Questions tagged [environment]

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

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5answers
236 views

Can Pinnipeds Fit in a Worm Forest?

In an alternate Earth, coral has been extinct for over 400 million years. In their place were the following: Bivalvia (clams, oysters, mussels) Cirripedia (barnacles) Canalipalpata (bristle-foot or ...
24
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5answers
5k views

The polar ice caps are melting. Can I replace them with icebergs made of pykrete?

Pretend I'm writing a story about a world exactly like our own. Real world physics, no magic, modern technology. Suddenly an eccentric world leader comes up with the idea to replace the melting ...
35
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12answers
8k views

What is the next dominant species?

If humans didn't exist, what species would populate the earth? Would an animal gain human-like intelligence if humans weren't here? What animal would gain dominance?
12
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5answers
2k views

Nuclear propulsion: viable long-term launch strategy?

So recently there was this interesting theory -the paper itself is quite readable, but here's an article link that expands on it. Basically, it states that aliens on those very habitable but massive ...
2
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4answers
170 views

Why would men find fedoras especially practical on a distant planet? [closed]

This question is a bit silly, I know. As an author my base motivation here is stylistic preference and a shameless attempt to evoke a flavor of golden era setting of so many great adventure and ...
10
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3answers
503 views

Determining climate and biomes in a non-planetary setting

I'm currently playing with a geographical setting that's flat rather than round and thus doesn't follow a lot of the same rules as one modeled as a planet. I've found resources concerning climate in ...
7
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3answers
425 views

Is it possible for a planet to have few metal ores but an overabundance of gemstones?

Background: The planet is very volcanic, having at least a dozen volcanoes on any landmass and even more in the oceans. I want the planet to have very few metal ores but a complete overabundance of ...
18
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5answers
4k views

Can visible light be blocked while still allowing for light for plants to survive to pass through?

What I'm thinking for this question is that some kind of filter is put around the sun by aliens that prevents some kinds of solar energy from passing through but allows other types. Like if it ...
2
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1answer
124 views

The World's a Jungle Again. How Many Species Would Crowd the Continents? [closed]

In accommodation to my last question, we are now transferring from meteorology to ecology. Today, tropical rainforests take up only 3% of the world's surface, yet they take up half of the plant and ...
1
vote
1answer
325 views

Which parts of our civilization would survive 1000 years? [closed]

If some catastrophic event happened that wiped out humanity tomorrow, not destroying any objects or places, which parts of our civilization would survive for 1000 years? What would the world look like?...
1
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4answers
354 views

Greening The Sahara

Would it be possible to "green" the Saharan desert, given near future technology If so what things might have to be done, what kind of plants or bio engineered plants and animals would be introduced? ...
2
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3answers
190 views

Could I EMP most of Earth using nuclear weapons without damaging it otherwise?

Let's say you have the entirety of Earth's nuclear stockpile at your disposal (you don't have to use it all, and if you need it there's an infinite supply of extra ICBMs) and that every weapon you ...
4
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2answers
162 views

What would be the ideal terrain for promoting the evolution of blade feet that sink into the ground?

So, in my last question, I asked "How could an animal run fast using blade-like feet that sink into spongy ground?" The premise was that on my planet, forests grow not from soil but from spongy, ...
4
votes
2answers
386 views

What would a world whose atmosphere is made up of primarily ammonia be like?

I'm trying to create a fictional world where the primary species breathes in gaseous nitrogen to survive (and hence relies on ammonia). I'm currently working with a planet that would be about the same ...
20
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17answers
8k views

Avoiding preventing your own birth in a time travel paradox?

Assume a world with no multiverse theory, just a single unbroken timeline. If you were to go back in time to the town your parents lived in on day of your conception, the air displacement due to your ...
2
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5answers
392 views

What effects would regular ash fall have on an ecosystem? [closed]

I have a desert world with high tectonic and volcanic activity. To the point where an ashfall is not an uncommon weather pattern. The ash itself would be very fine fertile ash. The ash also has a ...
4
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3answers
273 views

Dense atmosphere and survival?

How difficult would it be for a human to survive on a planet with an atmosphere 2-5 times as thick as Earth's but with gravity like Venus? Would such an atmosphere be survivable? If yes, then how ...
35
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13answers
10k views

Is a food chain without plants plausible?

Suppose there was a world on which evolution and natural selection took an odd turn and never produced an organism that could be considered a plant by our modern definition, but which still produces ...
2
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0answers
86 views

How much damage would the industrial extraction of oil do to an uninhabited jungle island? [closed]

Note: I have done considerable research on this topic and have not yet found an answer that fits the specific conditions of my question. Since my question has unique conditions, (for example: The oil ...
8
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1answer
203 views

What sort of habitats could exist Pre-Zanclean Flood which formed the Mediterranean Sea?

There is a lot of information on drying up a Mediterranean sized depression. However, there is not a lot of information on drowning such a large area or what sort of habitats could exist before the ...
1
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1answer
232 views

How could magic theoretically alter flora/fauna? [closed]

My world is close to an alternate earth except totally different. The planets name is Ethuna, and instead of magma and a molten core, it's made of a ball of energy connecting huge masses of rock. This ...
42
votes
10answers
4k views

How would societal development be impacted if humans were not an apex predator?

We are used to a world where humans are basically an apex predator; we don't really need to worry much about becoming some other animal's next meal. If that wasn't the case, and humans had to be wary ...
1
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0answers
89 views

Cooking with flatscreens [closed]

If you were stuck in a dystopian future, where all technology was useless but still littered around (and so physically available), what would you re-purpose to enable you to cook a stew? Fire surround,...
20
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12answers
948 views

Can massive military land vehicles be made practical?

The largest self-powered vehicle in the world is the NASA crawler-transporter, a 2700 ton machine designed to transport the Space Shuttle a short distance and in a straight line. During WW2, German ...
7
votes
3answers
187 views

Effects of a supermassive ship colliding with a planet

The basis of my story revolves around a single survivor escaping a massive colony ship gone critical above the skies of an alien world. After his escape via escape pod, the ship crashes halfway across ...
6
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1answer
233 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 ...
6
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17answers
2k views

Human caused apocalypse other than nuclear winter or climate change [duplicate]

I am writing a post apocalyptic story in which a large amount of the foliage is dead and agriculture has become much more difficult. My original idea was to say that this was caused by an ancient ...
33
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6answers
6k views

If a patch of desert were magically displaced to the middle of a forest, what would happen to the whole forest after certain periods of time?

First of all, I am tagging this with the magic because this phenomena is not a result of something natural. What would happen to a whole forest region if a patch of desert magically appeared at its ...
0
votes
1answer
159 views

What is the concentration of oxygen at higher pressure that humans can adequately tolerate? [closed]

I am thinking of a scenario in which the protagonist travels to a world relatively similar to the earth, but with certain differences with respect to the atmosphere, specifically its atmospheric ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

Creating a Cold Super-Venus for a story

My story revolves around a group of human astronauts exploring various planets via a new revolutionary type of drive. One of the planets I'm envisioning is a Cold Super-Venus, i.e. larger in size, ...
1
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2answers
325 views

Animal husbandry in post-zombie apocalypse Great Britain

Disclaimer: The scenario here is modelled after the M. R. Carey's book The Girl With All The Gifts and its sequel The Boy On The Bridge, so it will contain some spoilers. Scenario: Most of human ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

What are the best predators to spark intelligence in these aliens? [closed]

I want my aliens to have some very interesting adaptations, but with these adaptations comes the question "why do they even need intelligence in the first place?". My solution to this is predators. It ...
6
votes
3answers
248 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
409 views

Why would be preferable use crossbows than firearms? [closed]

First of all, I am aware that its impossible for a planet with less gravity than the Earth, to naturally maintain an atmosphere with the same terrestrial gases, in an equal or greater proportion. ...
11
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6answers
1k views

What ecosystem changes would be observed if all flighted creatures were grounded?

I'm about to kick off a game of Dungeons and Dragons. My setting is magic-medieval and the plot is that the power of flight has been suppressed by an avenging god. How long would it take before the ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

Airships without huge balloons/gas bags that can still “float” in air, using minimal or no energy

Making a world where you live in the air, as the surface is not survivable (Venus-like) but there are mountains which serve as islands. I'm gonna leave out the story of the planet as it's not ...
0
votes
2answers
327 views

What would the world be like today if a nuclear winter started in the 60's?

Obviously, any technological advancements that would have happened between the 60's and now would probably not have occurred, but I was wondering what the other possible consequences could be. ...
3
votes
3answers
397 views

Long term living without sunlight

May be the wrong site, but researching for a writing project... What effect would there be on a group of humans living in a lightless and cramped environment (assume underground) for nearly 800 years, ...
6
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
186 views

Planetary nitrification: could it work?

Imagine an alien species arrived on Earth, to find that the nitrogen in the air was toxic to them. Imagine they wanted to terraform our planet, and decided to fix this problem by nitrifying a lot of ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

What changes would be needed for humans to live in an ocean?

Taking genetic manipulation of humans to change them to live in other environments, besides maybe gills what other physical changes would need to be done for a human to spend 95+% time living in the ...
8
votes
1answer
205 views

Effects of Rings - Debris?

I've been thinking about writing a fantasy novel set on an earth-like world with Saturn-like rings. I've been doing some research here by looking up questions about worlds with rings, of which there ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Would a “city on a bridge” be friendlier to the environment than a more typical city on land? [closed]

The "city on a bridge" that I'm envisioning has the entire population living their entire lives on a habitable bridge or a series of such bridges over major rivers, only going on land for recreation ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Could ancient seeds buried deep in subsoil sprout given the right conditions?

A friend of mine was telling me about a story where a man clear cut a diverse ecosystem of plants in an area similar to size and shape of a small caldera (not necessarily a caldera itself). ...
0
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3answers
424 views

Sky Train Blimp Plane?

Can using blimps to hold power lines and implement laser filamentation of ablout 7 meter span from the source of power for a contact free power supply to power an electric engine (designed to run on ...
0
votes
2answers
557 views

What are the most efficient sources of water and electricity in a vast desert? [closed]

I have a story taking place in a vast desert. There are however a few large and highly advanced cities within this desert with running water and electricity and I was wondering if this would be ...
0
votes
1answer
156 views

Is a Terminator line(twlight zone) wide enough for people to live in? [duplicate]

I'm writing a story about a planet tightly locked in rotation. Would it be viable for people to live within the twilight zone of the planet? I'm not talking about just a couple people I'm talking ...
-1
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1answer
80 views

how Could we control magnetic fields around us effectively? [closed]

I'm trying to write a story where a character controls the magnetism around him, how would this effect him and the world around him, what can potentially be his weaknesses?
2
votes
3answers
232 views

What fruits and vegetable could people grow 6 000 years BC?

Considering a civilization that was here far before everything we know of, lets say around time of Gilgamesh. Warm climate, almost no winters, near the ocean with enough rivers, and people being able ...
0
votes
1answer
124 views

Making Earth with larger radius practical [duplicate]

If the Earth's radius were increased from 6371.0 km to 9010.0 km while maintaining the same surface gravity, how much mass do I need to add? Besides the main question, I also have a few other ...