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Mars: A Paradise For Plants (But Not Animals And People?)

14 Aug 2009, 03:31 UTC
Mars: A Paradise For Plants (But Not Animals And People?)
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Regardless of whether or not you believe that the red planet is the future of humanity, one thing is probably certain–whether it takes a decade or a millennium, humanity will probably settle upon that dusty crimson world.
If humanity ever does gain the necessary technology to terraform Mars into a habitable world (air pressure and temperature wise), we may discover that although the red planet makes an excellent habitat for terrestrial vegetation, it may make an extremely poor one for colonists and animals.

One of the key ingredients for animal life on our planet is oxygen. Without it, most creatures would experience a short (but painful) death, leaving the insects to rule the planet.
Thanks to the laws of photosynthesis, plants are able to produce a large enough volume of oxygen to enable animals, space geeks and people to thrive upon planet Earth.
Most of this oxygen however does not come from land plants, such as trees, grass, etc., but rather from a single celled organism called Phytoplankton which contributes between 70% and 90% of the worlds oxygen from the ocean.

While land plants do contribute their fare share of oxygen for our planetary survival, they may not be ...

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