Mars climate engineering using orbiting solar reflectors

McInnes, C. R. (2009) Mars climate engineering using orbiting solar reflectors. In: Badescu, V. (ed.) Mars: Prospective Energy and Material Resources. Springer Verlag, pp. 645-659. ISBN 9783642036286 (doi:10.1007/978-3-642-03629-3_25)

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Terrestrial geo-engineering is currently being explored as a large-scale venture to mitigate against rapid terrestrial climate change due to anthropogenic carbon emissions. A range of schemes have been proposed, including the use of orbiting solar reflectors to reduce solar insolation to compensate for increased radiative forcing of the climate (Early 1989; Angel 2006). While the scale of endeavour required to deploy geo-engineering schemes is impressive, on an even more ambitious scale the same technologies which can be envisaged to engineer the Earth’s climate can be scaled to engineer the climate of Mars. Such terraforming schemes (engineering an Earth-like climate) have long been discussed, although the concept became somewhat more mainstream with the work of Sagan and others (Sagan 1961, 1973). Bioengineering schemes have been proposed, including the delivery of customized organisms to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen in the atmosphere of Mars, and darkening the Martian polar caps to reduce their albedo, again using customized organisms. Halocarbons synthesised on Mars have also been considered as a tool to quickly raise the surface temperature and so liberate trapped carbon dioxide (Gerstell et al. 2001; Badescu 2005). For other details see Chap. 26.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McInnes, Professor Colin
Authors: McInnes, C. R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Publisher:Springer Verlag
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