The Terraforming Simulator Project.

(Now in mothballs).

Third Announcement.

In February 1999 Dr Chris McKay (NASA Ames Research Center) and I discussed the possibility of creating some terraforming related software that might be made available to the public via the Terraforming Information Pages. Our intention was to make the code available in order to solicit additions to the program which will be refereed by a committee of three specialists (names to be announced). In this way, and from small beginnings, we hope to develop software enabling users to "terraform Mars in virtual space" in ever greater detail as the project progresses. Project modules will be accompanied by explanatory notes.

The current offering on this page consists of the Mars Terraforming Simulator V1.1 which allows the user to alter the insolation and albedo of Mars, to add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, and then to compute the surface temperature. It now also includes a model of the putative carbon dioxide reservoirs on Mars, the polar caps and regolith, and their response to climate forcing. The algorithm is based on McKay's empirical equations for determining the greenhouse effects of both carbon dioxide and added methane, ammonia and CFCs in the Martian atmosphere, which can be studied further in the Technical Notes. Full-scale development of the simulator is being done in Java and a paper describing the work done so far will soon be submitted to JBIS. Source code and .class files for V1.1 are thus available. People interested in contributing to this project should email the Editor.


Version 1.0 of the program (now replaced by V1.1) was originally written in Visual Basic 6 by Fogg, but turned out to require cumbersome .dll files to download from the web. However, Gabriel Rshaid of the Mars Academy kindly translated the program into Javascript/HTML to create a version which ran online. Finally, Fogg got to grips with Java and posted the program in applet form.

Go to the Technical Notes Run the Terraforming Simulator V1.1

Developments Pending.

It is hoped to include a time dimension and some 2D climate modeling in the future.

Thanks to:

Kyle Stamper is thanked for both his tireless testing and his C code.

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