The Old World, Great Lakes Earth

Discussion in 'Alternate History Maps and Graphics' started by JohnWarrenDailey, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. JohnWarrenDailey Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2015
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    Physically absent in Europe are Turkey, Iran, and the Low Countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg and Denmark). Back home, Scandinavia is one of Earth’s reconginzable peninsulas. On Great Lakes Earth, the body we’d recognize as the Baltic Sea is dry land.

    The Alps remain tall, as they are back home. This time, though, the range’s highest peak, Olympus, stands at almost 23,000 feet above sea level and still rising. Behind the Alps is a plateau that covers lands we’d recognize as Romania, Moldova, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Also, the Balkan Peninsula’s terrain on Great Lakes Earth consists of plains and hills rather than mountain ranges like back home.

    The Scandes, stretching the length of the western Scandinavian coast, are the results of ocean/continent collisions — volcanoes. They are also taller than they are back home — almost 18,500 feet above sea level.

    By contrast, the Ural, Caucasus, Pyrenees and Apennine mountain chains don’t exist on Great Lakes Earth.

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    Back home, the Bering Land Bridge had been an on-again-off-again process since the Cretaceous Period. Troödontids, ceratopsians, hadrosaurs and tyrannosaurs originated in Asia before colonizing North America. 55 million years ago, at the start of the Eocene, mammals from Asia migrated to North America. That same story would be repeated 20 million years ago, during the Miocene.

    Back home, the Atlantic’s current maximum width is 4900 miles. But on Great Lakes Earth, the 21st century’s Atlantic is no wider than 6250 miles. This pushes Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania so far eastward that it would turn the Russian urban locality of Egvekinot (66.3205 degrees North and 179.1184 degrees West) into the next-door neighbor of Teller, Alaska.

    Also on Great Lakes Earth, the bridge between Alaska and Russia had been permanent since 250 million years ago, when western North America collided with Asia.

    Back home, the fact that Beringia was not permanent meant that there are certain families and genera of plants and animals found in Europe and/or Asia but not in North America (and vice versa). A bridge that had been standing for 250 million years straight would certainly homogenize the entire Northern Hemisphere.

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    The most obvious difference between our Greenland and the Greenland of Alternate Earth 111 (Great Lakes Earth) is that the isle is so much further northward that Mont Forel, the island’s highest peak, is situated in or near the North Geographic Pole. But this is not the only difference their poles have to offer us.

    The entire Arctic Ocean has been given elbow room because the Atlantic Ocean of GLE is wider than ours—by over 1350 miles.

    The Arctic itself is also deeper. Back home, the average is 1038 meters. On Great Lakes Earth, the average depth has dropped to 1652 meters.

    How would these differences affect ocean currents and polar landscapes?

    · Could any of these changes have influenced the global climate? If so, to what extent?

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    In Asia, what looks to us like Borneo is a big extension of eastern India, erasing the Bay of Bengal from the map. Sumatra is an extension of India’s western coast. The rest of Indonesia, as well as the island chain of the Phillipines, don’t exist. This leaves the Malay Peninsula dangling on its own.

    The islands of Japan on Great Lakes Earth are the result of subductive hot spots, stationary mantle plumes standing in the intersections of colliding plates. Japan, consisting of six large hotspots, stands a mile east of the Northern Plate (yellow) and three west of the Pacific (magenta).

    Back home, the Himalayan range in Asia is impressive enough. On Great Lakes Earth, they are even more so. The highest peak, Kailash, stands 33,500 feet above sea level and still rising. If the base of Mauna Kea in Hawaii were above sea level, this would have been its equal.

    Now the questions are as follows:

    · With Turkey and Iran absent to make way for the Tethys Sea, would the sea be large enough to have a noticeable effect on the Indian monsoon?

    · Will a higher Himalayas—which means a higher Tibetan Plateau—pose any noticeable differences on India’s climate and precipitation?

    · With Japan’s volcanoes being a combination of hotspots (like Hawaii, Iceland and Yellowstone) and subduction (like Japan back home), would this combination pose any difference in Japan’s topography?

    · Would adding Borneo and Sumatra pose any difference to the climate and landscape of the Indian subcontinent?

    · With the rest of Indonesia and the Philippines out of existence, how would this absence affect ocean currents?


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    Sahul is Great Lakes Earth’s equivalent to Australia, but as you can see, it has geographical differences. In the top third, marked in brown are a broken range of volcanic mountains standing, at the highest, 18,491 feet above sea level. 1400 miles of open ocean separate Sahul from Antarctica, half the distance between Australia and Antarctica.

    Lake Eyre is 460,000 square miles in area and 170½ meters at the deepest.

    Now, the questions are as follows:

    · Would the Outback still be desert?

    · In the same scenario, Indonesia and the Philippines don’t exist. What kind of ocean current(s) would one expect to see influencing Sahul?

    · What kind of climatic and ecological influence would we expect Lake Eyre to create?

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    From 60 to 43 million years ago, a series of flood basalt eruptions plagued the northern hemisphere, covering an estimated original area of eleven million square miles and a volume of four million cubic miles.

    40 million years of erosion would mean an altogether different Russian landscape, but to what extent? Would we still see vast, singular bands of boreal forests and steppes, or would we expect to see Russia hosting a wider variety of habitats?

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    What we’d recognize as the Arabian Peninsula is, on Great Lakes Earth, an extension of northeastern Africa, erasing both the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden out of existence. This further widens the passage from the Indian Ocean to the Tethys.

    Like some of the other continents, Africa has its share of great lakes — in the Sahara, there are a handful, including Ahnot-Moyer, Fezzan, Chotts and Chad. They are all fed and connected by countless rivers. The Atlas Mountains still stand by the Sahara’s northwestern coast, but they are taller — the tallest being 21,810 feet above the level of the sea, 1500 feet taller than Denali.

    Lake Chad is a pretty big lake, but the River Chad is its only connection to its equatorial counterpart, Lake Congo. It is Africa’s deepest lake, almost a mile deep, the result of 30 million years of intense rain, heat and floods turning a series of massive calderas into one huge lake. Lake Congo connects Lake Chad via the River Chad, and it eventually outflows into six major rivers--the Pishon, the Tigris, the Jordan, the Gihon, the Eurphrates and the Nile, the main series that would prove crucial to Jewish and Christian history.

    There is another great lake in Africa, this time south of the equator. Back home, the Okavango Delta, Lakes Ngami and Xau, the Mabambe Depression and the salt pans of Nxai, Sua and Nwetwe are all that remains of Lake Makgadikgadi, a vast body of water that covered an area of 50,000 square miles and 100 feet deep. In Great Lakes Earth, Makgadikgadi is still there, fed by the rivers Zambezi, Cuando and Okavango.

    Outlining the coasts of South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, Yemen and Oman is a range of volcanic mountains called the Aden Bahçesi. Its highest peak stands 24,341 feet above sea level, 1500 feet higher than Aconcagua back home.

    Now, the questions are as follows:

    · Will it make any difference if 100% of the Sahara is rock?

    · How much of an influence will the megalakes, the higher Atlas Mountains and the added lands of Arabia pose on the Sahara?

    · Will the Aden volcanoes and Lakes C&C result in differences in climate and landscapes in Africa’s equatorial and tropical latitudes?

    · The Kalahari Desert back home is already classified as a semi-arid sandy savanna. Will Lake Makgadikgadi turn the Kalahari into a sort of alternative Serengeti?

    · Will East Africa still be the cradle of hominid evolution, or do we have to look elsewhere?

    · Will the Tethys Sea play a part in shaping the Sahara’s climate?


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    On Great Lakes Earth, Eurasia is subject to Great Lakes Earth’s largest sea, one that we used to have back home — the Tethys.

    Back home, the Mediterranean has an average depth of 1500 meters and a maximum of 5267. The Tethys’ depth is 1205 meters on average and 7,000 maximum. Even so, the ratio between deep and shallow water is remarkably similar to that of the Mediterranean — more or less than 45% of the sea is no deeper than 200 meters (the required maximum depth for a sea to be “shallow”). It’s also connected to two oceans with two different personalities — the warm Indian to the east and the cooler, nutrient-richer Atlantic to the west.

    The questions are as follow:

    With open connections to both the Indian and the Atlantic, what would the Tethys' personality be?

    How would all this added water affect the Mediterranean Basin as well as the Indian monsoon?


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    The only inaccuracies here are that Sahul should not be that far north, Greenland is further north and Iceland is shaped wrong.
     
  2. SaveAtlacamani Atlacamani Conservationist

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    Cool! I like it!

    This would of course have significant effects, e.g. on the refugee crisis in Europe...
     
  3. Tangle Kerbal Crasher

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    And the "refugee crisis" in Spain with the only way of getting over being via Gibraltar and thus you've got humans entering Europe from there...
     
  4. SaveAtlacamani Atlacamani Conservationist

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    Esp. with no Pyrenees (see Europe!).

    However, the Balkan Route will no longer be possible - not with a Himalaya-high mountain range in Croatia, Serbia,...!
     
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  5. JohnWarrenDailey Member

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    Oct 22, 2015
    Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. Right now, let us focus on geography, climate, landscape, cause & effect, etc.
     
  6. Tangle Kerbal Crasher

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    Well, Africa seems likely to be even more desert-y...

    Oh- probably a route via Tunisia-Sicily-Italy Proper, due to the SuperAtlas.
     
  7. JohnWarrenDailey Member

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    Oct 22, 2015
    Care to be more specific?
     
  8. Tangle Kerbal Crasher

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    Nah.
     
  9. JohnWarrenDailey Member

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    Oct 22, 2015
    Why not? It always helps.
     
  10. SaveAtlacamani Atlacamani Conservationist

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    With the map above, it seems like it. But @JohnWarrenDailey did propose two really big lakes and a river system - so maybe not that much desert after all...
     
    Tangle likes this.