Bear with me, this is my first Meta Question.
When Building your fictional magical, alien, alternate fictional world, you have to figure out the Climate (unless you only interested in one region and then the rest can go fly a kite for all you care!). Unfortunately it's not as simple as create a map and then see what happens. If it were, we would have a much better understanding of our own climate.
You research, and then you research some more. You have taken hours and weeks, possibly months or even years, of time to research 'everything', and you have attempted to put it all together. You start building your story based on this map and understanding but then you suddenly think! "Wait, does the wind really blow like that?", "will there really be that freak weather storm?", "can I really have this next to that?". Doubts starts to creep in. And doubt breeds more doubt. You need a second opinion! You possibly even decided you needed a second opinion before you developed your story too far.
Unfortunately for you, all the scientists are too busy trying to understand our own world and don't have a lot of time to discuss fictional settings that won't result in papers being published. So you turn to the next best thing. The Internet. You find a forum of like-minded people who don't shun you for asking silly light-hearted questions like "How do you kill a Dragon Zombie?", they respond with more than "What on Earth are you talking about?" and you don't have to explain for the umpteenth time "This scenario is not on Earth! or our Earth!".
You know that climate is very complicated and if you ask everything at once, people either won't know what to answer or focus on the wrong things...there are just too many possible answers. But you have a whole world to question! Sensibly you separate your entire world of questions down to several 'specific' regions and features. This is not about asking what will happen if you raise a mountain etc. You have already done that research, you just need an assessment of your interpretation. Is it, or is it not plausible.
Besides, where would all the fun be if you could just straight out ask what happens if I have a huge hole in the Earth? The fun (sometimes painful fun) is in figuring it yourself. The most painful part seems to be asking for opinions on your assessments.
What is the minimum amount of world and climate related information that has to be provided to avoid a climate question being closed as too broad? What information would help narrow down the scope of the question? Limit the number of ambiguities?
I'm trying to compile a list of information that needs to be provided before a climate related world building assessment can be undertaken successfully. I am very much aware that the climate is intricate and complicated and and and and...
For example, I'm not looking for a detailed description of how the wind will flow down that wonky shaped valley, and cause a negative feedback loop on this or that feature and make the farmer two valleys across have a thunderstorm. I'm thinking of more broad and general continent scale assessments. High pressure should form there, low over there, wind will flow in that direction, oh mountain blocking that direction flow...got a cloud pile-up. rain and river flow back in that direction. general environment conclusion. Desert highly unlikely, savannah plausible but more likely to be a temperate rainforest.
- ... should all the separate regional questions be asked at once or wait for one region to be judged plausible/implausible before moving onto another?
- ... should all the separate questions be hyperlinked, so readers can scan neighbouring regions?
You are providing the scenario to the reader, you are wanting an assessment of the accuracy/plausibility of your scenario from the reader.
- I assume you will have to provide a map of the region in question or at least a fairly descriptive description.
- I personally would need a more general map of a larger area, if not the world, to see the inter-relatedness.
- where any prevailing winds are coming from
- where any water is coming from, especially if not reliant on atmospheric moisture
- If based on an alternate Earth, what are the differences locally AND regionally
- If based on a new world, are there any similarities with Earth to help the reader understand the environment
- a summary of what you think will happen
- a summary of what you really really need/want/can't bear without to happen
- a willingness to accept criticism
- an openness to accept solutions
Am I forgetting anything? What else is needed? or are we just on our own when it comes to anything climate related?