Swimming through oceanographic opinions

"What would happen if...?" has always been a staple of Science Fiction. What do you wonder about?

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fuddy
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Swimming through oceanographic opinions

Post by fuddy »

Hi. There's been lots of takes on this, I'd like to hear yours and hopefully accumulate enough till a general pattern shows up.
To simplify this a tad, let's assume this planet is Earth, with these exceptions:
Antarctica is the only emergent landmass, and there's an extremely narrow, unbroken peninsula gradually arcing northward to just inside the Tropic of Capricorn.
The only other variable is that CO-2 is at late cretaceous levels, about four times higher than present.

Specifically - What do you think the predominant climate would be across Antarctica, and at the northern tip of the peninsula?

fuddy
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Post by fuddy »

I would think the polar continent would have a small, seasonal ice cap, mostly a cool temperate climate, kind of rainy perhaps.
The tip of the peninsula might be warm & dry, being in the subtropical subsidence zone. Rainfall would be depressed by both zonal high pressure & the cold current coming up the west side, which would also mean the farther south you went the more fog there'd be.
Any speculations out there in this speculation forum? I know it's a scary subject, but, hey - what are forums for, anyway?
"For um, let's see... foruming stuff, right?"
Yeah! Ya big silly! So let's squeeze those speculation glands (or glandettes, as the case may be), & see what oozes out!

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aldan
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Post by aldan »

Okay, with the extra bit of info, I'll see what I can do...

First, I can foresee that there would likely be some problems with the climate there, because when looking at how cloud-cover moves in the atmosphere, having almost all of the land at the south pole would likely cause problems.

Second, a 'small, seasonal icecap' would not be possible for a temperate climate on a continent the size and shape of Antarctica, from everything I can find about such things.

Third, even with so much water on the planet, since the peninsula you described seems not to be very high in altitude, then not much rain would probably fall on the peninsula, and you could almost guarantee that that would mean that it'd be next to impossible to live on the peninsula without some high-tech water-cleansing help (as in, clean the sea water to make drinking water).

Fourth, I'm thinking that with so little land available for plants, you'd likely have a very small amount of oxygen available for living creatures to inhale (even with sea plants).
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain

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Ariel
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Post by Ariel »

Don't ask me. I just came to say WELCOME! :D

fuddy
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Post by fuddy »

Thanks, guys - I've had so many wildly divergent opinions on this. If only I could kidnap a climate modeler & his/her supercomputer & force an analysis, but that's not legal.
There's so many variables in computing something like this that a hard sci fi reader really'd have no basis for complaining about the scientific accuracy. After all, there might be a vast system of nearly emergent oceanic ridges configured in such a way that almost any weather pattern might be possible in specific places.
It just want to get it as real as I can.
Any suggestions come to mind where I might get more insight into the science on this?
Sincere thanks for the welcome.

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