Questions tagged [hypothetical]

The hypothetical tag is used for questions about processes that are unlikely to occur, but which may act as useful thought experiments and provide general insight into the processes in question.

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9
votes
1answer
147 views

How would weather change on a tidally-locked terrestrial planet?

On Earth, weather is very much affected by the Earth's rotation around its axis and around the Sun. Even locations that are almost on the equator do have strong annual variations in precipitation and ...
28
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2answers
2k views

What sort of climate zones would be present if Earth was tilted like Uranus?

The three main climate zones on Earth are tropics, temperate and polar. Due to Earth's axial tilt, the three zones experience different seasonal patterns: The tropics experience 2 or 4 wet/dry ...
14
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2answers
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Effect on sea level if the Earth stopped rotating

Would sea level change at the equator if the Earth stopped spinning? I am assuming it is currently bulging around it due to centrifugal force.
43
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2answers
4k views

(How long) would Earth's atmosphere last without a global magnetic field?

The Earth's magnetic field provides an important protection against the solar wind (for example, see Wikipedia on Earth's magnetic field and references therein). Mars may have lost its atmosphere ...
34
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3answers
2k views

How would plate tectonics differ if Earth had no water?

Water plays a crucial role in plate tectonics by easing the brittle and ductile deformation of the Earth's lithosphere. Water lowers the Mohr-Coulomb for brittle fractures. During ductile deformation, ...
18
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4answers
4k views

What would be the first thing which will render the Earth uninhabitable?

There are quite a few things which can make an otherwise habitable planet uninhabitable, and some of these will eventually happen, sooner or later: engulfed by its star when it becomes a red giant ...
8
votes
1answer
284 views

What would the equilibrium temperature be at the poles in a world without seasonality?

Inspired by: How does Antarctica stay frozen? If the Earth was in a fixed solstice state - northern winter and southern summer (e.g. the axis obliquity rotated with the Earth's orbit), what would ...
2
votes
3answers
11k views

Hypothetically, what would happen to the earth if a large hole was drilled through the center?

This may be a slightly unusual question. I know it wouldn't be possible, but what would the short and long term effects be, if a large (say, 1 mile diameter) round hole appeared, and went straight ...