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Floating continents on Venus
https://arxiv.org/pdf/2203.06722.pdf

Quote:I review past proposals and propose a new method for terraforming Venus by building an artificial surface in the much more hospitable upper atmosphere where the temperature and pressure are both Earth-like. Such a surface could be built with locally produced materials and would float above the bulk of the atmosphere using nitrogen as a lifting gas. This would allow the engineering of a breathable atmosphere above the surface and would remove the need to import or export extreme amounts of mass, except for comparatively modest quantities of water. The engineering, logistical, and energy requirements of this method are surveyed. I find that such a terraforming project could be completed in a minimum of 200 years in a best-case scenario, comparable to other proposals, with significantly lower resource costs.

Note that we have a version of this concept in OA already, described in detail in the article about the planet Blanchard.
https://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/5762be458989f
I might get round to updating and expanding that article, since the 'floating continent' idea is useful and could potentially be used on a wide range of worlds.
Take this as only a halfhearted suggestion: but I think the idea that Venus in 11K has a natural surface but has a fully floating, earth-like shell over the top could be really interesting. Hell different floating continents could contain different environments, and link via sealed tunnels along their edges.

I always found the fact Venus was terraformed into another Earth to be a bit underwhelming given the diversity in the setting.
I don't know that I'd want to do yet another redesign of Venus, but this idea could certainly be applied to other planets (Venus size or larger) in the Terragen Sphere. It sort of reminds me of the big floating plant/structure on Saturn toward the end of Accelerando.

Todd
I'd expect that most Venus-like planets would be terraformed in this way, although that doesn't require that Venus is terraformed thus.

The problem I anticipate is that the edges of a floating continent would be badly affected by turbulence, so they would be largely uninhabitable and unavailable for most uses. Not a real deal-breaker, but annoying.
(04-07-2022, 06:52 PM)stevebowers Wrote: [ -> ]The problem I anticipate is that the edges of a floating continent would be badly affected by turbulence, so they would be largely uninhabitable and unavailable for most uses. Not a real deal-breaker, but annoying.

For some clades that could be a feature rather than a bug. Imagine a synthetic hive mind clade consisting of a few thousand "dandelion seeds". Each designed to be blown in the wind and maintain contact with each other for the experience.

I agree with Todd that we don't need a Venus rewrite. My gut feeling for it is just because I think we could do more with the above idea, that terragen adaptability means they'd more often fill strange ecological niches rather than terraform them to earth like.
(04-07-2022, 06:52 PM)stevebowers Wrote: [ -> ]I'd expect that most Venus-like planets would be terraformed in this way, although that doesn't require that Venus is terraformed thus.

The problem I anticipate is that the edges of a floating continent would be badly affected by turbulence, so they would be largely uninhabitable and unavailable for most uses. Not a real deal-breaker, but annoying.

I would think that if you had the tech to create this kind of thing in the first place, designing the edges to minimize/eliminate turbulence wouldn't be much of a problem. Everything from 'sculpting' the shape of the edge to smooth out and/or channel turbulence to active anti-turbulence devices (engines to push back against turbulence, basically) to placing the whole structure at an altitude where there is very little turbulence all seem feasible.

Todd