Planetary engineering

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Planetary engineering is the application of technology for the purpose of influencing the global properties of a planet.[1] Its objectives usually involve increasing the habitability of other worlds or mitigating decreases in habitability to Earth.

Perhaps the best-known type of planetary engineering is terraforming, by which a planet's surface conditions are altered to be more like those of Earth. Other types of planetary engineering include ecopoiesis, the introduction of an ecology to a lifeless environment. Planetary engineering is largely the realm of science fiction at present, although recent climate change on Earth suggests that humans can cause change on a global scale.

Terraforming[edit]

Main article: Terraforming

Terraforming is the hypothetical process of deliberately modifying the atmosphere, temperature, or ecology of a planet, moon, or other body to be similar to those of Earth in order to make it habitable by humans.

Seeding[edit]

Seeding is a term used for the process of introducing animal- or plant species on a planet or moon that already has habitable zones. Jupiters moon Europa is a good example as it has a well protected ocean under a thick ice crust. Living on the surface of the ice crust is not possible, but microorganisms from earth used as seeds could possibly survive in the oxygenrich environment of Europas ocean. In the case of Europa it might be possible to incrementally seed with the species in their trophic (see foodchain) context and to build up an aquatic ecosystem.

Geoengineering[edit]

Main article: Geoengineering

Geoengineering is the application of planetary engineering techniques to Earth. Recent geoengineering proposals have principally been methods to tackle human-induced climate change by either removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (e.g. using ocean iron fertilization) or by managing solar radiation (e.g. by using mirrors in space) in order to negate the net warming effect of climate change.[2] Future geoengineering projects may preserve the habitability of Earth through the sun's life cycle by moving the Earth to keep it constantly within the habitable zone.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fogg, Martyn J. (1995). Terraforming: Engineering Planetary Environments. Warrendale, PA: SAE International. 
  2. ^ Geoengineering the Climate: Science, Governance, and Uncertainty. London: The Royal Society. 2009. ISBN 978-0-85403-773-5. 
  3. ^ "[1]",Moving the Earth out of harm's way.

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