Terraforming Mars is impossible. To do this, a shortage of carbon from the Red Planet
This dream Elon Musk. This is the dream in the space agency NASA. And Arnold Schwarzenegger has already managed to do this (but only in the movies). But if it's really possible? We are talking about terraforming Mars - turning the Red Planet in blue by using geo-engineering, which makes it more dense atmosphere, and the environment and the climate is more friendly for people. Unfortunately, according to the findings of a new study, an article which was published in the journal Nature Astronomy, fantastic dream, a dream which is already far more than one generation of scientists, it seems destined to remain as a dream. At least for the near future.
The idea of terraforming Mars implies a solution of several important key problems, but according to the common sense, if you could free up carbon dioxide contained in the bowels of the planet, and filled them atmosphere, then after about 100 years of Mars could become quite a place suitable for sustain extraterrestrial life. Scientists say they know how to warm the planet, because the same thing we are doing now with the Earth. Nevertheless, according to recent studies, for Mars this sounds too good to be true.
"Our study shows that on Mars remains insufficient amount of carbon gas reserves necessary to begin the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere", - says planetary scientist Bruce Yakoski the University of Colorado at Boulder.
"Moreover, the bulk of the available CO2 reserves on the planet are available. We believe that the terraforming of Mars is impossible. At least, when using current technologies. "
In recent years, scientists have repeatedly spoken about the prospects of terraforming Mars, but the study Yakoski and colleagues Christopher Edwards from Northern Arizona University, is based on data collected by the different orbital spacecraft, rather than the computer models. The researchers used their work to information obtained through such orbiters as Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), Mars Odyssey, and MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution - "Evolution atmosphere and volatiles on Mars").
Mars has a very thin atmosphere and as a consequence of lack of atmospheric pressure. In general, this means that any reserves of liquid water on the surface of the planet for a long time there did not linger. The water is either completely evaporate or freeze. According to the idea of terraforming, if somehow translate existing in the polar caps of Mars carbon in the gaseous state (in the manner of a hero Arnie from the movie "Total Recall"), then it would be possible to increase the atmospheric pressure on Mars twice. But unlike those effects have been shown in the film, in reality, an increase in the atmospheric pressure on Mars is twice would not be sufficient to recreate the conditions of the earth. Yakovski notes that an increase in pressure on the surface temperature and 1 bar on Mars could be slightly above 0 degrees Celsius. Water would be in this case, not frozen, and the whole planet would be really habitable. The atmosphere itself would not fit to breathe, but people might wear special breathing masks, not putting on the spacesuits completely closed. On the planet could grow plants without any problems, slowly increasing the level of oxygen in the atmosphere in the next few centuries. But while this is all a fairy tale.
"This does not mean that the terraforming itself impossible. Just do it will not be easy, as many now are, "- commented Yakoski portal New Scientist.
"We can not just go and blow a few nuclear weapons on the planet's ice caps and get what we want."
On the planet, there are other sources of carbon. This element is present in the soil and mineral deposits, however, calculations of researchers, Mars contains insufficient amounts of natural resources in order to transform the planet's atmosphere in a mild, moist greenhouse.
According to the latest assumptions, a large supply of carbon may be deep beneath the surface of the planet. However, scientists are not currently have sufficient set of data that could confirm this hypothesis. And even if we could prove it, then get to these stocks, we would still not been able to.
"We sense that there is something there. Traces of carbon have been found in several planet drum craters. But we do not know exactly how much carbon there. Moreover, even if there are large stocks, to get to them is not possible "- says Yakoski.
And yet, scientists still hope. Researchers believe that if not in the coming years, then within a few decades the technological evolution and the subsequent colonization of Mars will allow us to reach the level when implementing plans to terraformed the Red Planet will be possible.
"We still can terraform Mars. We could create the world of high-level artificial sources of greenhouse gases, such as chlorofluorocarbons. They would be able to heat the planet. But this will require a higher technological level than that which we have today. This goes far beyond our current capabilities. If this is done, it is clearly not in the near future, "- the researchers note.