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Which of these worlds' climates sounds like it'd provide the more interesting setting?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by SinghSong, Dec 25, 2021.

  1. SinghSong

    SinghSong Minstrel

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    I've been thinking, whilst working on my latest protect (an isekai-type story, focused upon magical crafting and kingdom-building), and I'd like to set it in a world where the climate is radically different from our own. So, I'm just wondering, which of these do you think sounds like the more interesting and original setting?

    A- 'The Storm World') Here, the world the MC's been isekaied to has an extremely high degree of obliquity/axial tilt, of 75-85 degrees, comparable to that of Uranus in our solar system (which has an axial tilt of just over 82.2 degrees), with a large moon to stabilize its obliquity in the way that Earth's own moon does. Effectively, a 'Urania' style planet, as postulated by Neil Comins as one of the alternate scenarios in What If the Moon Didn't Exist? Voyages to Earths that Might Have Been- one where Theia struck the Earth at a different angle, both forming an alternate version of the Moon and stabilizing the axial tilt of Earth (this version of it, which the MC got isekaied to) at a far more extreme angle than it did in our timeline. This world has a relatively thin 'temperate habitable zone', situated at its equator, whilst its Southern and Northern hemispheres alternate between extremely hot summers and extremely cold winters on an annual basis (with the planet's 'habitable temperate zone', with room for temperature climate extremes vaguely resembling those of Earth, having been compressed into its equatorial region; whilst its polar regions got turned into nigh-uninhabitable super-seasonal zones).

    The polar regions of this alternate version of Earth, in mid-winter, is far colder than any part of our Earth ever has been, even during the 'Snowball Earth' period; likewise, the summer side is equally far, far hotter. All of the ice (both water and other forms of ice, including dry ice/frozen CO2) in that hemisphere rapidly melts a week or so after sunrise signals the dawn of spring, with all this water and heat being pumped into the entire hemisphere giving rise to gigantic storms, buffeting the small temperate zone near the equator with super-cyclones. Meanwhile, the hemisphere moving toward winter rapidly cools once the sun goes down, with all of the water there freezing solid within a few weeks of sunset, and much of the atmosphere itself on the dark/winter side of the planet beginning to sublimate and solidify into a huge polar icecap shortly thereafter.

    As a result, not only temperature extremes, but CO2 levels, atmospheric pressure, and humidity levels, on this planet also likely fluctuate wildly over the course of the year, with the atmosphere in the temperate, habitable equatorial region reaching its thinnest and driest extreme shortly after its summer and winter solstices (due to a large portion of the atmosphere itself being frozen into surface deposits in the seasonal, winter hemispheric icecap, and removed from circulation), and reaching its thickest and most humid extreme shortly after its autumn and spring equinoxes, during the height of the planetary storm season (when it'd all be melted and released back into the atmosphere again with the thaw ending on the bright/summer hemisphere of the planet, before commencing the process of circulating over to the dark/winter hemisphere, and being sublimated into dry ice once more). And this also makes the springs/autumns the fastest growing seasons for plants, which effectively starve and stop growing during midsummer and midwinter, as the CO2 freezes out of the atmosphere into the winter icecap, and the planet-wide atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 drops below the minimum required level for photosynthesis.

    B 'Foggy and Cold'/'No Man's Sky') On this world, the gods literally watch over mankind from above, akin to the traditional depictions of Heaven and Mount Olympus; up above the world atop the cloud layer, which is actually pretty low, low enough to be reached via ascending any mountain peaks more than 2-3km above sea level (of which there are few remaining, with most having been destroyed by the gods in the past, but where those gods still willing to interact with humans establish their residences). And due to this, unlike on Earth (where the temperature gets colder as the distance above the earth increases, by about 6.5°C per kilometre), this 'dominion of the gods' serves as an atmospheric boundary layer, with temperatures warmer above this boundary than they are below it, and a large portion of the insolation received by this planet siphoned off to never reach the surface (since the 'cloud banks' which their dominion is founded upon, in spite of letting through 90% of the sun's energy, is omnipresent and all-encompassing, with no breaks in their clouds to see the stars or the sky above for the mortals below).

    As such, the actual clouds of 'the mortal world' down below, beneath this layer, consist solely of stratus clouds, of the flat or ragged non-convective stratiform type. Only very weak precipitation can ever fall from these types of clouds, usually drizzle or snow grains; and whenever a low stratiform cloud contacts the ground, it's classified as fog (so long as the prevailing surface visibility is less than 1 km- or mist, if the visibility increases to 1 kilometer or higher). Thus, 'Down Below', the water cycle on the mortal world is limited to only low-lying fog banks, limiting precipitation on its surface to fog drip; and its (terrestrial) ecosystem consists mostly of fog deserts and cloud forests (of which there are several sub-varieties IRL in our world, including mossy forest, elfin forest, montane thicket, and dwarf cloud forest, along with more localized terms such as the Bolivian yungas, and the laurisilva of the Atlantic Islands- with any subtropical and even temperate forests where most of the moisture available to plants arrives in the form of fog drip also considered to be cloud forests) as a result.
     
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  2. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    World 'A' is very much like my still developing 'Eldritch World' with the added provision the planet is tidally locked to its primary: north is *always* facing the sun, 70-degree axial tilt, 40 hour planetary 'day'. At the equator, the day-night cycle is an even split, above +30 the sun never sets, and daylight is unknown below -30. Surface winds and ocean currents carry warmth from 'always day' to the southern hemisphere, while deep ocean currents carry water back north. Prime habitable area is within about 10 degrees of the equator, though tougher sorts can get by as far south as -20 and +20 respectively. Like your world, this planet boasts a giant moon in an eccentric (equatorial) orbit, given the axial tilt, it always appears to be at half phase, give or take a fraction. What does change is the moons apparent size. Summer and winter do exist as a result of the planets orbital eccentricity, on the order of 10%. Make matters more interesting, there is a very large 'hot Jupiter' orbiting close in, causing frequent eclipses, and a faint red dwarf on a cometary orbit in the outer solar system. Most of the time, the red dwarf is simply the second or third brightest object in the sky, about thrice the luminosity of (Earths) full moon, giving a few hours twilight to the planet's dark side. Closest approach though, it gets interesting.
     
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  3. LAG

    LAG Troubadour

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    I'm going for World A simply because I've speculated what sorta trade systems/politics would exist in a world which is very narrow, whether in another dimension or one ringed on all sides by impassable wastes/mountains.

    You have offered a more natural way for such a thing to occur, and having variable atmosphere/weather raging over that strip makes for an interesting scenario.

    World B also seems beautiful with its ecosystems, would be interesting to see how non-plant life adapts to such conditions.
     
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  4. emilyn

    emilyn New Member

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    World A is where I'm headed.
     
  5. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    Ewwwwwwwww. Why you getting icky science in mah fantasy.

    That said, of the two I prefer B. I find exploring the knock on effects of such things as gods more compelling than just a mere weird tilt to the planet.
     
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  6. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Archmage

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    What story do you want to tell?

    That's all that really matters here I think. Both are fine as an outline. They give options for different stories. And it matters if you want to actually make the setting play a large role or if it's simply the backdrop for the setting.

    As a side note, I don't actually buy the CO2 disappearing enough for photosyntesis to stop part of world A. The amount of CO2 which would need to disappear would be so massive that you would have constant huricanes flowing from equator to the poles to get all the CO2 there in time for it to freeze. Also, stuff still produces CO2. I would imagine people figure out pretty fast that if you grow your plants surrounded by a bunch of animals that they grow for longer.
     
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  7. Darkfantasy

    Darkfantasy Inkling

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    I wouldn't be thinking of what's more interesting. I'd be thinking along the lines of what causes more conflict.
     
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  8. LAG

    LAG Troubadour

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    If the conflict ain't interesting, I'd rather read a peaceful work set in a surreal world, where the conflict is expressed via the sheer alieness of that reality when compared to our own. Rather read that than a family drama with lotsa conflict set on contemporary Earth.

    To each their own, I guess.
     
  9. Dare Pelletier

    Dare Pelletier New Member

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    I think Option B
     
  10. Darkfantasy

    Darkfantasy Inkling

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    By conflict I don't literally mean conflict. It doesn't have to be external conflict through arguments and battles. I can't think of many "peaceful" novels. They all have at least some internal conflict. There are many kinds of conflict in writing
     
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  11. LAG

    LAG Troubadour

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    yeah I figured my post was vague some time after posting, you're on the dot.
    more of a personal thought experiment, trying to think up a story of someone strolling through an alien world, a type of garden or forest where their observation is the story... an adventurous person might touch flowers and climb lung trees or such, thus creating conflict, a serener observer might merely sense and smell and feel... which could admittedly be a boring tale if a tale at all, but I wasn't thinking about mass appeal I guess XD

    limited scope idea, as someone twitching their nose at a pungent smell is conflict. maybe describing things from the viewpoint of a robot/pure logic entity can work? hmmm, maybe the format i'm thinking of is writing about a tourist vacationing on a surreal planet, hiking and exploring. conflict of milieu will definitely then play a part.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2022
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