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Wednesday, November 8, 2000

Terraforming: Is there an official definition?

Although Webster has no definition for the word, terraform, Red releases a definition that the scientific community can hopefully agree on and use. Be sure to visit the new What's Terraforming? section.

Terraform (tèrafôrm) verb. To transform a planet without life into a planet that can harbor plants and animals on the surface (literally, creating another Earth). Terraforming is theorized to work in stages, and over a long period of time (several centuries or longer). In the case of Mars, bacteria and lichen will be released to gradually reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and plants will generate oxygen for animals and humans to thrive on the surface free. The temperature on Mars must of course be raised to support animals, but with a thickening atmosphere the sun's heat should remain trapped to the surface.

Special thanks to Gil Whiteley for inquiries on terraforming

- posted by Alex @ 18:43 EST