(C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Post by Zekoslav »

After having read more about wind patterns in hothouse worlds, I've come to the conclusion that they're unknown. There are mutliple contradictory models!

Most people agree that tropics expand, while concerning polar circles some suggest that they expand and others that they contract. If expansion is true, that would mean that polar easterlies would expand equatorward (this may be true and may the the explanation for why Patagonia used to be wet: it was under the effect of polar easterlies while now it's under the effect of westerlies, or rather isn't because there's mountains in the way). If contraction is true, then that means that it's the westerlies that shift poleward.

This is true only for the cold season, where the poles are higher pressure than lower latitudes. In warm seasons, the pressure gradient breaks down and the polar jet stream disappears. Because of that the westerlies are disrupted... how much depends on the model. In some models they're just weakened, in some they break down completely (replaced by local, land-and-sea based wind patterns, like mini-monsoons). They remain the strongest right at the ferrel/hadley cell border.

This summertime weakening of westerlies can have interesting consequence, such as mediterranean climate expanding to Ireland and England...

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Post by Pabappa »

Zekoslav wrote: 19 Oct 2019 15:59
This summertime weakening of westerlies can have interesting consequence, such as mediterranean climate expanding to Ireland and England...
We basically have that in North America, where even into southwestern Canada the summer is much drier than the winter. Washington & Oregon are remarkably dry in summer for their latitude .... even Europe doesnt compare. Though I think this may be due to differences in pressure and sea temperature, and not so much from the winds ... unless the winds are themselves carried by those differences in temperature and pressure.
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Pabappa wrote: 19 Oct 2019 17:07
Zekoslav wrote: 19 Oct 2019 15:59
This summertime weakening of westerlies can have interesting consequence, such as mediterranean climate expanding to Ireland and England...
We basically have that in North America, where even into southwestern Canada the summer is much drier than the winter. Washington & Oregon are remarkably dry in summer for their latitude .... even Europe doesnt compare. Though I think this may be due to differences in pressure and sea temperature, and not so much from the winds ... unless the winds are themselves carried by those differences in temperature and pressure.
It would be nice if I could rely on an agreed model to apply to my planet, but climate is so complex that there's not even an agreed model! At this point I better stop worrying too much. Some scientists think basically nothing changes when temperature increases, others think everything breaks down!

This and this map don't tell much. The first is based on data, and is quite spotty due to lack thereof. The second is based on a model. The data based map has pretty much the same humid and arid pattern as today's world, while the model based map has subtropical arid (and humid) areas extending much more poleward, sometimes contradicting the data based map.

At this point I better just make my temperate forests jungles, my taigas temperate forests and my tundras and icecaps temperate grasslands..
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Pabappa wrote: 19 Oct 2019 17:07 Washington & Oregon are remarkably dry in summer for their latitude .... even Europe doesnt compare.
Average precipitation, June-September, in Seattle: 118mm. In Madrid: 65mm. There's only one month in which Seattle isn't at least twice as rainy as Madrid, and no month when it's drier overall. Even in Spokane, it's 80mm. [Spokane is drier than Madrid over July-October, because Madrid gets a bit wet in October, but October is clearly not 'summer' anymore].

[In Bend, Oregon, it's 56mm, which is admittedly drier than Madrid, but then Bend is in an area called 'The High Desert', so that's not a great surprise. Bend is dry because it's 140m from the sea, on the other side of TWO mountain ranges, both higher than the hills in Spain, and is at twice the altitude of Madrid]
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I meant the coasts .... the comparison holds up for the interiors too, but I didnt bring it up because Europe doesnt have a giant mountain range right along the west coast comparable to North America's. Still, to answer the Madrid vs Seattle thing ... those cities are not at equal latitudes. compare instead Seattle to extreme northern France or Vancouver to southern England. and Astoria, OR shows that this dryness extends out into the extreme coastal locations as well. even Bella Coola still has a noticeable summer dry period, all the way up at 52°N.
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...OK, first, sorry I didn't guess that by "remarkably dry, even Europe doesn't compare" you meant that "right on the coast, parts are drier than parts of Europe at an equivalent latitude", which is not quite the same thing.

Second, here's June-August three-month average summer precipitation for settlements at more or less the same latitude, from south to north, on the extreme coast of America and Europe:

Brookings: 80mm
Viana do Castello: 80mm

Astoria: 120mm
La Rochelle: 128mm

Henderson Lake: 162mm
Ushant: 153mm


I'm not seeing a "remarkable" difference here.

[of course, the precipitation patterns aren't identical. The American settlements are wetter in spring (so would be wetter if we included April and May in these numbers), whereas the European settments are wetter in autumn (so would be wetter if we included September and October).]
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Post by Pabappa »

All three of those American settlements are clearly wetter in autumn than those that line up with them in Europe. And in winter, and in spring. Which is why they can *almost* be classified as Mediterranean ... and that's only "almost" because it's the temperatures that keep them from qualifying, not the rainfall.

I dont understand why you led in your first post by picking cities with misaligned latitudes. Wouldnt the good-faith assumption be that I was comparing like against like?

But this isnt about my conworld, and the original poster isnt going to get anything out of this debate, so I have no real intent to keep on arguing this topic, and if you still feel that youre right and Im wrong, Im perfectly OK with that. Thanks for the conversation even so.
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After weeks of perfectionistic procrastination, I finally got enough inspiration to start properly working on my climatically controversial conworld. And no, it's not climate, it's tectonics!

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Yellow: outline of continental shelf, Red: divergent boundary, Blue: convergent boundary, White: transform boundary.


It's a work in progress, and there will definitely be divergent boundaries in the small tropical ocean and the southern polar ocean (you can see on the map that some continents fit together [;)]), as well as somewhere in the big tropical ocean, but I don't know where as of now. The reason for this is that when comparing the ratio of land and sea to Earth, there is space for one, roughly South America sized continent. I thought to make it very long and thin and to put it around the equator at the west edge of the map, so that it blocks sea currents and reduces the heating effect of the circumtropical current. However, the eastern side of the map is very empty and a continent there would look nice from a graphical point of view. What do you think?
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Re: (C&C) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis »

Green plants : chlorophyll :: blue-green algae : ???
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Khemehekis wrote: 07 May 2020 05:23 Green plants : chlorophyll :: blue-green algae : ???
green plants : chlorophyll(s) (+ carotenoids, flavonoids, betalains) :: cyanobacteria : phycocyanin + chlorophyll(s)
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elemtilas wrote: 07 May 2020 05:41 green plants : chlorophyll(s) (+ carotenoids, flavonoids, betalains) :: cyanobacteria : phycocyanin + chlorophyll(s)
Thanks!

For the planet Keitel in the Lehola Galaxy, I am thinking of having the plants be blue-green. The cyanobacteria on that planet would evolve into the multicellular, eukaryotic cyanalgae, from which would spring blue-green plants (kingdom Cyanoplantae). The blue-green plants would have divisions analogous to mosses, ferns, conifers, cycads, and angiosperms, but would keep their phycocyanin. Herbivores on that planet would be adapted so as to get their nutrients from blue-green plants. There would also be frugivores, which would get their nutrients from the fruits of these plants. Various species would have carotene, lycopenes, punicosides, etc., much like the plants of the human bioswath.

I've never heard of betalains, but judging by the name, I'm assuming they're found in beets?
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elemtilas wrote: 07 May 2020 05:41
Khemehekis wrote: 07 May 2020 05:23 Green plants : chlorophyll :: blue-green algae : ???
green plants : chlorophyll(s) (+ carotenoids, flavonoids, betalains) :: cyanobacteria : phycocyanin + chlorophyll(s)
well the other compounds aren't present in the photosystems, that's all chlorophyll's job. But there's multiple types of chlorophyll, and so it's really
Viridiplantae : chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b :: algae : chlorophyll a, chlorophyll c1, and chlorophyll c2 :: cyanobacteria : chlorophyll a, chlorophyll d and chlorophyll f.
Khemehekis wrote: 07 May 2020 06:07
elemtilas wrote: 07 May 2020 05:41 green plants : chlorophyll(s) (+ carotenoids, flavonoids, betalains) :: cyanobacteria : phycocyanin + chlorophyll(s)
Thanks!

For the planet Keitel in the Lehola Galaxy, I am thinking of having the plants be blue-green. The cyanobacteria on that planet would evolve into the multicellular, eukaryotic cyanalgae, from which would spring blue-green plants (kingdom Cyanoplantae). The blue-green plants would have divisions analogous to mosses, ferns, conifers, cycads, and angiosperms, but would keep their phycocyanin. Herbivores on that planet would be adapted so as to get their nutrients from blue-green plants. There would also be frugivores, which would get their nutrients from the fruits of these plants. Various species would have carotene, lycopenes, punicosides, etc., much like the plants of the human bioswath.

I've never heard of betalains, but judging by the name, I'm assuming they're found in beets?
The blue-green color is an adaptation to water living, where blue light penetrates deeper than other lights. Blue green plants would slowly evolve to favor green colors on the surface. (Obviously the message is that you shouldn't worry too much about the specific evolution).

From my understanding phycocyanins participate as electron donors in the photosystems, but carotenoids only serve as electron transmissors, meaning that while phycocyanins are an chlorophyll analogue, carotenoids are not.

Betalain is found in beets though
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Khemehekis wrote: 07 May 2020 06:07 For the planet Keitel
An intentional naming, or a curious coincidence?
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qwed117 wrote: 07 May 2020 06:08 The blue-green color is an adaptation to water living, where blue light penetrates deeper than other lights. Blue green plants would slowly evolve to favor green colors on the surface. (Obviously the message is that you shouldn't worry too much about the specific evolution).
Well, I can scratch that idea.

I already have a lot of planets with green plants. Shaleya has several plant kingdoms, including pink plants, which due to their light pigmentation can't grow in the taigas. I'm doing some planets with black plants (complete with melanophyll), most notably Lisseti and the bioswath common to the planets whose chordologue (vertebrate-analogue) phylum has seashell-like ridges on their cranium (like the blue boy alien here), such as the añak of Quispe. I'm running out of ideas for new green plant species, and I don't want to go down the path of starting out with bryophytes on Keitel anyway -- this has a set of plants and animals unrelated to any bioswath I've placed in the Lehola Galaxy before -- so I'm looking for a new idea for a plant kingdom I could place on Keitel.
Betalain is found in beets though
That was what I would imagine. Like Beta vulgaris.
Last edited by Khemehekis on 12 May 2020 00:10, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Khemehekis »

elemtilas wrote: 07 May 2020 10:18
Khemehekis wrote: 07 May 2020 06:07 For the planet Keitel
An intentional naming, or a curious coincidence?
It's the latter. I came up with the planet name when I was 15, and had never heard of Harvey Keitel.
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Khemehekis wrote: 12 May 2020 00:05
qwed117 wrote: 07 May 2020 06:08 The blue-green color is an adaptation to water living, where blue light penetrates deeper than other lights. Blue green plants would slowly evolve to favor green colors on the surface. (Obviously the message is that you shouldn't worry too much about the specific evolution).
Well, I can scratch that idea.

I already have a lot of planets with green plants. Shaleya has several plant kingdoms, including pink plants, which due to their light pigmentation can't grow in the taigas. I'm doing some planets with black plants (complete with melanophyll)
I'd suggest thinking about what sort of style of work you're aiming for. If you want something naturalistic, then it's important to realise that plant colour isn't just a random thing. Plants are green because they grow under - to simplify atrociously here - a yellow sun filtered through a blue sky. Unless you dramatically change the basic chemistry and physics, you'd not going to get dramatically different biology. Conversely, if you're not aiming for naturalism, then you don't have to worry about chlorophyll, or indeed our opinion!
the planets whose chordologue (vertebrate-analogue) phylum has seashell-like ridges on their craniump
Here I think you have the opposite problem. Being the primary vertebrate-analogue phylum on multiple planets is a big, fundamental thing. What shape your skull is, by comparison, is an incredibly trivial thing. Species can absolutely evolve to have skulls like this, for whatever reason - but there's no reason an entire phylum would, when it's a feature that's so trivial, and hence so easily changed. . That's like rolling a thousand sixes in a row.

To give a concrete example: these thirteen skulls are all from a single genus. You'll notice that the protrusions on the skulls vary from tiny, barely-noticeable bumps, all the way up to giant spikes. And it's not just the size of the spikes - how many spikes there are, and where they're located, are all also all variable even within this single genus (Phrynosoma). And the closest relatives of this genus, the other genera in the same subfamily, don't show these protrusions at all!

The point here is that something a visible as a giant spike in your skull - let alone a little groove or ridge here or there - seems like it should be 'important' - something fundamental to the design of the species. But the reality is: it's the opposite. Superficial differences like this are the sort of thing that can change very rapidly.

For an example closer to home: this is a close relative of you an me - despite that massive, Spartan crest crowning the skull, despite the giant eyebrows, despite the immense, and sharp, sideways cheekbones, despite how stretched the whole thing is, despite the big bulges at the back. And look at the eyebrows on this guy!
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are you sure about the pigments? i dont see why a blue pigment would be better at absorbing blue light than other colors, nor why a green one would absorb the sun's light better than other colors. after all, a black pigment absorbs all the light, right? if color was all that matters, black should be the best absorber in all environments, but there are apparently other factors involved.
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Khemehekis wrote: 12 May 2020 00:05
qwed117 wrote: 07 May 2020 06:08 The blue-green color is an adaptation to water living, where blue light penetrates deeper than other lights. Blue green plants would slowly evolve to favor green colors on the surface. (Obviously the message is that you shouldn't worry too much about the specific evolution).
Well, I can scratch that idea.

I already have a lot of planets with green plants. Shaleya has several plant kingdoms, including pink plants, which due to their light pigmentation can't grow in the taigas. I'm doing some planets with black plants (complete with melanophyll), most notably Lisseti and the bioswath common to the planets whose chordologue (vertebrate-analogue) phylum has seashell-like ridges on their cranium (like the blue boy alien here), such as the añak of Quispe. I'm running out of ideas for new green plant species, and I don't want to go down the path of starting out with bryophytes on Keitel anyway -- this has a set of plants and animals unrelated to any bioswath I've placed in the Lehola Galaxy before -- so I'm looking for a new idea for a plant kingdom I could place on Keitel.
Fluorescent hot pink post-algae-quasi-worm species that live on a moon under a bright uv star living symbiotically with black plants. Their broad leaves look like tar paper joints during the day, but at night, they unroll and do their photosynthetic thing from underneath by the light emitted by the quasi-worms.
Khemehekis wrote: 12 May 2020 00:05An intentional naming, or a curious coincidence?
It's the latter. I came up with the planet name when I was 15, and had never heard of Harvey Keitel.
Ha! Course I had Gen. Wilhelm Keitel in mind!
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Post by Mándinrùh »

Pabappa wrote: 12 May 2020 02:44 are you sure about the pigments? i dont see why a blue pigment would be better at absorbing blue light than other colors, nor why a green one would absorb the sun's light better than other colors. after all, a black pigment absorbs all the light, right? if color was all that matters, black should be the best absorber in all environments, but there are apparently other factors involved.
I'll go even farther: a blue pigment is worse at absorbing blue light than other colors. The reason it's blue is that it reflects blue light while absorbing other colors.
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Post by Khemehekis »

Salmoneus wrote: 12 May 2020 02:29 I'd suggest thinking about what sort of style of work you're aiming for. If you want something naturalistic, then it's important to realise that plant colour isn't just a random thing. Plants are green because they grow under - to simplify atrociously here - a yellow sun filtered through a blue sky. Unless you dramatically change the basic chemistry and physics, you'd not going to get dramatically different biology. Conversely, if you're not aiming for naturalism, then you don't have to worry about chlorophyll, or indeed our opinion!
I got the idea for planets with black plants from the Wikipedia article on astrobiology. The article showed an artist's rendition of alien plants that was captioned something like "On other planets, plants may come in colors other than green". The text of the article mentioned that given what biologists know about absorption and reflection, one would expect plants on Earth to be black rather than green, and that it is unknown why Earth's plants are green.

My idea was that red algae would evolve into a red plant kingdom, and brown algae would evolve into a brown plant kingdom, and the reason the plants on a certain planet had its color would be diachronic. Althoigh, given what Qwed117 said about blue-green becoming green on the surface, I may need to rework that.
the planets whose chordologue (vertebrate-analogue) phylum has seashell-like ridges on their cranium
Here I think you have the opposite problem. Being the primary vertebrate-analogue phylum on multiple planets is a big, fundamental thing. What shape your skull is, by comparison, is an incredibly trivial thing. Species can absolutely evolve to have skulls like this, for whatever reason - but there's no reason an entire phylum would, when it's a feature that's so trivial, and hence so easily changed. . That's like rolling a thousand sixes in a row.

To give a concrete example: these thirteen skulls are all from a single genus. You'll notice that the protrusions on the skulls vary from tiny, barely-noticeable bumps, all the way up to giant spikes. And it's not just the size of the spikes - how many spikes there are, and where they're located, are all also all variable even within this single genus (Phrynosoma). And the closest relatives of this genus, the other genera in the same subfamily, don't show these protrusions at all!

The point here is that something a visible as a giant spike in your skull - let alone a little groove or ridge here or there - seems like it should be 'important' - something fundamental to the design of the species. But the reality is: it's the opposite. Superficial differences like this are the sort of thing that can change very rapidly.

For an example closer to home: this is a close relative of you an me - despite that massive, Spartan crest crowning the skull, despite the giant eyebrows, despite the immense, and sharp, sideways cheekbones, despite how stretched the whole thing is, despite the big bulges at the back. And look at the eyebrows on this guy!
I should probably clarify that I was inspired by something the author on the alienjigsaw website wrote. Although it isn't written on that page, the author wrote on another page on that website that had a picture of the blue guy (and a picture of a molluscan seashell) that she believed the seashell-like ridges reflected the way the shell grew. She's apparently taken down that page, but I have the text saved on my laptop. The paragraph of interest here reads:
As memorable as this was for me, more occurred while I was with them. I met a Being with beautiful pale blue skin. He was a male and was six feet tall, maybe six-foot two. He was also muscular as a normal male would be. He had a bxny cap-like skull that had ridges along the edge that appeared to be layers of bone. I knew that the layers of bone I could see were similar to what happens with a seashell as it grows. Sometimes you can see the old layers of shell from when it was smaller or younger. This is what I could see on the side of this Being's skull or head. This area bulged outward a bit from the rest of his head.
My idea was that even though this phylum was analogous to vertebrates, it would have a touch of bivalve to its biology, and the skulls and hips (which wouldn't otherwise have much in common across the classes and species of the phylum) would grow and form those ridges.

So instead of being like the quirks of one particular species of horned lizard's skull being shared by an entire phylum, an analogy might be the way all synapsids have a temporal fenestra on their skulls, even though their skulls are otherwise radically variable.
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