Re: from 6 billion to 500 million: how?

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Wed Feb 07 2001 - 19:29:04 MST

Nano Scribe wrote:
> You need to take a good hard look at the puppies in our arsenal, and
> those which were designed but (so we're told) never built. couple of
> MIRVs makes the issue irrelevant--several warheads would get close
> even if the bodies were 10-30km off in different directions.
> Science fiction precedes science fact. I DON'T have tick off a list,
> do I..?

The problem, John, is that every one of those warheads was designed with
the sole purpose of functioning in a 1 bar atmosphere, not a 14 millibar
atmosphere. Most all of the damage a nuke does is due to atmospheric
compression effects. If you have little or no atmosphere to compress
with the blast, damage will be much less, at a much smaller distance, on
Mars than they would do on Earth. A 10 megaton warhead on Mars would do
the amount of damage that a 10 kiloton warhead does here on Earth, or
thereabouts. We've gone over the calculations of using nukes off earth
before on this list (a few years ago), and as I recall James Rogers did
some excellent ones. This is why I said what I did.

Actually, nuking Mars would likely be the best thing that Earth could do
for it. The increased heat from the blasts would stimulate a major
outgassing of CO2, which would help trigger the warming and outgassing
cycle needed to begin terraforming. Perhaps it should be a standard part
of a colonization plan to instigate a nuclear war with Earth. ;)

Mike Lorrey

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