Questions tagged [natural-disasters]

For questions about naturally occurring phenomena that cause damage and threat to a sentient being, e.g. tornadoes, earthquakes, meteors, etc.

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31
votes
5answers
9k views

What would be the consequences for Earth if the moon disappeared?

Scenario: The Moon disappears slowly -- within 3 days. It is a result of natural causes and we don't have any control over this disaster. What will be the Major Effects On Earth and life on Earth?
14
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2answers
890 views

How close must a supernova be to severely harm the Earth?

I did a little looking and it appears stars outside of 10 parsec/33 ly will have very little effect on the Earth. What it did say was that inside that range the gamma rays would affect our ozone ...
7
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3answers
260 views

Is it possible for coronal mass ejections or perhaps a gamma ray burst to cause firestorms on an earth-like planet?

Ideally this would be some sort of sun or star-related natural disaster that would affect the entire planet and make life outside of protected/shielded areas extremely dangerous. This is a human-...
10
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3answers
635 views

Geopolitical and Economic Implications of a Large Eruption at Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is the site of a large supervolcano that is somewhat due for an eruption in the geological near term. I have seen slides and discussions to the effect that large portions of ...
4
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4answers
346 views

'Magic Came Back' catastrophes - Fire-based Disasters

Referring back to https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/2781/magic-came-back-catastrophes In the interest of narrowing questions down, I am splitting these out into particular elements ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Where would an asteroid have to hit earth to cause an impact winter?

I found this on Wikipedia. I'm aiming for the fastest climate change possible without that much advanced notice, e.g. perhaps a regional sized asteroid scientists miss or are too distracted to catch ...
23
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3answers
2k views

How big a black hole is needed for this story?

The story begins in classic disaster film style. A small rogue black hole is approaching our Solar System. It isn’t going to get close enough to destroy everything, but it will agitate our Sun, ...
4
votes
4answers
307 views

'Magic Came Back' catastrophes - Water-based Disasters

Referring back to https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/2781/magic-came-back-catastrophes In the interest of narrowing questions down, I am splitting these into particular elements and ...
19
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4answers
701 views

Making doomsayers right - a moon(s), planet alignment that matters

Considering our topic challenge, and the fantastic eclipse last Sunday a question came to me. Could there be a stable (relatively speaking) planetary system where a(n) eclipse/alignment would ...
19
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6answers
20k views

What would Earth be like right now without the Black Death?

The black death wiped out anywhere between 20% and 50% of the human population, and so without it obviously the world population would be billions more than it is now. What I'm more interested in is ...
10
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11answers
3k views

How to prepare for a huge asteroid strike?

The scenario is the following: a civilization with technology level similar to humanity's current, on a planet similar to Earth, shall be hit by a massive celestial body in approximately one year. ...
2
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5answers
266 views

Effects of asteroid passing very close to the planet

I am trying to think of a natural event that causes very big impact to human lives - massive movements of people, shift of power, etc. This event happens in a medieval period on an earth-like planet. ...
12
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3answers
3k views

What did the night sky look like 63 million years ago?

I'm working on a comic which is essentially alternate-history fiction, and a big upcoming part of it involves the formation of the Chicxulub crater 63 million years ago. As I am a stickler for ...
8
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3answers
305 views

'Magic Came Back' Catastrophes - Wood-based Disasters

Referring back to https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/2781/magic-came-back-catastrophes In the interest of narrowing questions down, I am splitting these out into particular elements ...
11
votes
4answers
255 views

A giant meteor, balancing destruction and life sustainability

So as a geographic feature and major historic event I have a meteor (and the resulting crater) idea in my head. The idea is that the meteor sort of resets civilization. Obviously I don't want it to ...
11
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4answers
3k views

What would be the effect(s) of this asteroid?

"At this very moment we face a threat insurmountable to Man. We are faced with two options. Stay on Earth and die, or leave Earth to space." - UN Preservation Council, CE 2047 Earth, year CE 2047 An ...
6
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10answers
2k views

How to build a tsunami proof island city?

Igbi Island, a remote island located in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, is notorious for its extremely powerful megatsunamis, huge, deadly waves averaging 500 feet (≈ 150m), but sometimes ...
4
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8answers
809 views

Extinction Equilibrium: 50%

The last time I asked a worldbuilding extinction question, I asked on what sorts of factors would create an extinction event in which 96% of all terrestrial species and only 70% of marine species died ...
13
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6answers
2k views

Does the sun being blocked affect electricity?

I feel like this is the most noobish question ever. Anyway, imagine an asteroid hits Earth and the atmosphere is now full of particles, successfully blocking the Sun from Earth. There are people still ...
9
votes
4answers
520 views

What kind of natural disaster could create a permanent, global cloud cover?

“Permanent” here meaning “significant over geological timespans”, so it would have to last at least 10,000 years and produce a thick enough layer of clouds that it would cover the entire planet in an ...
6
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7answers
455 views

What factors could delay the rescue of a small group of survivors on a Pacific volcanic eruption?

The rag-tag group of natives and tourists somehow survived for a week on the manor by the cliff, while the volcano still spits lava and pyroclastic clouds all around. Just before the last cell tower ...
4
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1answer
423 views

Underground City scenario: Unpredicted earthquake

If an earthquake happens, will people underground be in more danger than people above ground or not? I can think of several pros and cons for each: Stay underground Pros: Minimum risk of ...
1
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2answers
339 views

How to naturally maintain a Earth-sized Planetary Ring System and the possible periodic bombardment that can ensue?

I need some help with a couple of the planet building theories I’m playing around with. I’ve looked up most of this stuff and can follow the physics if given the time (and instructional tutuorial help ...
13
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5answers
888 views

An Inverse Great Dying

252 million years ago, the worst event in the history of life on Earth occurred. 70% of all terrestrial species and 96% of all marine species became extinct through, according to geological records, ...
9
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4answers
880 views

What if the asteroid never hit? [closed]

Science fiction and fantasy stories are full of alternate worlds populated by races of beings that look mostly human but kind of different. But is that at all realistic? When the dominant life forms ...
7
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5answers
342 views

How can I catch an asteroid?

I'm interested in asteroid mining, but don't have the infrastructure in place to process ores and the like in space. However, I've got a nice planet-based refinery setup where I could easily process ...
1
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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 ...
0
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1answer
434 views

Do different angles of strike affect the destructive power of an asteroid?

I'm looking into the destructive power of a 5km asteroid strike, a bit smaller than the k-Pg event. How does the angle of the strike affect the destructive capability of a land-based impact. For ...