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Author: Subject: kickstarting mars terraforming early
rodv92
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[*] posted on 16-1-2017 at 06:09
kickstarting mars terraforming early


Hi there !
OK so, bascially what is preventing us from terraforming is :
-The prospect of identifiying an endogenous life form that may or may not be DNA or RNA based, with left or right chirality ?
Such an exotic life outside earth would prove to be very valuable for research. and destroying it or compromising it in it pristine state would have moral repercussions : indeed who we are to treat exobiology as inferior ? On the same moral grounds, aliens could treat us as mere microbes and wipe us out with intergalactic clorox.
On the other hand, we love our planet earth life, we find it beautiful, it is the result of 3+B. Years of evolution. and we surely would love to have a backup in case SHTF for earth ecosystems.
So what's the plan ?

1- collect, collect, collect samples as diverse as possible and from as diverse locations through micro landers that would have just one purpose : encase samples and isolate from the environment. period.
this would reverse protect from earth contamination, and provide us specimens and preserve native life. (some kind of "reserve" still morally discutable, but a bit less than doing nothing before engineering the planet

2- once it is done, the show starts : send a lot of micro impactors full of NF3 ? (seems like a helluva greenhouse gas with 17000 radiative forcing of CO2 ?
Quite "non hazardous" - once people stop buying 4K screens larger than their field of view, we'll have oversupply, right ?
Now some model would be needed to calclulate the runaway greenhouse effect generated. I suppose you could help me find the latest models for mars atmosphere/permafrost etc...

3- The use of micro impactors with divided failures whould be more secure and safe than one big rocket full of NF3 bursting in our atmosphere, right ?

Peace, and stay safe


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Melgar
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[*] posted on 20-1-2017 at 00:23


NF3? You mean SF6 or CF4, no? NF3 is toxic at 1000 ppm, or 0.1%. Also, NF3 is more reactive than carbon or sulfur fluorides.

If we want to terraform Mars, I propose we get some object from the outer solar system made of ice and nudge it into a near collision with Neptune, catapulting it into the inner solar system. A collision would warm Mars up really quickly, and bring it much-needed nitrogen. Right now, it's unlikely anything could survive on Mars, seeing as though it lacks one of the four most important elements necessary for life on Earth. It's true that organic chemistry is based on a carbon skeleton, but nitrogen is usually where the action is.
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[*] posted on 20-1-2017 at 01:02


Seriously, what's the rush?

This would be a centuries long project. It is not going to be saving anyone or anything any time soon. We can afford to wait a few decades while we do our research and homework.

Besides: in terms of practicality and resources, we stand a better chance of terraforming Earth to make it more habitable for a wide range of species. Maybe start with some desert reclamation and see if that does anything positive for us.
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[*] posted on 20-1-2017 at 06:41


You might be interested in this:

Gerstell, M. F., Francisco, J. S., Yung, Y. L., Boxe, C., & Aaltonee, E. T. (2001). Keeping Mars warm with new super greenhouse gases. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 98(5), 2154–7. http://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.051511598


Quote:

Our selection of new super greenhouse gases to fill a putative ‘‘window’’ in a future Martian atmosphere relies on quantum- mechanical calculations. Our study indicates that if Mars could somehow acquire an Earth-like atmospheric composition and sur- face pressure, then an Earth-like temperature could be sustained by a mixture of five to seven fluorine compounds. Martian mining requirements for replenishing the fluorine could be comparable to current terrestrial extraction.


Attachment: Gerstell et al. - 2001 - Keeping Mars warm with new super greenhouse gases.pdf (65kB)
This file has been downloaded 279 times

Also:

Sturges, W. T., Oram, D. E., Laube, J. C., Reeves, C. E., Newland, M. J., Hogan, C., … Fraser, P. J. (2012). Emissions halted of the potent greenhouse gas SF5CF3. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12(8), 3653–3658. http://doi.org/10.5194/acp-12-3653-2012


Quote:

Long term measurements in background air (Cape Grim, Tasmania) and firn air (NEEM, Greenland) of the po- tent long-lived greenhouse gas SF5CF3 show that emissions declined after the late 1990s, having grown since the 1950s, and became indistinguishable from zero after 2003. The tim- ing of this decline suggests that emissions of this gas may have been related to the production of certain fluorochemi- cals; production of which have been recently phased out. An earlier observation of closely correlated atmospheric abun- dances of SF5CF3 and SF6 are shown here to have likely been purely coincidental, as their respective trends diverged after 2002. Due to its long lifetime (ca. 900 yr), atmospheric concentrations of SF5CF3 have not declined, and it is now wellmixed between hemispheres, as is also shown here from interhemispheric aircraft measurements. Total cumulative emissions of SF5CF3 amount to around 5kT



[Edited on 20-1-2017 by mayko]

Attachment: Sturges et al. - 2012 - Emissions halted of the potent greenhouse gas SF5CF3.pdf (240kB)
This file has been downloaded 263 times

[Edited on 20-1-2017 by mayko]




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[*] posted on 20-1-2017 at 07:48


You forgot the part where you pack up a huge amount of magnetic field in boxes and ship it to mars so that the flux from the sun doesn't fry the genes of all the settlers and peel your new atmosphere off like the skin on an Albino sunbather.
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[*] posted on 20-1-2017 at 11:15


Quote: Originally posted by Maroboduus  
You forgot the part where you pack up a huge amount of magnetic field in boxes and ship it to mars so that the flux from the sun doesn't fry the genes of all the settlers and peel your new atmosphere off like the skin on an Albino sunbather.

Oh, you mean like how Earth's magnetic field repels ions in the solar wind? Because that's the only thing our magnetic field protects us against. It has no effect on electromagnetic radiation.

There's no need to give Mars a magnetic field in any case. That sort of atmosphere erosion takes hundreds of millions of years, so it's kind of like building road markers to take continental drift into account.
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[*] posted on 20-1-2017 at 13:12


Quote: Originally posted by Melgar  
Quote: Originally posted by Maroboduus  
You forgot the part where you pack up a huge amount of magnetic field in boxes and ship it to mars so that the flux from the sun doesn't fry the genes of all the settlers and peel your new atmosphere off like the skin on an Albino sunbather.

Oh, you mean like how Earth's magnetic field repels ions in the solar wind? Because that's the only thing our magnetic field protects us against. It has no effect on electromagnetic radiation.

There's no need to give Mars a magnetic field in any case. That sort of atmosphere erosion takes hundreds of millions of years, so it's kind of like building road markers to take continental drift into account.


There would seem to be a certain amount of debate about the validity of some of those assertions.

And a great deal of 'happy talk' along these lines which tends to cloud the debate in an obscuring fog of optimism.

It's easy for even The Pros to wax optimistic on projections which will not likely be put to the test until well after they are retired, buried and perhaps even fossilized. (Especially when the 'happy talk' helps keep the grants rolling in. Just how much of the old readies are foundations gonna shell out for more reasons why it WON'T work?)

And the buffs. They're another story altogether. (Or really several very different stories ranging from idealistic to predatory)

Me, I'm still waiting for the jet-packs, flying cars and undersea housing we were promised back in the 1950s.

Nothing personal, Melgar, but my skepticism is substantial.



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[*] posted on 22-1-2017 at 00:43


Quote: Originally posted by Maroboduus  
There would seem to be a certain amount of debate about the validity of some of those assertions.

And a great deal of 'happy talk' along these lines which tends to cloud the debate in an obscuring fog of optimism.

It's easy for even The Pros to wax optimistic on projections which will not likely be put to the test until well after they are retired, buried and perhaps even fossilized. (Especially when the 'happy talk' helps keep the grants rolling in. Just how much of the old readies are foundations gonna shell out for more reasons why it WON'T work?)

And the buffs. They're another story altogether. (Or really several very different stories ranging from idealistic to predatory)

Me, I'm still waiting for the jet-packs, flying cars and undersea housing we were promised back in the 1950s.

Nothing personal, Melgar, but my skepticism is substantial.

I never said terraforming Mars would be easy; on the contrary it would be very difficult. Keep in mind though, that we can measure and quantify things like atmospheric erosion, and extrapolate from those measurements. Given that Mars is about 4.5 billion years old, and still has a bit of an atmosphere clinging on, it seems obvious that this is not a very fast process.
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[*] posted on 22-1-2017 at 01:10


Imagine how beautiful and productive Earth could be
with much less expense than terraforming a distant rock for a few elites,
at far lower cost than our current military and space exploration expenses.


..... keep dreaming .....




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[*] posted on 23-1-2017 at 01:04


Quote: Originally posted by Sulaiman  
Imagine how beautiful and productive Earth could be
with much less expense than terraforming a distant rock for a few elites,
at far lower cost than our current military and space exploration expenses.


..... keep dreaming .....

The standard argument against that implication is that until humanity is inhabiting more than one planet, everything that was ever accomplished by humanity could all be destroyed in the blink of an eye, as has happened before in Earth's history, most recently about 65 million years ago.
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[*] posted on 23-1-2017 at 04:37


Terraforming is under way right here on earth. And since the 20th, the USA have pledged their full effort to make our planet more hospitable to lizard men :-/
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[*] posted on 24-1-2017 at 10:06


There is considerable backing to the idea that we are already conducting a badly designed, badly controlled terraforming experiment on earth. Changes in global temperature, sea level, and atmospheric composition are striking lines of evidence, but megafaunal extinction patterns, increased erosion rates, and accelerated nitrogen cycling are also important indicators. Here is a paper that makes the case on stratigraphic grounds:

Zalasiewicz, J., Williams, M., Smith, A., Barry, T. L., Coe, A. L., Bown, P. R., … Stone, P. (2008). Are we now living in the Anthropocene. GSA Today, 18(2), 4. http://doi.org/10.1130/GSAT01802A.1


Quote:

The term Anthropocene, proposed and increasingly employed to denote the current interval of anthropogenic global environ- mental change, may be discussed on stratigraphic grounds. A case can be made for its consideration as a formal epoch in that, since the start of the Industrial Revolution, Earth has endured changes sufficient to leave a global stratigraphic signature dis- tinct from that of the Holocene or of previous Pleistocene inter- glacial phases, encompassing novel biotic, sedimentary, and geochemical change. These changes, although likely only in their initial phases, are sufficiently distinct and robustly estab- lished for suggestions of a Holocene–Anthropocene bound- ary in the recent historical past to be geologically reasonable. The boundary may be defined either via Global Stratigraphic Section and Point (“golden spike”) locations or by adopting a numerical date. Formal adoption of this term in the near future will largely depend on its utility, particularly to earth scientists working on late Holocene successions. This datum, from the perspective of the far future, will most probably approximate a distinctive stratigraphic boundary.


Attachment: Zalasiewicz et al. - 2008 - Are we now living in the Anthropocene.pdf (525kB)
This file has been downloaded 273 times

[Edited on 24-1-2017 by mayko]




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[*] posted on 24-1-2017 at 22:13


Terraforming= changing a planet to resemble earth.

The earth is already more like it is than anything can ever make it.
By definition.
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[*] posted on 3-2-2017 at 17:53


Mars is a micro-planet. Wanna live there? Then, Bulk it Up!

Not easily done.
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[*] posted on 3-2-2017 at 19:57


Quote: Originally posted by mayko  
There is considerable backing to the idea that we are already conducting a badly designed, badly controlled terraforming experiment on earth. Changes in global temperature, sea level, and atmospheric composition are striking lines of evidence, but megafaunal extinction patterns, increased erosion rates, and accelerated nitrogen cycling are also important indicators. Here is a paper that makes the case on stratigraphic grounds:

Sure, but as long as we're alive, the "anthropocene" period would never end, technically. And don't periods have to end at some point, such that they have defined boundaries? I suppose the next period will probably be called "gray-gooian", or more likely "10011101011011110111000001".
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