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Sunday, February 16, 2003



Lack of CO2... a Curse or a Blessing?

Southern polar cap.
Southern polar cap.
Credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS
In response to the report this week that Mars' southern polar cap is made primarily of water and not carbon dioxide, I have written an article. Lack of CO2... a Curse or a Blessing? mathematically explains how less is more. Here's a snippet:

According to Global Surveyor, there is 95.23% CO2 in the Martian atmosphere and 0.021% water vapor. Letís imagine that we begin terraforming and raise the pressure (with PFCs and oxygen from plants) to 675 millibars. Without adding any CO2 or H2O to the system, we find that there would be 1.128% CO2 in the atmosphere, far under the fatal level of 10% and far above Earthís level of 0.035%. 675 millibars would also yield 0.00025% water vapor on Mars, somewhat dryer than Earthís hospitable 2%.


- posted by Alex @ 22:14 EST