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Old 02-17-2019, 04:48 AM
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Default The Morrow Project and Climate Collapse

The Morrow Project postulates that two hundred years after the various edition's catastrophes the world has become much as it is today. The cities have decayed and animals are more abundant but otherwise it is fairly similar to the year 2000.

However, if we look at the science available now it is probably that even after two hundred years the ongoing negative changes to Earth's systems will still be ongoing, and will probably be worse due to the fact that the catastrophes will have added their own massive energies to the initially overloaded system.

For instance, glaciologists have recently found that there may well be a nine meter seal level raise lurking in Antarctica and Greenland due to the fact that the glaciers there no longer have their protective ice shelves. These shelves stopped the warming water rapidly eroding the glacier faces and pumping out ever more water, and thus energy, into the oceanic systems. It is far more complex than this but the rule is that once change starts it gets rapidly worse until the system stabilises. That time frame would be in the area of a thousand years.

If this is the case the Project personnel are going to awake into a world very different to what they expected and which they may well be unequipped for. Any low-lying bolt hole will be under crushing water and either collapse or be unable to be evacuated, leading to a horrid death for those who awake. Much of the areas not inundated will be very cold and higher latitudes may well be tundra or even less hospitable. Surviving peoples will have had to migrate southwards and will not have had time to adopt the geographically settled life required to raise their technology level, meaning that the death rate will be even higher and the overall level of civilisation lower.

There may well be almost no animals either. A concerning event in the last three years has discovered that Earth is rapidly losing its insect populations. Biology and Environmental Science mandates that insects are the building block of the biosphere. These creatures are seventeen times the biomass weight of humanity and the basic food supply for the entire food chain. When they die off they simply are gone as there is no recovery from extinction. As they are also the main part of the system of reproduction of flora, especially food plants that humans use, it is possible that in the Post-Apocalypse world that there has been a collapse of the entire biosphere for The Project to wake up. Most of the flora will be non-flowering and temperate or sub-temperate. Most of the animals will be extinct. Humans will probably live a very precarious existence with even lower technology and civilisation. Languages will probably massively different to Pre-Apocalypse due to the incredible changes. Cultures will be totally different and probably fairly basic.

What can The Project do the increase civilisation and technology?

First off the primary goal to reinstate the constitutional government of the United States of America can be effectively forgotten. Canada will probably be abandoned entirely and will be a cold desert. The continental United States will be uninhabitable probably from 40 degrees north, above that will be a silent forest and then tundra until you reach the former Canada.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:13 AM
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You know, despite being one of those people who did my final year of schooling in the early 1980s i.e. well before the climate change concept had become as well known as it is now (or the last two decades for that matter), I had always accepted that the climate was going to change because of numerous things I'd been taught in school.
The most important thing that was being taught was that we were living in the tail end of the last ice age and it was expected that the climate would gradually get warmer. I need no convincing to believe that human activity has contributed to climate change but even with the expectation of climate change I don't think any of us then comprehended the potential for messing with civilization that the change could bring.

One of the more frightening aspects is the potential for glacier regions to break down and release their stores of water. They essentially form a dam, holding back millions of litres of albeit largely frozen water but once it starts to thaw, there's going to be a hell of a lot of water and ice heading downstream. So aside from scouring clean every trace of civilization in it's path, I think part of the concern was what happens to ocean currents if those millions of litres of fresh, cold water hits the ocean?

Last edited by StainlessSteelCynic; 02-17-2019 at 05:13 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:29 AM
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Well, I hate to be grim but the above model I used was the survivable one.

The more likely model is that instead of the apocalypse-driven cooling of the planet there will instead be a continued heating. The temperate zones will become uninhabitable as the heat rises. Firstly there will be a human effort to climate-proof their homes and then cities (we are already seeing this) but the regrettable thing about this is that it uses about twice the energy we already use. Even if most of this energy is immediately turned to renewable sources it still puts energy into the system. As the planet heats it becomes more unable to shed heat due to the greenhouse effect, we're seeing this now in that chemicals used by the atmosphere to change methane are being changed by the heat so the methane-bomb is starting to gather momentum. This is the 'runaway greenhouse' referred to by climatologists.

The Morrow Project awakes to the same biosphere collapse and sea water levels but instead of a cold world they instead encounter a hot one.

It is unlikely that anything south of the continental United States of America is survivable. Before this the greatest migration to ever occur sends literally billions of humans north and society as we know it collapses. The food system is unable to deal with the collapse of the biosphere and the relocation of so many hungry mouths is not sustainable by any culture on Earth. The United States of America becomes primarily desert south of 37 latitude, but still inhabitable. However there are no flora and fauna meaning that any surviving populations must still move north. Project personnel awakening in this area must immediately relocate north to survive before their food is exhausted. Above 37 north to the former Canadian border the environment is an eerily silent hot area that may or may not be desert depending on whether any fauna is left alive to live there.

Canada is now temperate but as before mainly devoid of life. The bulk of hot-climate flora require insects to pollinate and thus only enclaves of life continue. There may be no survivors anywhere

Last edited by ChalkLine; 02-17-2019 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:02 PM
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This scenario makes for a very different (and grimly interesting) take on the apocalypse and the world that the Project wakes up in.
Assuming Bruce sees this problem and makes the necessary adjustments to the Project, if we follow the canon placement of teams, there would be a number of them that would wakeup to find their boltholes under several metres of water.
It necessarily needs the GM to envisage how the landscape has changed due global sea level rise as well as having a bit of a think about changes to flora and faune due to the warming.

I think in this scenario, the need for the Project becomes self-evident but it would be pointless trying to re-establish the USA simply because conditions have changed too much for that to be achievable. I'd be inclined to think that the aim of the Project would shift to trying to preserve what remains of the USA and forging a new version of it from the aftermath. That doesn't appear at first glance to be any different from re-establishing the US but I point it out because I think it makes for some interesting gameplay scenarios, e.g. locating and recovering articles of US history, culture & society and preserving them or at the very least renewing them to educate the locals about who they used to be and where they've come from.
Preserving the spirit because they cannot preserve the body - sort of thing.
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:41 AM
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It does become 'Hard Apocalypse'

The teams would scour the airwaves for radio signals and be met by static. It would be a new level of grim
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Old 02-21-2019, 01:07 AM
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Under those circumstances, I think depending on just when they got the wakeup call, the Project teams might very well be tasked with re-establishing the human population on the planet and not just re-establishing one particular country.
That would require many of the elements already present in the Project as we know them from canon material but probably also some serious adjustments to take account of other needed activities. These would be such things as bolstering the survival rates of extent human populations, increasing birthrates, reducing infant mortality, establishing 'needed resource' (e.g. food, water, tools) production, increasing education about health and so on.
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