Questions tagged [environment]

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

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11
votes
8answers
2k views

What would cause termites to be the dominant herbivores on a savanna?

Problem statement I am building a world where the flora and fauna is based on that of Gondwana, the lost supercontinent that consisted of South America, Africa, Madagascar, India, Australia and ...
9
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12answers
1k views

What would our planet look like with unlimited and cheap (i.e. almost free) energy?

Imagine the population of our planet is given free (almost) and unlimited energy. What kind of technologies would go mainstream which are not feasible today due to prohibitively high energy ...
8
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7answers
2k views

Infinite tube world

I'm inspired by this question and was thinking that it is nigh impossible for sun, moon and star to exist in this world and even if they do, there is no way to sun and moon to orbit and create day-...
8
votes
1answer
253 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
264 views

Plausibility of purple oceans

Alright, so I've been meaning to write out a planet with golden/yellow fields and a violet / purple ocean. What I was thinking about is having the water of this world is so clean and nourishing that ...
7
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8answers
2k views

Larger moon = Larger Tides = No oceanic ships?

In an Earth-like world with a moon as large as this: Would the larger tides discourage oceanic shipping?
4
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1answer
433 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
votes
1answer
526 views

The Monstrosities of the Appalachian Mountains and the Great Lake (No Plural “S”) [closed]

Back home, the Appalachian Mountains are no wider than 100-300 miles, no longer than 1500 miles and no taller than 6,683 feet above sea level, and the Great Lakes are five separate lakes totaling to ...
2
votes
1answer
259 views

The Great Plains Between Two Taller Mountains

In this alternate scenario, only the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians stand firm in the United States. Even so, some differences apply. The Appalachian Mountains (right) have grown to as tall as ...
1
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4answers
306 views

Changing the Danger Zone of Tornado Alley

I am currently at the end of my wits. No matter what change I do to the North American geography, northeastern Nebraska (42.4649° North, 96.4131° West), is still in the danger zone called Tornado ...
0
votes
3answers
425 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 ...
54
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11answers
10k views

How could mushroom/fungi forests be possible?

I am currently working on a setting which is fantasy but based around a soft approach to speculative biology. It is a tidally locked world with the habitable region based around the terminator ...
103
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28answers
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How fast can I flood the Netherlands entirely and permanently?

I want the Netherlands to be flooded entirely, and I want the event to be of such a scale that it goes faster than hydroengineering can keep up with. This will mean that I need a sea level rise of ...
56
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 ...
28
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25answers
5k views

Which shape for an infinite world with usual sun cycles?

In fantasy works, it can be interesting to imagine an infinite world. It means you can travel in any direction for as long as you want, always discovering new lands, new cultures, new landscape, etc. ...
42
votes
8answers
22k views

Can plants survive without animals?

Could a world with no animals whatsoever (not even insects, no humans, etc) still have plant life? These plants do not have to include all the plants in our world, or even any of the same plants. I ...
51
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27answers
13k views

If a large space ship crashes on a planet, what could kill passengers without obliterating the ship?

The situation I'm considering is as follows: A large research vessel with a crew of about 100-200 attempts to land on a potentially habitable planet, but something goes wrong during the descent. A ...
25
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11answers
3k views

Restoring the world after a global apocalypse

So the world has been destroyed. Pick your poison. We have probably 300 different scenarios lying around here somewhere. What's Left: The world is a desolate wasteland, dry and crispy and barren ...
21
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21answers
5k views

Is it possible to have a habitable planet unsuitable for agriculture?

I want to have a planet similar to earth with 45% axial tilt when hunter gatherers have an advantage over agriculture. The only thing I could think of is far north(Siberia, Alaska) & Sahara desert,...
42
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3answers
5k views

So we glassed it, now what?

"Glassing" a planet is a common ultimate tactic in Science Fiction, basically it consists in using high power energy weapons to destroy all life on the planet and reducing the soil and rock of the ...
33
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16answers
6k views

How could mankind of ancient times cause significant climate change?

They don't posses any advanced knowledge, their knowledge is in fact irrelevant, just their possible actions (it doesn't matter how irrational those actions might be) that would cause significant ...
32
votes
8answers
3k views

Where to hide my evil Overlord? [closed]

Story: I am a evil necromancer Overlord who has many evil minions loyal to me. However a hero has greatly wounded me, and I have to go into deep sleep in order to heal and regain my dark energy. My ...
18
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2answers
859 views

Food sources for an undergound city

Lets assume a city exists underground, either in natural caves or synthetic tunnels. Are there any food sources underground, and what kind of population can they support?
25
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20answers
5k views

Making a Planet Seem Uninhabitable

How can I make it so that an otherwise colonizable planet (or moon) can (entirely naturally) seem uninhabitable from a certain point on its surface? Background: There are a series of immovable gates ...
21
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5answers
1k views

Land coral and filter feeding

I had posted a question recently for my world building project concerning fungal lifeforms in place of traditional plants in a certain region of a tidally locked world. Had really good and informative ...
19
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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 ...
18
votes
3answers
707 views

A World Without Bugs

Winter is finally upon us! With winter comes a delightful break from the year-round torment of bugs flying your face. Winter is cold - as a result, you can peacefully breathe the winter air without ...
16
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14answers
3k views

Is a world with two different types of air possible?

Is it possible to have a world that meets the following conditions? • There are two types of air (in term of its gas mixture) • Each type of air has its own creatures which cannot survive in the ...
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 ...
28
votes
4answers
13k views

How long would it take for a forest ecosystem to overtake New York City?

Deer bound across broken pavement, eating from bushes growing were there were once cars beneath trees where there were once light posts. Busses have been replaced by bears, rumbling slowly down ...
10
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5answers
1k views

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. ...
9
votes
4answers
374 views

What consequences could a higher surface gravity have on life and geological evolution?

I am trying to build a world which has a bit larger gravity force than earth, 1.25g. And I was wondering which impact could this have on its geology and life evolution. I think that with a higher ...
9
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5answers
1k views

Ice and sand deserts next to each other

Well, the title is the question. I searched for a similar question but only found one asking about sand deserts and swamps together, so I think this is not duplicated. I have a strange mind and ...
3
votes
1answer
194 views

Semi-liquid atmosphere - Atmospheric and Visual Effects

Question 2 of Semiliquid atmosphere - Is my premise/conclusions correct; and will it get the result I want? Atmospheric effects - As mentioned before, I prefer it to be visually very similar to our ...
3
votes
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 ...
14
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7answers
2k views

Is there a scientifically plausible way to wipe out power & communications in an urban-fantasy Earth?

In this question, I asked what would happen if a supernatural EMP hit an urban-fantasy Earth. The answers pointed out a flaw in my assumption: an EMP, supernatural or otherwise, would not likely have ...
13
votes
2answers
523 views

Pharbohydrates vs Carbohydrates

Question: Are there are any serious biological or evolutionary plausibility issues with separating the energy storage/production function from the production of structural/regulatory biomass? ...
12
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5answers
3k views

What effect could drop the freezing temperature of water globally to −40 Celsius?

This question comes up from Is there a man-made or natural event that can cause an abrupt climate change within hours/a day? – trying to get KaguraRap a functional answer to an abrupt temperature drop ...
11
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5answers
2k views

A water cycle in an underground setting

The ozone layer depleted beyond reasonable levels and life on the surface has become impossible and life migrated underground in giant caves connected together by tunnels. Some of those caves have ...
8
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4answers
1k views

How realistic is the geography of my map?

I was told to post this question separately, so here it is. I need help with the geography and climate of my map. Blue circles are ports Gray circles are cities That one brown circle is a town The ...
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
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
371 views

Can a 25 mile high volcano form naturally on a desiccated desert earth planet?

The enormous shield volcano that this question was based on was held up by magic or God. It presented some very interesting conditions for alternate worlds so I thought I would develop that train of ...
14
votes
6answers
564 views

How would technology develop differently without astronomy?

Imagine if Earth's atmosphere was shrouded in a perpetual layer of clouds or haze. Enough sunlight gets through to make agriculture still possible, but people are completely unable to see the stars. ...
13
votes
1answer
247 views

What sort of water sources could occur in a world tree?

I'm working on a fantasy setting that's literally a giant tree on a planetary scale. Magic is in effect, so concerns of how a tree that large could survive are irrelevant, but I need to figure out ...
12
votes
3answers
437 views

What would be the effect on life/civilisations if the length of a year was longer or shorter?

If you want to have a smaller star but you also want to keep your planet in the habitable zone, you need to put the planet closer to the star. This means shorter years. It is also possible to have a ...
11
votes
4answers
480 views

What kind of environment would lead to dominantly yellow foliage?

I'm looking for various factors; Atmosphere Composition, Type of Sun, etc, whatever would work. That is, of course, if this is even likely/possible. I believe that yellow is generally not an ideal ...
9
votes
6answers
5k views

A Planet Where The Four Seasons Occur Multiple Times In One Year?

Earthlings, I live on a world where most places on my planet has four seasons, just like yours does. We also have one sun and one moon, presumably. It's been not even a year since I came of age (20), ...
9
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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 ...
8
votes
2answers
253 views

Is it possible for a temperate forest/freshwater area to form within a desert?

I am imagining a temperate forested area with freshwater lakes, rivers, small mountains, and rolling grassy hills. This environment is situated within a very large explosion crater. Outside this ...