Keeping Mars warm with new super greenhouse gases
M. F. Gerstell*, J. S. Francisco, Y. L. Yung*,, C. Boxe*, and E. T. Aaltonee
* Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, MS 150-21, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125; and Department of Chemistry and Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907
Edited by Donald M. Hunten, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, and approved January 11, 2001 (received for review October 26, 2000)
Our selection of new super greenhouse gases to fill a putative "window" in a future Martian atmosphere relies on quantum-mechanical calculations. Our study indicates that if Mars could somehow acquire an Earth-like atmospheric composition and surface pressure, then an Earth-like temperature could be sustained by a mixture of five to seven fluorine compounds. Martian mining requirements for replenishing the fluorine could be comparable to current terrestrial extraction.
PNAS, February 27, 2001, vol. 98, no. 5:2154-2157.