It occurred to me today as I was reading about researchers being able to reliably predict snowstorms on Mars, that what we humans are doing here on Earth could be perfect for terraforming our red neighbour. Although Mars’ atmosphere is largely CO2, 95.3% in fact, it is so tenuous today that it can trap very little heat. But here on Earth we humans are pumping CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere with abandon while watching global average temperatures rise.
What if we were to transfer our behaviour to Mars?
We can transfer our greenhouse gas emitting technologies to the planet surface and start pumping out more CO2. Instead of coal, natural gas or oil, we could use solar arrays and materials from the Martian surface, setting up hundreds of factories to generate huge amounts of gas.
And we could do something else we have been really good at here on Earth, that is, introduce alien life (sort of like rabbits to Australia, or the lamprey to the Great Lakes) in the form of airborne and soil borne bacteria to take in some of that CO2 and start pumping out oxygen.
To our CO2 factories and bacteria farms we can add something that we, that is NASA and a few private companies, are currently considering, catching an asteroid and taking control of it. For Mars instead of mining the asteroids we capture we would just haul them close to the planet and let them plunge into the Martian atmosphere releasing water and heat. That should instantly raise the temperatures on Mars and add more water vapour to the atmosphere.
I figure within five centuries we could have Mars ready for Earth life just at the moment when we have made our planet here totally untenable.
Of course none of this would be in time for the Mars One colonists who currently are applying to leave Earth on a one-way trip to arrive at the red planet in 2023.