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Start planting trees on mars now

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  1. Jul 7, 2014 #1
    Can we start planting trees on mars now? Considering that there are so many tree species on earth that lives in extreme conditions, at least one of them would survive on mars right?

    Imagine what mars would be like in 50 years if we started doing this now.
     
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  3. Jul 7, 2014 #2
    Trees doesn't even survive arctic climate on Earth and Mars is far more hostile. Maybe it would be possible with some extremophiles or genetic modified organisms but I think it would be a very bad idea to contaminate Mars with alien lifeforms.
     
  4. Jul 7, 2014 #3
    I just thought if we start now, mars' atmosphere will be like earth's in ten thousand years.
     
  5. Jul 7, 2014 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    I fail to see how a bunch of dead trees will help that.
     
  6. Jul 7, 2014 #5
    Mars' atmosphere will never be earth-like because there is not enough nitrogen. It might be possible to make it breathable or at least suitable for plants but terraforming Mars requires much more than just planting trees and would be even more unethical.
     
  7. Jul 7, 2014 #6

    Bandersnatch

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    It won't because you can't plant them there.
    Trees need liquid water and nutrients in the ground, and lots of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
    You can't have liquid water in low pressure, low temperature environment. The nutrients have to be imported from offworld, as there's no bacteria, and little nitrogen in the air to produce them on site.
    The atmosphere is so thin, it's almost vacuum. So even though there's lots of CO2 by percentage, there's almost none to use for building the actual tree and sugars to burn later for energy. There's even less oxygen for burning those sugars.

    Have a read through this breakdown of tree physiology before proceeding:
    http://mff.dsisd.net/Environment/TreePhys.htm
     
  8. Jul 7, 2014 #7

    Chronos

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  9. Jul 8, 2014 #8
    Martian lacks a strong magnetic field - and I believe that is the most important reason that it would not be able to hold onto any atmosphere denser than what it already has.

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast31jan_1/

     
  10. Jul 8, 2014 #9
    Plant 1trillion trees and they'll die before they can grow. There is radiation from the sun, extremely cold weather, and no water... The only way it can be done is to create a huge radiation proof dome that is filled with oxygen tanks. We can live on Mars but it has to be inside a protective dome. Teraforming a planet is a long way away I think.
     
  11. Jul 8, 2014 #10

    strangerep

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    :rofl:
     
  12. Jul 9, 2014 #11
    I propose we plant more trees on Earth first!
     
  13. Jul 9, 2014 #12
  14. Jul 9, 2014 #13

    Chronos

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  15. Jul 10, 2014 #14
    It could be possible to give Mars a magnetic field through man made means. Supposedly, we have made magnets that are just as powerful as Earth's magnetic field. And if you wanted to terraform the planet, you wouldn't start with trees anyway. You would start with algae, which is what is believed to have created most of the oxygen here. It uses far less resources, so it requires much less to survive, and could be genetically engineered to work in the environment on Mars.
     
  16. Jul 11, 2014 #15

    Chronos

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    The question remains, where do you get the energy to power the magnets.
     
  17. Jul 12, 2014 #16
    Well, if your familiar with Mars One, putting a colony on Mars is going to bring that question up anyway. At some point, they are going to have to find way to power the colony. There's always solar, but it won't be as effective as it is here on Earth. They have seen dust devils on Mars, so there is possibly some wind. And then there is always Nuclear, which is probably the best bet considering there is no environment to ruin anyway, but it provides the most amount of power. Of course it would also be amusing to see environmental groups in an uproar over the use of nuclear energy on a world with no environment.
     
  18. Jul 12, 2014 #17

    phinds

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    "No environment" is a ridiculous concept. Of COURSE there is an environment, it's just different than ours and less complex.

    Saying that there is no environment is equivalent to saying that if you get zero as a result of a calculation that means there is no result at all.
     
  19. Jul 12, 2014 #18

    phinds

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    Where do you get the water to grow the algae in?
     
  20. Jul 12, 2014 #19

    Chronos

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    Growing algae on mars would be feasible. Water is not abundant, but, believed to be sufficient to support a colony. It is, in fact, believed there is enough water on the moon to support a colony. And the moon has a much harsher environment than mars.
     
  21. Jul 13, 2014 #20
    I recently read that in about 20 years, we are expected to have people on mars. What's the probability on the success of that prospect?
     
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