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Thread: Greenhouse gases could make Mars livable

  1. #1
    Mod Law zombie-a-go-go's Avatar
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    Greenhouse gases could make Mars livable

    Using global warming to make Mars suitable for life
    AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION NEWS RELEASE
    Posted: February 7, 2005

    Injecting synthetic "super" greenhouse gases into the Martian atmosphere could raise the planet's temperature enough to melt its polar ice caps and create conditions suitable for sustaining biological life. In fact, a team of researchers suggests that introducing global warming on the Red Planet may be the best approach for warming the planet's frozen landscape and turning it into a habitable world in the future.

    Margarita Marinova, then at the NASA Ames Research Center, and colleagues propose that the same types of atmospheric interactions that have led to recent surface temperature warming trends on Earth could be harnessed on Mars to create another biologically hospitable environment in the solar system. In the February issue of Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets, published by the American Geophysical Union, the researchers report on the thermal energy absorption and the potential surface temperature effects from introducing man-made greenhouse gases strong enough to melt the carbon dioxide and ice on Mars.

    "Bringing life to Mars and studying its growth would contribute to our understanding of evolution, and the ability of life to adapt and proliferate on other worlds," Marinova said. "Since warming Mars effectively reverts it to its past, more habitable state, this would give any possibly dormant life on Mars the chance to be revived and develop further."

    The authors note that artificially created gases--which would be nearly 10,000 times more effective than carbon dioxide--could be manufactured to have minimal detrimental effects on living organisms and the ozone layer while retaining an exceptionally long lifespan in the environment. They then created a computer model of the Martian atmosphere and analyzed four such gases, individually and in combination, that are considered the best candidates for the job.

    Their study focused on fluorine-based gases, composed of elements readily available on the Martian surface, that are known to be effective at absorbing thermal infrared energy. They found that a compound known as octafluoropropane, whose chemical formula is C3F8, produced the greatest warming, while its combination with several similar gases enhanced the warming even further.

    The researchers anticipate that adding approximately 300 parts per million of the gas mixture in the current Martian atmosphere, which is the equivalent of nearly two parts per million in an Earth- like atmosphere, would spark a runaway greenhouse effect, creating an instability in the polar ice sheets that would slowly evaporate the frozen carbon dioxide on the planet's surface. They add that the release of increasing amounts of carbon dioxide would lead to further melting and global temperature increases that could then enhance atmospheric pressure and eventually restore a thicker atmosphere to the planet.

    Such a process could take centuries or even millennia to complete but, because the raw materials for the fluorine gases already exist on Mars, it is possible that astronauts could create them on a manned mission to the planet. It would otherwise be impossible to deliver gigaton-sized quantities of the gas to Mars. The authors conclude that introducing powerful greenhouse gases is the most feasible technique for raising the temperature and increasing the atmospheric pressure on Mars, particularly when compared to other alternatives like sprinkling sunlight-absorbing dust on the poles or placing large mirrors in the planet's orbit.

    http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0502/07mars/
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  3. #2
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Greenhouse gases could make Mars livable

    I say, "Leave it alone." It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature... whether here or on another planet. I doubt that anyone would see evolution there... unless they live for a very-very long time. Scientists start screwing around and the next thing ya know.... bam, the whole Milky Way self-destructs!!
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

  4. #3
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Greenhouse gases could make Mars livable

    How about we make the next Mars Rover an SUV?

    No offense to SUV drivers or environmentalists.. just a joke.

    I can see it now, in the year 3000.. "My job has been outsourced to Mars"
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

  5. #4
    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Re: Greenhouse gases could make Mars livable

    Send Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and O'Reilly. There's enought hot gas there to make Pluto liveable.

  6. #5
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Greenhouse gases could make Mars livable

    I guess they could use some bovine flatulence.


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