Re: [nbos] Atmospheres...Was: Fine control on random system generation?
Tue Jan 30th, 2007

In a message dated 1/30/2007 4:55:56 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:

Wow, that's a question that you'd need degrees in biochemistry, physics and
inorganic chemistry to determine.
In simplified form, Earth has an Oxygen content of around 18%. Humans can
tolerate less than this but I don't know what the lower limit might be.
Standard air pressure is 14 pounds per square inch (known as 1 atmosphere) but, if
you climb high mountains, it reduces considerably. Again, I don't know the
human limitation and it will vary from individual to individual. Also,
acclimatisation helps tolerance – for example sports carried out at great heights
require the athletes to arrive weeks early to become used to the thinner
I can't recall whether Traveller details more information in its
MegaTraveller form or whether the World Builders Handbook has more info. I have both and
will look it up for you.
Corrosive materials are typically such gases as Chlorine (Cl2), Sulphur
Dioxide SO2), Nitric Oxide (NO2), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl) - which becomes
hydrochloric acid when dissolved in water - and a whole host of others. Indeed,
oxygen might be considered corrosive if you think what it does to metals like
iron. Many of these will be found in a "Tainted" atmosphere type as well; it's
probably only the concentration that decides.
When you say "noticeable", the question arises "by whom and how?" Some
corrosive materials can be detected by smell before they become harmful to a human
but are corrosive to other materials at lower concentrations than this - it
tends to be a matter of exposure time as well.
Finally, there are gaseous compounds that might not be classed as corrosive
but are harmful - some organic (carbon-based) chemicals come into this
category. Carbon Tetrachloride - a solvent - is corrosive to human lungs but not to
many inorganic materials; Ether - (CH3CH2)2O - an old-fashioned
anaesthetic, is corrosive to human lungs if used for a protracted time but would
probably be classed as an “Exotic” gas in Traveller.
That seems a bit sparse and generalised but you'll get the idea from what I’
ve said, I guess. I’ll come back to you on the MegaTraveller/WBH data as soon
as I can.

>From having worked in HAZMAT ....

Lower limit for O2 would be 14% and usually you go to sleep with that
concentration and it is borderline anoxia.

Anything above 20% is also un breathable

The fine tuning that you need to do is not even funny, but you get the

Oh and some other gases can kill you in very low concentrations and others
will change the albedo of the atmosphere hence the temperature of the world.

As an exercise, if you want to truly understand what is going on right now
on Earth, create an earth like world, and then just change the albedo ever so
slowly.It is actually a good educational exercise.


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