now a worldbuiding problem going around that phenomenon. ...
1
vote
3answers
154 views

Harvesting carbon free electricity from a field of plants [duplicate]

In the Matrix the movie machines used fields of humans to efficiently harvest electricity from them. In the endeavor to find a renewable carbon free energy source I can only see using plants this way. ...
-1
votes
2answers
123 views

Would an alien on Earth have an impact on its immediate environment in unexpected/unwitting ways? [closed]

Examples: Acid erosion to things it touches. Fluctuations in electricity. Spread of disease. Lack of immunity to certain diseases.
7
votes
3answers
724 views

Effects of gravity upon weather?

So there are loads of things that are taken into account with weather from geology to water currents to axial tilt etc. But i am wondering what the effects would be on weather on planets with varying ...
1
vote
2answers
140 views

What animals would be most suited to a tidally-locked world? [closed]

Are there any species that would be able to sustain themselves on the sunlit face of the planet, the habitable Terminator-zone or even the freezing icy side of the planet? How would animals adapt to ...
26
votes
19answers
6k views

The logistics of corpse disposal

A pair of fearless killers, thousands of years old, guard a path to what is believed to be heaven. Of course, all towns in the area have different ritual and traditions where either their criminals or ...
6
votes
4answers
259 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
13k views

What would happen if there was no wind?

Assuming that during the middle ages on Earth, all wind stopped. Some magic spell has made it so that air will no longer move faster than a gentle breeze from thermodynamics (the speed air moves out ...
3
votes
3answers
173 views

Salem witch trials safe haven [closed]

With the story I'm writing I really want to find an accurate place to set up a school (preferably in New York) that was originally a safe place to go to during the Salem Witch Trials. I'm hoping to ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Would a shallow ocean planet be possible?

For a story I am writing, I need a planet covered in a shallow ocean. What I mean is that I want the majority of the planet's surface (=> 60%) to be in the photic zone of the ocean. This planet must ...
7
votes
3answers
499 views

How can I prevent holy aura from a human body from radiating too strongly?

When gods descend to the mortal plane, they must inhabit specially built bodies in order to maintain their presence and hold their aethereal energies. These bodies are built in the aethereal realm ...
0
votes
4answers
196 views

How significantly would the course of rivers change over 10,000 years?

This one is rather straightforward. A character falls into a magically-induced coma for about 10,000 years and then wakes up to find the world around him different in quite a few ways. There's not a ...
13
votes
3answers
537 views

Are these climate zones somewhat realistic?

I have been slowly losing my mind trying to build a somewhat realistic climate map for a fantasy world I'm building for my book. A geographer I am not... I modeled the climate zones and such after ...
6
votes
1answer
321 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
411 views

No oceans but not deserts?

I'm picturing a world without oceans. I'm not after Arrakis; I want a quite lush surface. I'd like no surface water at all, but I'm concerned that makes evolution impossible. (I imagined using ...
9
votes
6answers
428 views

How long would it take for a group of humans to travel across a continent by foot?

Think a Lord of the Rings-esque quest to save their kingdom. This quest would also involve detours, but I can just factor those in later. The continent is around the size of Australia, with a lot of ...
7
votes
2answers
288 views

Drawing landmasses for this odd-shaped planet

I've just come here for some help drawing a map for this fictional planet where two roughly similar planets have been smushed into kind of pear shape like this: So this planet spins on an axis which ...
2
votes
2answers
135 views

Could bio-luminescent plants survive in total darkness for ~3 months annually?

If a three-month dark period was a normal, recurring, part of a 15-month calendar, and plants had evolved to be bio-luminescent, could they survive? Would only some survive and, if so, would it be ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Physically based explanation for glowing geometric shapes found embedded in a city, visible only in IR [closed]

I'm looking for an explanation for the presence of large geometric luminescent formations that are found to be embedded in the infrastructure of a city. They must be esentially undetectable to the ...
2
votes
0answers
106 views

Planet builder? [closed]

I've got questions I haven't been able to get a grip on for two different planets. One has its axis at about 90deg (like Uranus), with day & year like Venus (day longer than year), orbiting a ...
49
votes
18answers
9k views

How to not starve gigantic beasts

If I create dragons to be castle-sized animals, how am I supposed to let them eat? Won't they need too much for an earth-like planet? I'm currently trying to build a world where a whole lot of ...