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Well let's see...how might one destroy an atmosphere?

Let me think...

Well looking at the planet Venus, which is about the size of earth and not all much that more closer to the sun, I would guess that injecting greenhouse gases, at least in theory, can create positive feedback loops that cause the planet to inordinately heat.

Now of course, I don't know that this is what happened on Venus, but that is at least one explanation for whether or not it's atmosphere was "destroyed."    I am overlooking, of course, that Venus still has an atmosphere, but it has changed.   Thus effectively anything which depended on moderate temperatures that may have existing on Venus at one time, has effectively had Venus's atmosphere "destroyed."

One of the things that is sometimes suggested is that as Venus's temperature rose and the sun got hotter - yes the sun is getting hotter, though this does not account for climate change - much of the water on that planet boiled off, except for that portion bound to sulfur trioxide that made sulfuric acid.

I am opposed to a similar experiment being performed on earth on a finer scale, but apparently I'm in a minority.

My response may seem extreme - and maybe it is - but there do seem to be some feedback loops operating on this planet, and I suggest that their capacity to "destroy" our atmosphere represents a considerable risk, possibly not one worth taking.   We have somewhat less climatic liberty than the people of Venus may enjoy.

by NNadir on Tue Jan 9th, 2007 at 10:18:08 AM EST
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