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The discovery of frozen carbon dioxide remaining on the surface of Mars is between 100 to 1000 millibars. With this in mind, increasing the atmospheric pressure and also the temperature on the planet is just a matter of warming the poles of Mars to the point where they can sublimate to the planet's atmosphere. By the fact that carbon dioxide is a green house gas, it will retain most of the sun's heat leading to melting of more carbon dioxide of the regolith of the planet. This will in turn result to trapping of more heat leading to further degassing.
One of the key ways of stabilizing the atmosphere of Mars is through activation of the atmosphere (Shankel, 2011). It is a fact that water usually promotes ecopoiesis through providing a crucial element for life, as well as stabilizing the climate. Water usually retains heat and, also reduces swings in temperature. Also, water in gaseous state is a greenhouse gas that assists in holding thermal energy in the atmosphere.
These changes in the atmosphere of Mars would go far away to ensure that Mars is habitable for microbial life. In addition, it would go far in making the planet sustainable for human exploration. Nevertheless, the challenge of reducing ultra violet flux as well as making the atmosphere breathable requires substantial time and effort. The thick atmosphere of the planet of carbon dioxide is likely to block the incoming ultra violet flux (Anonymous, 2012).
The main challenge with the approach to ozone formation is that the planet does not have enough nitrogen for supporting large-scale life (Shankel, 2011). Nitrogen is a significant element for life and hence; its scarcity on Mars poses a great threat concerning ecopoiesis. However, it is possible to introduce substantial atmospheric nitrogen to the planet from extraplanetary sources including ammonia rich asteroids.
Another challenge that arises when it comes to making the atmosphere of Mars breathable is that the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are lethal to human beings, despite the adequate levels of oxygen in the Martian atmosphere (Shankel, 2011).
Finally, if the scientists cannot restart the volcanoes of the planet, or alternatively enhance geological demineralization, a terraformed planet will need to have maintenance in constant re-introduction of various volatile elements. Since the loss of atmosphere of planet Mars to space, as well as mineralization would take place over many centuries, scientist might create time for radical planetary engineering including construction of moholes for the purpose of releasing the gas trapped in the planet's crust (Shankel, 2011). In addition, scientist might create artificial moon in order to provide tidal force to the reactive geological process of the planet.
Currently, many governments of developed countries are investing a lot in order to realize the dream of terraforming Mars. Some of these countries include the United States, Russia and China. This is because they believe that this will lead to exploration Mars as a planet that can support life. Nevertheless, it is not possible to fine tune the planet's climate for the purpose of supporting life as we currently know (Shankel, 2011). It may take several centuries for a scientist to fully implement this idea, and it may be easier to make humans to put up with the conditions that the scientist can produce on Mars
In conclusion, it is evident that terraforming Mars is a long and complicated process. However, this is an issue of interest for space researchers and hence; there may be a solution in the near future. This research might have significant environmental implications for Earth. The researchers are now trying to deal with the greenhouse effect issues on the cold planet Mars. Many scientists and researchers are able to test their hypothesis concerning global warming while trying to elevate the surface temperature of the planet. Consequently, several theories are applicable in planet Earth in an attempt to reverse the environmental damage through pollution and deforestation. Overall, terraforming Mars is a good idea, as it will enable humans to explore further in the solar system.
Badescu, V. (2009). Mars: Prospective energy and material resources. Berlin: Springer.
Graham, D., Murphy, L., MacDonagh, C., McCormack, A., & O'Riordan, D. (2004). Red colony terraforming Mars.
Shankel, J. (2011). How We Will Terraform Mars) Retrieved on 8th March 2013 from http://io9.com/5868115/how-we-will-terraform-mars
Anonymous. (2012). How terraforming 'mars' to suit life on earth will work. The…[continue]
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