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How much of the OTU is habitable?

Golan2072

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A post from another thread:
Originally posted by BetterThanLife:
Remember the vast majority of the OTU is not The Arabian Penninsula, the Northern Plains of Germany, the Russian Steppes, Ukranian wheatfields or Kansas. The Majority of the OTU is Mars or the dark side of the moon. Little water, no breathable atmosphere and everything of importance is indoors or underground.
Is that so? How much of the OTU is composeed of earthlike worlds with breathable atmospheres and some water, and how much is airless or with an unbreathable atmosphere?
 
briefly paging through 8 subsectors of the spinward marches (chronor through 268) I see about 1/3 of the listed worlds have fully breathable atmospheres - 5, 6, or 8. about 1/4 more have "tainted" atmos, some probably not so bad depending on what "tainted" means - L.A.? mexico city?

so, about half are good as is or are "tainted". lots of badlands, but lots of open-air territory too.
 
From the following statistical analysis of the OTU:
http://maps.travellercentral.com/top_summary.html

The most common UWP is: C500500-A

Most of the population, however, appear to come from the following UWP: A560A99-E (or A560AA9-E)

Within the Imperium, the most common UWP is: B500550-A

Most of the Imperial population appear to come from the following UWP: A460A99-F

Hope this helps,
Flynn
 
Originally posted by flykiller:
About 1/4 more have "tainted" atmos, some probably not so bad depending on what "tainted" means - L.A.? Mexico City?
Living in a place where the smog gets pretty bad at times, I still don't think this in any way qualifies as a Type 7 atmosphere. I think the writers had something more serious in mind.
Originally stated in LBB3:
Tainted Atmospheres require the use of filter masks.
 
The original context in which this issue was raised involved where mercenaries were likely to be employed.

Leaving that aside, we need to remember that if we look at entire systems, and not just mainworlds, we get a very different mixture of UWPs. To put it simply: X-100000-0 becomes a lot more common!

It is quite possible for mercs to be deployed on worlds like this, rather than mainworlds. How common this is up to individual referees to decide.
 
Well, MT posits that the key to control of the Imperium are the High Population Industrial worlds. These mostly seem to be "Earthlike" in the imagination of the MT creators. There is a certain logic to that.

Given the lack of terraforming technology in Traveller, earthlike worlds are going to be much easier to colonize and exploit economicly, hense they should grow quickly and dominate the surrounding systems. They are also more defensable because their populations are not clustered in artificial habitat structures that are vulnerable to standard naval weaponry.

Clearly, these earthlike worlds are also not common, making up something like less than 20% of the system main worlds (and that doesn't even begin to count all the secondary worlds/inhabited moons in the Imperium).

I would imagine that something like 50% of the Imperium's population would live on the few hundred earthlike main worlds, with the other 50% scattered across the other roughly 85% of the systms in the Imperium.

Just my take though.
 
Originally posted by the Bromgrev:
Living in a place where the smog gets pretty bad at times, I still don't think this in any way qualifies as a Type 7 atmosphere. I think the writers had something more serious in mind.
Originally stated in LBB3:
[qb]Tainted Atmospheres require the use of filter masks.
Ah ... the air around Asia.
People in Tokyo, Beijing, Indonesia are regularly reported wearing masks against pollutants, dust and pollen. Whether it does any good, no idea.

e.g. http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-87852289.html
 
I think that a 'tainted' atmosphere is more like the the toxic levels in a burning building where a filter mask is needed to survive. Or a battlefield covered in mustard gas - except the entire planet is like that all of the time.

Tainted atmospheres are required for the trade status of 'Industrial'. Since the industrialization of modern nations is measured by their production/consumption of sulfuric acid, a world with a tainted atmosphere could contain sulphur dioxide and make it easier to produce sulfuric acic (or similar chemical compounds).
 
Originally posted by Ranger:
Given the lack of terraforming technology in Traveller, earthlike worlds are going to be much easier to colonize and exploit economicly, hense they should grow quickly and dominate the surrounding systems. They are also more defensable because their populations are not clustered in artificial habitat structures that are vulnerable to standard naval weaponry.
I am always amused that many people claim that Traveller lacks terraforming while many more comment on how Traveller has too many Earth-like worlds. Traveller mentions nothing about removing unwanted facial hair, yet there is no assumption that everyone in the Imperium has a ZZ-Top style beard. Perhaps teraforming is done, has been done where it will work, and is beyond the scale of the typical PC adventure (or like building the mass transit system).
 
I seem to recall the tech chart listing terraforming as TL 16 or some such. I think that is where most of us get that impression. I wouldn't be averse to saying that there were climate or atmospheric alterations on many settled worlds though.

I also think the reason most people don't take tainted to be as extreem is because, as stated, it's a requirement for industrialized worlds. I think by the time we reach TL 15 we could figure out how to manage clean industrial growth.
 
I would imagine that something like 50% of the Imperium's population would live on the few hundred earthlike main worlds, with the other 50% scattered across the other roughly 85% of the systms in the Imperium.
in the spinward marches 70% of the imperial population lives on just seven worlds. another 20% lives on twenty more. the remaining 10% of the population lives on the remaining three hundred worlds. so, the ratio is about 90 on 10, and 10 on 90. I'm sure more settled sectors are different.
 
the UWP mode for the planet itself will be 555. simply taking the mode and calling it the most common doesn't quite describe the stats.

the stats listed above show that about 1/3 of the main worlds have fully breathable atmospheres - 5, 6, or 8 - while about 1/4 are simply tainted - 4, 7, or 9. also, about half of all the worlds have 50% or greater hydrographic percentage.

again, lots of open-air territory there, not to mention ocean terrain. hope battledress is submersible.
 
Originally posted by flykiller:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />I would imagine that something like 50% of the Imperium's population would live on the few hundred earthlike main worlds, with the other 50% scattered across the other roughly 85% of the systms in the Imperium.
in the spinward marches 70% of the imperial population lives on just seven worlds. another 20% lives on twenty more. the remaining 10% of the population lives on the remaining three hundred worlds. so, the ratio is about 90 on 10, and 10 on 90. I'm sure more settled sectors are different. </font>[/QUOTE]Wow. That's a lot more lopsided than I imagined it would be. Really gives the Marches a frontier kind of image when looked at from that perspective.
 
Originally posted by Andrew Boulton:
WBH says terraforming is fairly common, but doesn't give much detail.
Didn't realise that. I'll have to check it out when I get back to the states. I have a very strong impression from Book 3 that it was beyond Imperium technology, and I don't recall Book 6 saying anything about it. But things evolve over time.
 
Originally posted by Andrew Boulton:
WBH says terraforming is fairly common, but doesn't give much detail.
Well, there is terraforming and Terraforming. The first I would say is the routine stuff of moving asteroids & comets, huge atmospheric processors (a la Aliens), tailored bacteria, etc.

Whilst, the second which is the TL 16-17, the beginnings of the genesis project taking and transformation of matter and use of strange matter only the precursor races managed to achieve that.

Because of the unstableness of strange matter, many of the worlds did not stabilize as Earth like but were suited to the needs of all the precursor races needs. Still however, there are still way too many Vland-like worlds out there for my tastes but I guess this is one of the handwaves I have come to live with but I always keep the precursor races in the back of my mind, one never knows when an Ancient Terraforming engine will go funky...
 
I wonder if "global warming" could be considered terraforming.....
How many of the bad worlds might be the result of terraforming gone wrong? or accidental terraforming?
Megacorps aren't going to be overly concerned with pollution where it bites into profits and there isn't a big enough population to make propogand/image/advertisments a big problem in their larger markets.
 
Originally posted by Ishmael James:
I wonder if "global warming" could be considered terraforming...
By all means - IIRC one of the plans to terraform Mars was to construct massive factories on its surface which will pump out greenhouse gasses into its atmosphere. Not only would this increase atmospheric pressure (a key element in terraforming Mars) but this would also increase the overall planetary tmperature. The big question is which gasses will be pumped and from which sources - remember that Mars doesn't have fossile fuels...

And yes, the Earth global warming is a man-made effect on a planetary climate, though an unintentional one. However, there are some plans to reverse it by conscious effort - essentially to terraform Earth by industrially absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere, consolidating it into a solid form (probably with some binding material) and then dropping it in the deep sea (where the very slow mixing of water would leave it burried for millenia atleast).
 
Technically any kind of regional change to a planet would be terraforming in my opinion, and it can occur at relatively low tech levels, though the impact is less. The Dutch building levees to claim land from the sea would be terraforming. Mass terracing to create flat farmland from hillsides is as well. Of course things like irrigation projects to make arid lands bloom and so are as well. Negatively, desertification from irrigation ('wtf where did the Aral Sea go?'), greenhouse effects, and such are all also terraforming, though nobody would want to claim credit for those.

I would imagine that the kind of terraforming that Traveller refers to is the transformation of worlds that are hithero uninhabitable to humans without pressure suits and climate control become places where survival is possible without a pressure suit and utilizing basic environmental protection (the kind of stuff we'd wear here on Earth to survive climates). Furthermore, I'd posit that at TL16 is when you can see the results of such terraforming completed within your lifetime (like a few decades).

If your people have the dedication and devotion - as opposed to the Western-based "instant gratification" (or gratification within my lifetime) people assumed to be typical of Traveller, something I typically think of as Solomani trait - I think global terraforming is possible at lower TLs. Like the Fremen terraforming Arrakis, there are probably dozens of planets in the TI which where global terraforming took place at TLs much lower than 16, overseen by human cultures or minor races with the long-sightedness to make plans for a world that none of their conceivable descendants would see. I would imagine the Ziru Sirka had projects of this scale - the Vilani seem like the type who'd do projects like this.

As for percentages, I'd imagine that around 3% of worlds are garden worlds - worlds near enough to Earth that people could live on them unprotected. These world also make up the overwhelming majority of High Population worlds. Waterworlds would be in here, provided the water wasn't difficult to render drinkable. 50% of the total population of sophonts in the Imperium live on these worlds.

Using the rule-of-threes, I usually think that another 10% of planets are marginally inhabitable, being extreme desert worlds (think Arrakis from "Dune"), ocean worlds where the water isn't easily rendered drinkable (a la Kithrup from "Startide Rising"), or something similar like a world with a breathable atmosphere but it's tainted with strong acids that would drown you from your lungs filling with blood. These marginally habitable worlds consist of another 30% of the population. In many cases, these are the worlds targetted for short-term (high TL) and long-term (low TL) terraforming to make them more amenable to human life.

The rest of the 10% of the population are spread out on the 87% of the worlds that are basically rockballs and such - like miners and those who support them and the idiots and weirdos that Traveller presumes would, for some reason or another that probably seemed like a good idea at the time, huddle in a system with no amenable planets (or perhaps no planets at all).

As far as I'm concerned, the maps of the TI show worlds that are considered important for whatever reason. There are plenty of stars not listed on the maps which basically have worlds with no interesting characteristics to surveyors whatsoever.
 
Originally posted by epicenter00:
I would imagine that the kind of terraforming that Traveller refers to is the transformation of worlds that are hithero uninhabitable to humans without pressure suits and climate control become places where survival is possible without a pressure suit and utilizing basic environmental protection (the kind of stuff we'd wear here on Earth to survive climates). Furthermore, I'd posit that at TL16 is when you can see the results of such terraforming completed within your lifetime (like a few decades).
Not all terrformation projects have the same level of difficulty. Chemical terraformation - i.e. scrubbing undesired gasses from a Tainted atmosphere - would be far cheaper and far less difficult to do than more serious terraformation, such as radically increasing the atmosperic pressure on a world all while sharply increasing the global temperature and getting rid of unwanted gasses in the previous atmosphere.

I'll probably use the following TLs for terraformation:

TL7: Slight Terraformation on a mass scale (i.e. huge irrigation projects, draining swamps, planting forests to stabilize ground and pump water vapor from the groundwater to the atmosphere and so on), taking decades to complete on a mass sacle.

TL9: Chemical Terraformation (i.e. turning a Tainted atmosphere into a non-tainted one, or even turning some of the Exotic atmosphere types into breathable ones), takin decades to complete; slight terraformation takes far less time due to cheap and aboundant fusion power.

TL9-12: Serious Terraformation (i.e. turning a Mars-like world into something more inhabitable). At TL9 it takes centuries and costs alot; at T12 it takes a century or two but is much more economically feasable.

TL16: Full Terraformation (i.e. turning an airless rockball with very little water and low gravity into a habitable world). This takes a few decades and is the product of cheap gravitics, essentially allowing the world's surface gravity to be increased or decreased. Furthermore, all simpler forms of terraformation take only a few years (circa 20) to do.

---

Regarding habitability, it is interesting to note that A4: Leviathan includes tainted atmosphers in its definition of "Terran Prime" and even "Terran Norm" worlds:

A4: Leviathan, p.19:
T-prime - Terran prime worlds are worlds similar to the Terran standard type; to be classed as such, much prized as habitations, the following apply: Size 6-9, Atmosphere 4-9, Hydrography 3-9, Gravity 0.6-1.1G. Within this category is the Terran Norm (Size 7—9, Atmosphere 6—7, Hydrography 5-7, Gravity 0.75-1.1G, code T-norm), a classification that almost guarantees successful colonisation or tourist industries.


My classification of worlds according to habitability differs from the above and is the following:

Perfect Match: a world with the same physical characteristics as Earth in terms of gravity, atmosphere pressure and hydrographic percentages, as well as a very similar atmosphere composition; in game terms, Size 8, Atmosphere 6, Hydrographics 7, and probably a G-type sun and a single moon of Size 1-3. Very rare, but the best possible candidate for mass colonization.

Terran Norm: a world which fits Human physiology and psychology particularly well (in other terms, very similar to Earth) and has significant land area; in game terms, Size 7-9, Atmosphere 6, Hydrographics 6-8.

Terran Prime: any world which has a good chance of sustaining Human life with relative comfort; in game terms, Size 6-A, Atmosphere 5, 6 or 8, Hydrographics 5-9.

Marginal World: any world which could sustain Human life, but not comfortably; worlds which are habitable but barely so, and not very conductive to colonization; in game terms, any world with Atmosphere 5, 6 or 8 but one or more of the following:
1) Size 5-.
2) Hydrographics 1-4 or A.

Near-Habitatable: a world which, while not supporting unassisted Human life, allows habitation with relatively minor protective gear; in game terms, any world with one or more of the following:
1) Hydrographics 0.
2) Atmosphere 2, 3, 4, 7 or 9.

Hostile Environment: a world on which Humans could not survive without significant life-support equipment; in game terms, Atmospheres 0, 1 or A+.
 
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