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Jon Ericson has come up with a wonderful way to boost the amount of questions on the site, and promote activity in topics that may otherwise receive only minimal attention. And it will be a lot of fun. Here's how it works:

  1. Suggest topics in the answers below.

  2. Next week, I (or a volunteer) will pick one of the topics and write up a new meta post introducing the challenge for the following period. The topic will be associated with a specific tag (or tag set) so that we can count how many questions were asked. Please use one topic per answer.

  3. Anyone who wants to participate asks about the topic of the period.

  4. At the end of the week, the organizer post an answer to the challenge with a count of how many questions were asked and anything else they feel like highlighting (like favorite questions or notable achievements).

  5. The organizer picks a new topic and starts back on step #2.

Note: It's fine to ask a question you know the answer to, and posting your own question/answer is good.

You can add topics to this list at any time, and if(when) we run out, this challenge series ends. Have fun, folks!

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  • $\begingroup$ Would a topic about a specific time period or a specific continent (or paleocontinent) be too specific? $\endgroup$ – plannapus Dec 2 '14 at 9:40
  • $\begingroup$ @plannapus Not imo, I think that is a good idea. $\endgroup$ – J. Musser Dec 5 '14 at 22:38
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Proposed topic: . What is mesoscale? From the AMS glossary:

Pertaining to atmospheric phenomena having horizontal scales ranging from a few to several hundred kilometers, including thunderstorms, squall lines, fronts, precipitation bands in tropical and extratropical cyclones, and topographically generated weather systems such as mountain waves and sea and land breezes.

From a dynamical perspective, this term pertains to processes with timescales ranging from the inverse of the Brunt–Väisälä frequency to a pendulum day, encompassing deep moist convection and the full spectrum of inertio-gravity waves but stopping short of synoptic-scale phenomena, which have Rossby numbers less than 1.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you suggest a tag/tag set to go with this proposal? If we have to create some, that's fine, but we'll need them to start the challenge. $\endgroup$ – J. Musser Nov 13 '14 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ @J.Musser and casey: There is severe-weather, storms and thunderstorm, tornado and tropical-cyclone (synonym: hurricane). So the topic is rather smeared out at the moment. $\endgroup$ – EnergyNumbers Nov 17 '14 at 3:43
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps we can widen the propose to all mesoscale weather and use mesoscale-meteorology or something? $\endgroup$ – casey Nov 17 '14 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ I second Mesoscale-Meteorology< as tag name $\endgroup$ – Sean Nov 18 '14 at 14:45
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So I was thinking of the continent as a topic: questions could be on the evolution of that continent, on specific formations found there (e. g. Transantarctic mountains), on glaciological landmarks, on the local weather, on the impact of that continent on climate and vice versa, on the antarctic fossil record, etc, etc.

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  • $\begingroup$ I've got a question that i think would fit that theme quite nicely. $\endgroup$ – Isopycnal Oscillation Dec 11 '14 at 5:39
  • $\begingroup$ There's lots of interesting stuff that goes on around the edges of the antarctic too - like ocean bottom water formation. Is that included? $\endgroup$ – naught101 Jan 2 '15 at 3:08
  • $\begingroup$ I guess the idea is that anything that can be labelled with tag antarctic goes. So if you think that a question on ocean bottom water formation can then yes. I think so as well since bw formation is linked to the continental condition to some extent. $\endgroup$ – plannapus Jan 2 '15 at 7:51
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Proposed topic: , currently, there are 12 reasonably well upvoted questions on the topic.

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    $\begingroup$ I hope you don't mind - I've edited the topic name into a tag link, to make it easier for people to see existing questions on the topic. $\endgroup$ – EnergyNumbers Nov 17 '14 at 3:39
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How about ? We occasionally get questions about gold or uranium or related things. I'm pretty sure our question stock can be expanded about more commodities and topics.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, there is a tag. economic-geology. $\endgroup$ – Gimelist Nov 15 '14 at 19:03
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    $\begingroup$ I've edited the topic name into a tag link, to make it easier for people to see existing questions on the topic. I hope you don't mind. $\endgroup$ – EnergyNumbers Nov 17 '14 at 3:39
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How about , there are several questions about this topic, almost all answered too - but would be good to see more.

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    $\begingroup$ Yay, lets study vulcans! jk $\endgroup$ – J. Musser Jan 6 '15 at 23:37
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    $\begingroup$ That's not logical, captain...lol $\endgroup$ – user889 Jan 6 '15 at 23:42
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How about ? The questions - from what I've seen so far - tend to be imaginative but not overly so (i.e. to the point of unrealistic). Most have been answered (though I've had my eye on the Uranus question for some time. The questions and answers have received a surprisingly large number of upvotes. They're creative but solidly rooted in reality.

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I was thinking of a period-based topic and it seems to me that the would be ideal for that. Questions could be on the Permo-Triassic boundary events of course or any of the events leading to it, about Permian climate or oceanography, about any particular Permian formation, about the early days of the Pangea continent or the late days of the Paleo-Tethys ocean, etc.

The tag itself would be new but well in line with other stratigraphic tags (, , , for instance).

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