Tagged: climate

Artist impression of the planet Venus in a remote future after terraforming, with oceans and continents, cloud patterns and an impressive ring system

The Rings of Venus

Terraforming is the modification of a planet in such a way that terrestrial life can thrive there. One should not underestimate such an enterprise; the terraforming of Venus or Mars is a huge project that will take centuries, if not millennia. But on which of our two neighboring planets is such a project the most promising? They both have their pros and cons, but on this page I mainly want to talk about Venus. Sister planet This closest planet in our solar system looks suspiciously like Earth, at first glance. With a diameter of 12,104 kilometers, Venus is only a… Read More

The Dry Earth: Reversed Terraforming

After terraforming Mars quite a few times, I’ve now done the reverse thing: martifying Earth. What would our planet look like if all the water suddenly disappeared? Like a Pale Yellow Dot, a kind of cross-over between the Moon and Mars. Warming-up No, this is not a warning about the effects of global warming. Those are worrying enough, but in the short term they mainly mean that we have to deal with more instead of less water. Speculation On the other hand: sometimes planets lose a lot of water in the course of their existence. Mars, for example, once had… Read More

The Drowned Earth: a world map as it looks after the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica have melted, around 4000 AD

The Drowned Earth: 4000 AD, After The Thaw

What happens when all the polar ice melt? What would the world map look lik? And how long does it take to get there? These are interesting questions now that climate change is – finally – on the political agenda. And as a cartographer, I could not resist the temptation to visualize the worst case scenario. Gravity When the Greenland ice sheet melts, the sea level rises 7 meters, when the ice melts in Antarctica it causes a rise of 58 meters. So together that makes 65 meters. But that is an average. Because something else plays a role: gravity.… Read More