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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:41 am 
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I have a world on my traveller/CE map that's a "used to be a 6, now it's a B" situation. Because, you know, humans. Worst species ever.

Anyway, I was thinking most of the things we could do to ruin Earth would probably turn it into a type A atmosphere in Traveller terms, yeah? nuclear winter, drop a rock from space, etc. I think that's all going to be "A". No more oxygen, can't breathe, maybe a bit cold.

What would an artificially created corrosive atmosphere look like? Ideas?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:35 pm 
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Acid rain dialed up to 11, maybe.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:26 am 
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It's a bit tricky, because anything really corrosive is likely to react fairly rapidly and continuously with corrodible things in the environment and be used up. For instance, acid in the air would react steadily with carbonate rocks and be neutralised, and there is a prodigious quantity of carbonate rock. To keep the air acidic you would have to continue to produce large amounts of sulphate or nitrate even after the disaster had become apparent. Only after producing an astronomical amount of acid to dissolve the astronomical amount of limestone &c. in the planet's crust could you accumulate a permanently corrosive atmosphere that way.

The only thing that springs to my mind is the 1783 eruption of Laki, a volcanic event that released a lot of hydrofluoric and sulphuric acids, causing global problems. Perhaps something of that character, but on a larger scale and lasting longer (like the K-Pg event, Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction, or Permian-Triassic mass extinction event), might cause an extinction event and come close enough for gaming to a corrosive atmosphere lasting for lifetimes.

It's a bit of a challenge to see what humans might do that could cause a large sustained fluoride-rich basalt flooding event. If fusion power were not so cheap and convenient in Traveller I might suggest an accident at a large badly-designed geothermal power station might introduce a lot of water into an underground formation, which could become superheated and then, if the pressure would somehow relieved, boil explosively, throw of a lot of overburden allowing more superheated hydrated rock to boil explosively, producing an explosion/eruption that left a large crater/fissure that continued to spew acids for decades or centuries. My only other idea is that a clumsily-handled asteroid, being brought in to orbit to be processed for resources, might have hit the surface and unluckily bullseyed a potential volcanic formation, smashing the crust an releasing a flood of fluorine-rich magma.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:31 am 
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Agemegos wrote:
It's a bit tricky, because anything really corrosive is likely to react fairly rapidly and continuously with corrodible things in the environment and be used up.

Until the "corrodible things" it's reacting with are used up, of course. Oxygen is objectively corrosive; we're just are adapted and used to a highly oxidised environment. When primitive plants first started excreting great quantities of oxygen the oxygen reacted with all sorts of stuff, producing an environment that was dominated by oxides and other oxidised minerals etc. Now oxygen is not effectively corrosive because Earth is oxidised to Hell. O2 doesn't oxidise Fe++ to Fe+++ on Earth any more because there is no Fe++ left.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:40 pm 
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Thanks for the feedback!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:24 pm 
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I'm sorry I couldn't come up with more good possibilities for you.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:20 am 
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I guess you could always wait a billion years or so for the sun's luminosity to increase enough to turn Earth into another Venus, that'd be a 6 turning into a B...

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:05 pm 
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Low Levels of Radiation might also make it B. You need a Vacc Suit or it will kill you (eventually).

As mentioned above - Acid Rain would make it a B. It doesn't happen all the time, but often enough that everyone has to keep precautions.

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