A Canadian engineer has been advocating the idea of an "Atmospheric Vortex Engine" -- a sort of controlled Tornado -- for generating power here on Earth:http://www.livescience.com/environment/ ... ngine.htmlhttp://vortexengine.ca/index.shtmlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_engine
He has already build small working prototypes, but plans a larger demonstration this fall.
The idea is to use waste-heat from a large power source (eg. a powerplant) to then feed rising air currents in a cylindrical arena structure, to create a captive tornado that extends upwards for kilometers into the sky.
So this is a variant of the idea for the Solar Chimney, except that it uses "virtual walls" made out of air, thus effectively having no height limit, except the height limit of the atmosphere itself. The tornado is able to convert the heat energy fed into it to mechanical energy, by making use of the atmosphere's vertical temperature gradient.
Once started up, the tornado's vortex energy could be used to drive turbines also housed in the containment structure. The tornado would be captive and unable to leave the structure, because its power is dependent upon being fed by the waste heat source (presumably from a powerplant).
Making use of such a system on Mars could allow for the creation of a climatic differential for a local area. The system could be used to generate precipitation, and perhaps to alter barometric pressure and temperature in a way that is desirable for terraforming purposes.
It could also be used as an atmospheric processor to spew greenhouse gases and aerosol particles high into the Martian atmosphere. For example, Carbon Black (aka. gunpowder) consists of nanoparticles which are capable of absorbing 99.6% of incident solar radiation. If we had a powerplant on the ground making the stuff, and spewing it high into the atmosphere via an artificial vortex, then they would stay airborne for a long time, absorbing more of the sun's rays, helping to warm the planet.
Mankind should at least make use of supercomputers for modeling and studying climatology on Mars, in order to figure out how to best influence the Martian climate for terraforming purposes.