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January 2, 2013

All the Water on Planet Earth


How much of planet Earth is made of water? Very little, actually. Although oceans of water cover about 70 percent of Earth's surface, these oceans are shallow compared to the Earth's radius. This illustration shows what would happen if all of the water on or near the surface of the Earth were bunched up into a ball. The radius of this ball would be only about 700 kilometers, less than half the radius of the Earth's Moon, but slightly larger than Saturn's moon Rhea which, like many moons in our outer Solar System, is mostly water ice. How even this much water came to be on the Earth and whether any significant amount is trapped far beneath Earth's surface remain topics of research.

Illustration Credit & Copyright: Jack Cook, WHOI, Howard Perlman, USGS
Explanation from: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120515.html

38 comments :

  1. Excellent illustration. I just wonder about that size compared to the Moon.

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  2. Oops, I now see it says 1/2 Moon.

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  3. great information! well still enough water on earth I guess! radius comparable to that of half of moon still enough! I wonder what a sight it would be if this water ball could be seen in reality! :D

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  4. We cannot do anything

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  5. This is an error in use of units. Surface area converted into volume. What I would like to see is Volume to Volume. The Volume of all water bodies combined into a single Volume. This is elementary math folks, not politics.

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    1. Could you expand on this? I don't see how you could convert surface area to volume - surface area being 2 dimensional and volume being 3. What point are you trying to make?

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    2. The use of "surface" here refers to the water which can be found without drilling under the earth's crust. This does compare volume to volume.

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    3. Roll the Ball of Water, over the Area where Noah, lived, and you can see where all the water came from for the World Wide Flood! If it really happened, and I believe it did!
      I philosophize the next World War, will be over Fresh Potable Water! Unless, we can ship frozen water, form frozen planets in our galaxy! Maybe, this is the 'Covert' Reason why we, Humans want to explore Space? My opinion: Dr. Gene~Landrum, Philosopher of Quantum Theory of Everything.

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  6. I just made a beautiful comment about the water problem, then I HIT PUBLISH and it all went away. Why o why? I will try to comment again later.

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  7. That is just the surface area not including the depths obviously...

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    1. It includes depth. Total water volume is ~1.4 billion km^3, which would give you a sphere that's ~1400km in diameter.

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    2. A surface has no volume.

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  8. Can you clarify what you mean by this?

    "all of the water on or near the surface"

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    1. I think it just means that it includes the visible lakes and oceans on the surface and not any unknown aquifers.

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  9. This would have been easier to read if your plague of icons didn't cover half the text

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  10. the social media bar that blocks all text on the left side of the screen creates a 1400 sq km sphere of intense hatred in me. what a coincidence.

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  11. I made a similar illustration representing all the known fresh potable water on the earth in the shape of a ball but when drawn to your same scale, I couldn't see the ball. Also, I agree with anonymous' statements at 8:30 and 8:59.

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  12. My thoughts from reading the January, 2009 issue of AWAKE publication on the subfect of
    '' Are We Running Out of Water?''
    '' According to an Uzbek saying, ' if you run out of water, you run out of life ' Some experts would say that those words seem more prophetic than proverbial.
    Each year about two million people die as a result of poor sanitation and contaminated water, and 90 percent of the victems are children.
    The fact is that over a third of the world's population is seriously affected by a water and sanitation crisis. The problem is particularly severe in Africa, where 6 out of 10 people do not even have a proper toilet - a factor that, according to World Health Organization report, contributes to 'the transfer of bacteria, viruses and parasites found in human excreta which ... Contaminate water resources, soil and food.' Such contaminati, the report notes, ' is a major cause of diarrhea, the second biggest killer of Children in developing countries and leads to other major disease such as cholera, schistosomiasis, and trachoma.'
    Water has been called liquid gold, oil of the 21 century, yet nations are squandering the precious commodity to such a degree that their principal rivers have hardly anything left to pour into the sea. as irrigation and evaporation take their toll, prominent rivers are drying up, including the Colorado River in the western United States, the Yangtze in China, the Indus in Pakistan, the Ganges in India, and the Nile in Egypt..
    According to Plan B 2.0 - Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble, by Lester R. Brown - 'Africa's Lake Chad, once a landmark for astronauts circling the earth, is now difficult for them to locate. (Surrouunded by Cameroon,) Chad, Niger, and Nigeria ... , the lake has shrunk by 95 percent since the 1960s.
    The soaring demand for irrigation water in that area is draining dry the rivers and streams the lake depends on for its existence. As a result, Lake Chad may soon disappear entirety, its whereabouts a mystery to future generations.'
    The water crisis is global. It poses health risks to billions of earth's inhabitants.'' So what is the ultimate solution? There is a great demand for water. Awake says to produce one ton of grain requires 1,000 tons of water. Plan B 2.0, by Lester R. Brown says'' 70 percent of world water use is devoted to irrigation.'' There is a big problem, '' man's mismanagem of earth's resources - along with the devastating consequences that have ensued - provides futher evidence that it does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step as Jeremiah 10:23 says in the Bible. Yes the Bible says that God's Kingdom will soon usher in the New World, which is the only solution to mankind's problems. Awake says ''Imargin a world without poverty, no droughts and no water shortages. Imargin a world without monsoon flooding, which today sweeps away thousands of lives each year. Under the rule of his Kingdom, God will fulfill his promises!''
    At Isaiah 55:11, the Bible says that our Loving Heavenly Father will do what He says He will do.
    Only 1% of the 99% of freshwater is available to nearly seven billion humans and countless billions of other life form!
    It is totally impossible for humans to solve this problem! Only the Creator of the universe can, and He will!
    God Almighty will bring peace to the earth and what the Bible says at Psalms 37:9, 10, 11 and 29 will come true. Also what Jesus said at Matthew 5:5 will also come true. Please read these comforting scriptures in your Bible. (:>)
    Yes the New World is very near and all the obedient ones will live in a beautiful, peaceful New World right here on earth forever!!!

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    1. The insanity of the sociopath Yahweh is why the world will be destroyed; the sociopath from Nazareth merely gave the sociopaths a New Covenant for leeching.

      Your demented constructs designed to facilitate your rape of children and your taking of what you did not make and your pretexts 'justifying' the genocide of your betters are the reasons why everyone gets to lose. You destroyed every civilised civilisation telling your filthy erection-fuelled emotional Toddler warriors that they were superior to those who prepared for Peace, what with preparing for War with your own species being INSANE and recursive M.A.D. You polite cannibalistic deceit-ridden vermin-infested pyramid scheming leeches are still feeding on your own, to this very day.

      Don't try and rewrite the future when you've already written it by raping the past with your Yahweh cults of leeches who cannot lean on themselves so they Do Unto Others, invariably children because you're all tiny cowards as well. You're just filthy Toddler vermin who've imagined you're shrewd when sanity cannot see insanity coming; and how could it? When there is no advantage in intra-species war (leeching).

      Prior to "In the beginning...", when a sociopath dumber than a 5th grader destroyed what would have been Utopia and created Hell on the planet formerly known as Earth, there existed a world that prepared for Peace and not War. But "He who musters armies" is the God of War. It is known what you did to that world of Peace, you diseased Toddler sons of whores.

      Numbers 31:17-18 (KJV)
      17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
      18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

      As went Midian (for the loss of not one casualty, that's how sane the people of Midian were), so went the entire globe.

      You insect sociopaths destroyed the world. Would it kill you to shut your screaming face whilst it goes under? Or must you scream your insanity until the world is once again at Peace. It's not decent that you should be permitted to scream at this late hour.

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    2. it must be a real treat to live in your world lots of bile no answers i hope you have enough fuel left in the spaceship you arrived in to make it home,a.s.a.p <3 & XXs

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  13. This is a very skewed argument due to the lack of consideration for bounded water (in either glaciers and soil that is saturated up to the soil's holding capacity). Only 'free existing water' seemed to be assumed in the calculation of volume of water on earth. I agree however with the argument that the fresh water supply is running short and there should be government funding for desalination plants across the United States for research as well as developing efficient processes for desalinizing ocean water.

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  14. What nobody seems to be comprehending is that this is a REALLY BIG sphere of water! 1400 km reaches well into the exosphere. The ISS, which has an altitude of just over 400 km, would be in the bottom third of this sphere. The image is from a very misleading perspective. The size of that as a real object sitting on earth is almost incomprehensible.

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  15. Explanation: Approximately 72% of the planet's surface (~3.6x10^8 km2) is covered by saline water. Let's forget about the 3% that are rivers since they are even more shallow. Multiplying the surface area by average depth of seas (3.682 km will yield a volume of approximately 1.3 billion (10^9) cubic kilometres. Compare this to Earth's total volume of 10^15 cubic meters.

    This means that Earth is around one million times larger than oceans if the two were put side by side.

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  16. thanks for sharing.

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  17. That's nothing compared to the quantity of urine that pisses a Spanish daily.

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  18. This just proves why certain corporations feel they *can* lock up the rights of access to water - the total amount is in fact manageable.
    In countries like Canada, with such sizeable portions of the world's potable supply, access to and control of water is being eroded as I type by the Federal Government. The current protection mechanisms are being dismantled, and next will come the selling of the rights to manage the surface water to foreign interests, such as the Chinese state owned enterprises that recently acquired access to the Athabascan oilsands. Once they purchase the water rights, they will then have the legal right to deny Canadian citizens the right to access or use those same waters, which they will then be able to tanker transport to China.
    Terrible, terrible times for our children.

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  19. Could you please also show how much (read: little) drinkable water there is?

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    1. its all drinkable i think once it evaporates from sea it then is saline free & then falls as fresh water in the form of rain the weather is a giant de-salination plant working 24/7 the problem is it doesn"t fall were we would like but thats nature for you so inconsiderate (lol) we keep building cities but the weather refuses to co-operate and keeps dropping water in all the wrong places

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  20. Hi! What is your opinion on ads put on regular blogs?

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. This illustration experts nebula but, What is the impact of solar activity on life on earth does it matter ..?

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  23. that is a shocker wgether you belirve in global warming or not i doubt it would need to heat up that much for us to lose a significant amount of that most precious of all things water 2 or 3 % and were in trouble you have to bare in mind drinking water starts of as ocean water before the precipitation cycle starts or finish"s depending on your view point scary

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  24. site has excellent info., photo's, ect. The social media bar extending over much of your text however makes it to difficult to enjoy reading the info. so I stopped....goodbye.

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  25. Compared to the size of the earth water available on the surface is less, what about water inside the earth

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