The idea of human colonization of alien planets has been a popular theme in science fiction for many decades. With advances in technology and space exploration, the possibility of humans establishing colonies on other planets has become more plausible.
One of the main drivers for human colonization of other planets is the need to find new resources and expand our habitat beyond Earth. As the world’s population continues to grow, the demand for resources such as food, water, and energy will increase, and it’s possible that Earth will not be able to sustain this growth indefinitely.
In addition, establishing colonies on other planets could serve as a backup plan in the event of catastrophic events, such as natural disasters or global pandemics, that render Earth uninhabitable.
While there are many challenges to overcome in order to make human colonization of other planets a reality, such as developing advanced technologies for interplanetary travel and creating self-sustaining habitats on other planets, the idea of human expansion beyond Earth remains a fascinating topic for many people.
Mars is most similar to Earth among the planets in our solar system. Nevertheless, its conditions are not suitable for human life.Mars is also very cold and the atmosphere is largely carbon dioxide. Just a moment: A lot of carbon dioxide and still low temperatures? Where’s the greenhouse effect?
The greenhouse effect on mars?
The greenhouse effect occurs when certain gases in a planet’s atmosphere trap heat from the Sun, causing the planet’s surface temperature to rise.
On Mars, the primary greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide, which makes up about 95% of the planet’s atmosphere. This carbon dioxide absorbs and traps some of the sun’s heat, helping to keep the planet warm.
However, Mars’ atmosphere is much thinner than Earth’s, which means that the greenhouse effect is weaker. As a result, the average surface temperature on Mars is much colder than on Earth, averaging about -63°C (-81°F).
Overall, while the greenhouse effect plays a role in maintaining temperature on Mars, it is much weaker than on Earth because of the planet’s thinner atmosphere and lack of other greenhouse gases such as water vapor.
The atmospheric pressure on the surface of Mars is only 0.6% of the atmospheric pressure on the surface of Earth. The greenhouse effect remains small, despite a CO2 content of about 96%.
Why doesn’t CO2 work on Mars as it does on Earth?
The large mass and the high air pressure of our atmosphere forces the gas molecules closer together. It thus facilitates the retention and storage of thermal energy. In contrast, under the lower air pressure on the red planet, the molecules are further apart and thermal energy escapes back into the universe more easily.
The relative composition of the Martian atmosphere therefore plays a subordinate role for the greenhouse effect. It only causes the average temperature on Mars to rise by around 5°C, while on Earth it increases by around 33°C.
Future settlers would have a hard time on Mars without the greenhouse effect. There are various approaches to making our neighboring planet habitable through terraforming.
For example, releasing the CO2 bound in the surface of Mars into the atmosphere and thus heating it up. According to a study supported by NASA, Mars does not have enough CO2 for this plan. Turning the desert planet into a garden of Eden remains an idea for science fiction novels for the time being.