Every Wednesday, Michio Kaku will be answering reader questions about physics and futuristic science. If you have a question for Dr. Kaku, just post it in the comments section below and check back on Wednesdays to see if he answers it.

Today, Dr. Kaku addresses a question posed by Rich Kolodziej: Is it possible to build atmospheric pumps that would change the atmosphere on Mars so that humans could live and breathe there?

As physicist Stephen Hawking warned last year, the earth is heating up, and the potential for mankind to extinguish itself is great. Given that terraforming Mars could take centuries, there might not be much time to waste!