Teppala

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Teppala or Tebbala is the planet that contains the human population in Soap's conworld. The diversity of spellings (Teppala, Tebbala, Tippala, Tipala, and even more rare ones) is due to the fact that no one language ever reacghed majority status on that planet.

Notes on languages


Becuase my conworld spans more than 20000 years, many of the proper names would change every few paragraphs if I attempted to use the historically accurate name in every occurrence. Instead, I pretend that this is an encyclopedia written in the year 8773 AD on Teppala, mostly written by Pabap people, giving "modern" (8773 AD) names to ancient cities and rivers. Some of the names were historically important in a way that distinguishes them from their modern forms, so in some stories, the older names are preserved. This is similar to how on Earth, many familiar Biblical names are modernized (Jerusalem, Eve, Noah) and others are kept in the original language (Dorcas, Gabbatha, Siloam).

Most of my writing concerns the period from 633 AD to 4208 AD, with very little description of events in the 4500 years after that except in a few cultural descriptions. Thus, well over half of the names in my writing are "wrong" because they are in 8773 Pabappa rather than whichever of the many phases would be appropriate for the particular time period being described. It helps that Pabappa, like most languages on planet Teppala, is fairly conservative, and it was common for a placename to survive 8000 years of sound changes without simply whittling itself down to just a single CV syllable. However, some names are indeed "replacements" for the original because the original name had been lost over time either through sound changes or through a change of hands in the government.

Mostly towards the later part of the history (towards 4208 AD, that is), there appear many names in English, mostly for political parties, but some also for people. This is partly because I don't have enough conlangs to give them all native names, but mostly because I wouldn't expect anyone, not even myself, to keep straight hundreds of foreign names that all look the same, particularly since they change very quickly in the last century before 4208 AD. Some of the names seem to have little meaning (Tink, Zenith, Matrix, etc) but they are at least consistent. Other names are related directly to a symbol of that person or political party (the Red Sun, the Soap Bubbles, the Cold Kids, Old Faithful).


Climate

Differences from Earth

Teppala is the size of Earth, but has some differences that produce a different array of climates. The axial tilt is only about 17°, so locations on Teppala tend to have lower seasonal amplitudes than locations at similar latitudes on Earth. The zonal wind speed is also greater, so there are fewer examples of air masses penetrating the fronts and appearing outside their usual circulation cell. However, this also causes the atmosphere to hold five cells instead of three, so the bands from which air masses can reach any given location are significantly closer together than on Earth.

Orbit

Teppala's orbit is more eccentric than Earth's, with the perihelion in April and the aphelion in October. Because of this, seasons spiral northward across the planet like a barberpole: summer peaks in January at the South Pole, February or March over the southern continent, April at the equator, May in the inner tropics, June in the outer tropics and much of the middle latitudes, and July at the North Pole. Most people in the middle latitudes experience only two seasons: winter and summer, with an abrupt transition from one to the other. Growing seasons are therefore about the same length — six months — regardless of latitude, once outside the tropics. (Note that humans are native only to the Northern Hemisphere.)


Climate zones

Because of the planet's low axial tilt, greater zonal wind speeds, and the small size of the continent of Rilola where humans live, most of the world's climates fall into one of the marine climate categories, and new categories unique to Teppala must be created. These are:

  1. Hypermarine: Taking Earth's marine climates as the default, there must be a way to mark out climates that are not tropical but have a low seasonal amplitude of temperature even by Teppala's standards. This climate occurs on Earth too in extremely isolated habitats such as the Kerguelen_Islands, Macquarie_Island, Crozet islands, and Campbell Island NZ, all of which are in the Antarctic and experience the same heavy zonal winds that are common on teppala even over land.
  2. Paratropical: This is similar. This refers to climates in the desert belt areas where the summer is hot and dry, and the winter is wet, but due to the low axial tilt, still only slightly cooler than it is in the summer. These climates are essentially tropical climates whose rainfall pattern is reversed from what on Earth is normal: wet summer, dry winter. This also occurs on Earth in a few isolated areas because of mountains and monsoons, but on Earth, these "reversed" tropical climates are humid even when the rain does not fall. On Teppala, these climates resemble typical desert climates in the summer, with no rain and low relative humidity, and resemble humid mid-latitude climates in the winter save for the much higher temperatures due to the lack of penetration of cold air from higher latitudes.
    Many paratropical climates would on Earth be considered hot semi-arid climates, but whereas on Earth the temperature in summer quickly rises away from the immediate coastline (and is sometimes supremely hot even there), on Teppala this is a common climate and is not associated with extreme summer heat. For example, much of southern Paba has average summer temperatures only around 68F (20C) despite nearly unbroken sunshine. This means there is less evapostranspiration than on Earth, ample vegetation abounds, and that to call the climate semiarid would be misleading.

Influence on habitats

Humans share the planet with many other sapient animals, and are at the mercy of the more powerful ones. For example, in the very center of the Poswob Empire, from about 7700 to 8200 AD, "the Great Feast" occurred, where the population of humans and rabbits began to swell enormously, leading them to spread out and be attacked by predators such as cats and some birds. After 500 years the human population was whittled down to a few survivors in hard to reach places, as it remains today, but the rabbits survived the attacks and became the dominant species even though they are still fighting off those same predators today.

Even though Teppala is the closest star to its sun (Erasali?), it is slightly colder than Earth.

Cold Teppala

In the year 0, the average temperature along the south coast of Rilola was about 40F (at places like Paba) with almost no change in seasonal temperature bursts. This is because the eccentricity of the planet was twice as severe then as it is now, and it was balanced such that the perihelion was at the same time as northern winter, and the aphelion was during northern summer. Inland, sumemr was actually colder than winter, and indeed, the eccenticity was so strong that the whole planet south of aboyut 45N had its seasons all at the same time, and therefore winter cold ruled the world and even the tropics got snow. However, in the southern hemisphere, summer was extremely hot, with places such as 20S deep inland averaging -10F in winter and 170F in summer. 220F temperautes were not unheard of, as even the inland sea of Kandino had bvoiled awau nmow/. THus life was impossible there even for the hardiest of animals, and life retreated to the coaasts.


Temperature averages (°F):

10000 years ago (1300BC)
                 Global     Global
                 Summer     Winter

North Pole        -54        -39                                    
55N Deep Inland   -55        -42   
45N Deep Inland   -22        -51
30N South Coast    61         27
Equator Coast      92         15         
20S Deep Inland   158        -21
Today
                January      July

North Pole        -27         22                                    
55N Deep Inland   -32         20
45N Deep Inland    17         45
30N South Coast    46         82
Equator Coast      78         96         
20S Deep Inland   121         93


Thus it takes up until 45N for the seasons to be in their "proper" order. Also, note that in 1300BC, winters actually become colder going from 30N to the equator. This is partly due to cold air crossing the ITCZ and penetrating the northern hemisphere. But it cannot get all the way to 30N generally. This is similar to the very rare phenomenon found on Earth where a very strong cold wave from Antarctica will chill out the Amazon rainforest and occasionally peep up over the equator into the Caribbean, making for a cold wave in summer that's colder than any cold wave in winter.

However, it is also due to the logic of alignement of "high sun" seasons with distance from that sun, meaning the summer in the N Hempishere coincided mostly with the weakest insolation and thus the warmest month was not the same month as further south.

Global Warming

Even as recently as 4500 AD, roughly the time of the founding of the major cities of the Wamu Empire, the climate was much colder. For example, winter in Paba was about 15F colder than present. Lypelpyp was 45F colder than present. Summers in Paba were about the same, but were much shorter and the warmest time of the year was the vernal equinox. Summer in Lypelpyp was even hotter than present ... their winters averaged about -5F and summers about 98F ... thus arly Lypelpyp was a difficult place to live. However, it did have more rain than at present.


Climate of Early Cities


              Warmest     Coldest
               Month       Month
Blop             78          8
Paba             82         37
Lypelpyp         98         -5


The persistence of cold into fairly recent times is the main reason why pine trees are the dominant type even in the present-day subtropical south coast (areas like Paba).

Asteroid Impact Event

In the year 0, an asterioid smashed into the area near the Equator, killing most humans, animals, and plants instantly. The outdoor temperature soared to over 500°F and melted hte rocks and boiled away the water. For more than three years after the impact, atmospheric temperatures in this region often exceeded 150°F, and there was almost no rainfall. In the southern hemispgere, the temrpature was as high as 260°F, killing most of the dinosaurs living on Gitaipanu. (The asteroid actually hit slightly south of the equote, so the impact was wors there.) Humans had to live in that environment, survivning by staying mostly underwater in order to keep cool. In the mountains, humans ducked into caves to stay cool (teh caves did notget as hot as the outdoor environment). Since there was almost no rain on the whole planet for several years, most plants and animals died. However, rapidly melting glaciers provided a source of fresh water for much of the mainland and even some islands.

The record-breaking temperatures produced towering thunderstorms that delivered as much as 150" of rain per day on those few places lucky enough to receive them; these were mostly in high mountains.

Political parties

See Political parties of Teppala and the edit history of this page for missing information.

Notes