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Xibalba
2013-Jan-06, 04:59 PM
Hi.

I'm currently reading Larry Niven's Ringworld novel, and I'm actually wondering about the feasibility of it, when we take into accounts the ecosystems and meteo of a planet, or a world like this.

Of course, Niven put a thousand miles high wall on the edges of the rim, so that only a minimal amount of air/humidity escapes.

My concern is that while only the exosphere of such a system (if it can be compared to Earth) might leak, there's not really an import of new material to regenerate it. So either the atmosphere will shrink until being contained just below the outer walls' edge, or it will become less and less dense and eventually uninhabitable.

There's also one thing that bothers me : the Coriolis effect. You know, it's the one that makes your toilet flush in a certain direction in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern one. I do not believe it is applicable to this world, since no tilt of the ring is described, and it is not curved, but plane.

How would this affect vortices and oceans? Can there be tornadoes on such a world?

Another thing is ecosystems. The ring describes only one big temperate region... no polar nor equatorial regions. I do not have a perfect knowledge of it all, but if you ask me, I'll answer that the ecosystems, both vegetal and fungi/animal, bacterial, etc, are important, if not essential, to the health of the biosphere (or bioring?).

A ring like this must own its proper ecosystem, which must have evolved on it in order to maintain itself, and I highly doubt that the biosphere of a planet could be transported and kept alive on such a structure.

Nick Theodorakis
2013-Jan-06, 06:26 PM
Is this your first time reading it? Not to put too much of a spoiler, but there is a large atmospheric vortex that figures into the plot. There are also some examples of adaptive radiation, like Darwin's finches, only they're not finches.

Nick

ETA: whited out some minor spoiler-ish points

Xibalba
2013-Jan-06, 09:16 PM
Yes, it's my first time through. Even if a vortex is in the plot, is it realistic? I mean, what forces make the vortex turn, if it is not on the surface of a sphere?

Nick Theodorakis
2013-Jan-06, 10:39 PM
I'm not sure how to talk about it without spoiling too much, although it would not be a major spoiler. Anyway, there is some info here, with minor spoilage:

http://news.larryniven.net/concordance/main.asp?alpha=E
(search for "storm")

Nick

Xibalba
2013-Jan-07, 12:51 AM
I'm not sure how to talk about it without spoiling too much, although it would not be a major spoiler. Anyway, there is some info here, with minor spoilage:

http://news.larryniven.net/concordance/main.asp?alpha=E
(search for "storm")

Nick

That's interesting, but not much is said.

Let's take some distance from the novel, and try to put theory into practice ourselves. How would forces behave for winds, vortices, and the water cycle?

Solfe
2013-Jan-07, 01:02 AM
One of the issues with that series is, that as it is presented, Ring World doesn't work on many levels. This is corrected as the series progresses and introduces more details.

In some cases there are revisions and in other cases merely more details added to the description of Ring World to make it work. When I say revisions, I mean that deeper detail is added to previously presented materials. It is not like the Hobbit where the author actually changed two chapters significantly.

Ilya
2013-Jan-07, 03:49 PM
Niven did change first chapter. In original edition Earth rotates in wrong direction.

Swift
2013-Jan-07, 03:57 PM
I'm currently reading Larry Niven's Ringworld novel, and I'm actually wondering about the feasibility of it, when we take into accounts the ecosystems and meteo of a planet, or a world like this.
A ringworld as a failure (or at least a potential failure) is an interesting idea to me. Imagine a civilization that built such a thing, but maybe didn't think through all the long-term problems, or didn't anticipate an ecological issue 100,000 years in the future.