Thursday, June 15, 2006

What about terraforming?

Alright, first, let me say, I'm no atmospheric scientist. But, who can tell me about the practicalities here? Let's look at the problems: okay, there seems to be strong consensus that there is global warming. Now the permafrost in Siberia is melting, and threatening to release unheard of quantities of carbon. Now, carbon is one thing and carbon dioxide another, but... well, I'm no chemist, but work with me on this.

Carbon dioxide is processed by plants and released as oxygen. If the carbon released is in the form of Carbon dioxide, or can be easily converted to it, why couldn't be transport some of it to Mars, contained in bubble cities along with plants, and start the process of terraforming. I mean, global warming of Mars would be a good thing, no?


Ahistoricality said...

The problem is quantity. The increased carbon/CO2 in our environment is measured in kilotons; the payloads we can transport to Mars are limited to a ton or two, at great cost....

ArticulateDad said...

Yeah, the issue is always payload. As The RocketScientist pointed out over lunch, there is no lack of oxygen on Mars (well, lack there is, compared to Earth, but it does exist there in quantity). The difficulty is providing enough CO2 and Hydrogen on Mars. The CO2 should be little problem, if we start growing plants there (likely contained within bubble cities), but hydrogen remains the problem. Without it, there is little H2O, which we need for the plants. That's why the question of finding water on Mars (even frozen) is such an exciting issue. The Martian polar ice-caps have been assumed to be principally made up of frozen CO2, I believe.

So, it might not be practical or necessary to transport either CO2 or Hydrogen (a bit volatile among other things), but couldn't there be some way to off-planet those gases that are causing such trouble here, in such a way that they would actually benefit other planets or satellites, and reduce the trend toward global warming? There's no atmosphere on the moon, so there'd be no way to contain the gases there. Any ideas?