How long before terraforming Mars in the best scenario?

How long before terraforming Mars in the best scenario?

I've read a Master thesis with the effects on ecology, economy and politics with all the different scenarios of warming. Comparing a 2 degrees warming to a 4, 6 and finally 8-10 degree warming. With the sea rise and loss of available territories, Canada's Nunavut and Russia's Siberia will become coveted terriories and many wars for the Northern conquest might/will happen.

I was wondering how long it will take to terraform Mars on a tight schedule to expand humanity and export wars to terrirories conquests on orther planets

Remnant | 02. Januar 2017

@EVolution (OP, January 2, 2017)

<< How long before terraforming Mars in the best scenario? >>

Beside propulsion and scheduling issues, travel to Mars and settlements on or in it raise major additional issues of protection from solar and cosmic radiations.

Check these two sources, for starters:

Frank99 | 02. Januar 2017

Remember that with higher temperatures, you'll get more water vapor in the air and more rainfall, potentially turning many currently unproductive areas into productive areas. 8C temperature rise won't make a significant difference to the habitability of Phoenix, for example, but might very well raise yearly rainfall from 8 inches to 16 inches, making it marginally capable of supporting crops.

If major ocean currents are disrupted, all bets are off on what portions of the globe will be wet or dry, cold or warm. Phoenix, for example, is at about the same latitude as Birmingham, Alabama, but has a drastically different climate mostly due to wind flow patterns. Should those change, all h-e-double-hockey-sticks will break out as arable land becomes desert, deserts become wetter but don't yet have the soil and infrastructure to support agriculture, and freshwater river patterns change (imagine the Colorado doubling its flow, and the Nile and Mississippi becoming small streams).

In any case, raising crops on a planet with a breathable atmosphere, magnetic field, and a functioning water cycle is ALWAYS going to be easier than doing so on a desert world without.

Ross1 | 02. Januar 2017

Do you mean that after destroying this planet, man should find other planets to destroy, to alter so much that they are akin to earth rather than their own unique selves?
Are we serial planet destroyers?

Mike83 | 02. Januar 2017

Let us not forget the Prime Directive. No interference with other cultures.

SCCRENDO | 02. Januar 2017

@Ross. If we were capable we would become serial planet destroyers.
@Mike. And that means what to Donald Trump??

hcwhy | 02. Januar 2017


The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

Ross1 | 02. Januar 2017

I was amazed that Elon figures that nuking Mars would make it more habitable.
What a way to start.
And Elon, that was below par for you.

Ross1 | 02. Januar 2017

@ Mike:
It is OK so long as they dont look cute. Or humanoid.
Bacteria? Nuke 'em.

SCCRENDO | 02. Januar 2017

@Ross. Elon was just trying to get into Trump's good graces. Just trying to find uses for all Trump's extra nukes he wants to produce.

Maxxer | 02. Januar 2017

couples nukes to prepare our arrival

codyb12889 | 04. Januar 2017

It is a bit funny that the key to escaping the damage we do with global warming is to take global warming to a new planet so that it can eventually sustain a breathable atmosphere.

djharrington | 05. Januar 2017


DTsea | 05. Januar 2017

how long? i would say 5000-10000 years.

codyb12889 | 05. Januar 2017

With everything I have read on this since this thread was posted I would say the absolute BEST case scenario is that it would take over 500 years to terraform mars after we have gotten there and established a strong colony which is going to take between 50 and 100 years.

cdavidhord | 07. Januar 2017

Don't hold your breath. Mars has 10% of Earth's mass, receives 10% of incident solar radiation of Earth, and has no magnetic field. Important and impossible to alter factors as to why it has evolved to its current state. Its present Amazonian period has the planet unchanged for the last 3 billion years. Hasn't rained for at least 3.7 billion years since the end of its Noachian period. Good luck-you're going to need it.

SCCRENDO | 07. Januar 2017

@cdavidhord. I guess his first challenge will be living 500 years. | 08. Januar 2017

Cleaning up Earth is a better investment.

SCCRENDO | 08. Januar 2017

@George. Excellent point

DTsea | 08. Januar 2017

cleaning up earth is probably impossible already.... the energy expenditure require would probably do more damage than it repairs.

nadurse | 09. Januar 2017

I'm a bit confused about the original post since you are mentioning the global warming of earth in the same post as terraforming Mars.

Is the correlation that since we know how to warm up this planet that we can terraform Mars? Or are you asking how much time would it take to do that before we are ^&*ed here lol?

Nexxus | 10. Januar 2017

The problem with terraforming Mars is you have to thicken the atmosphere. It currently is .02% of the Earth's atmosphere. Since Mars doesn't have a magnetic field to protect said atmosphere, the solar wind is constantly stripping it away. Any amount of terraforming would have to answer this question first, so if you can't hold onto the atmosphere you're hoping to create, no amount of terraforming will help.

soakes | 10. Januar 2017

Sounds like an incredibly massive dome of some sort is required.

NKYTA | 10. Januar 2017

Put lids on the craters, not domes.

soakes | 10. Januar 2017

Isn't a lid basically a dome?!

Ross1 | 10. Januar 2017

Perhaps Mars has been Earthlike already, a long time ago.

Put a dome on Earth. Easier.

aoeu512 | 02. Januar 2019

You can use the existing technology to build self-replicating sand/ice printers to terraform Mars in less than 10 years. They will use lens to soften/melt the ice/sand to make more lenses to melt the ice/sand, and then it'll print out its arms and legs which are made of ice or sand. Ice will replicate faster but will be in the poles, sand will be on Mars equator. It will have phases for printing and powering itself (using the lens to control heat engines). They will be controlled by a infrared tower that broadcasts commands on how to move the hands and legs and extrusion, the receiver is just a specially shaped prism or network of prisms that can translate the broadcast commands to commands to print-itself, by rotating the prism it can convert the signal to be of different "stations" meaning different parts to be printed/assembled.

sources: open source self-replicating rep-rap crude sand-printer sand-printer (but not self-replicating in any way) mars ice printer

kcheng | 03. Januar 2019

The OP wrote, "and many wars for the Northern conquest might/will happen."

Uhm, not gonna happen. The US, Russia, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Greenland/Denmark, Iceland occupy those northern territories. The only country anxiously looking for a toehold in the Arctic that isn't already there is China. The Arctic isn't the South China Sea. Those countries already there aren't going to let China build islands in the middle of the Arctic. There's not going to be any "wars for the Northern conquest"

As for your question about terraforming, someone will just have to ask Matt Damon, since he's the botanist on Mars.

DTsea | 03. Januar 2019

mars atmospher is .7% earth pressure not .02%.

terraforming might start within 100 years, but will take hundreds or thousands of years to get a shirtsleeve environment.

Darthamerica | 03. Januar 2019

1st Visit to Mars - within 20 years

Regular visits - 2050+

Mars Base - 2100+

Living on Mars - by 2200

Terraforming is an unknown because the technology only exist in theory. By the time it's ready to use there will be new science well beyond our current knowledge.

Darthamerica | 03. Januar 2019

No one permanently lives in Antarctica yet and there's liquid water, breathable air, food sources, magnetosphere, proper atmospheric pressure, no communication lag, medical support and you can come and go by air and sea.

Imagine the challenge Mars presents!

Nexxus | 04. Januar 2019


Okay, I was wrong about the Mars atmosphere density:

How dense is the atmosphere on Mars?

The atmosphere of the planet Mars is composed mostly of carbon dioxide. The atmospheric pressure on the Martian surface averages 600 pascals (0.087 psi; 6.0 mbar), about 0.6% of Earth's mean sea level pressure of 101.3 kilopascals (14.69 psi; 1.013 bar).

But at .6% it is still too thin to terraform and without a magnetic field to hold onto the atmosphere it will never happen.

Maxxer | 04. Januar 2019

why 2 years posts are coming back on top?

Darthamerica | 04. Januar 2019

Interesting to note that NASA has studied the concept of creating magnetic fields for similar purposes. It could be that 200 years from now technology to do it will be possible.

sbeggs | 04. Januar 2019

Never. I'm with @georgehawley.

jimglas | 04. Januar 2019

Maybe we should focus on terraforming the earth, a lot closer to home and we need it