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(Scientific American)   Dry land is not a myth   (scientificamerican.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, surface waters, Earth, Cubic kilometre, western U.S., pale blue dot, polar ice cap, ice caps, U.S. Geological Survey  
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9036 clicks; posted to Geek » on 27 May 2012 at 12:57 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-27 10:37:26 AM  
T38, 39, 40 quarters. This better be good.
 
2012-05-27 01:21:10 PM  
Is that a Waterworld reference?
 
2012-05-27 01:46:05 PM  
Even more impressive:

img.gawkerassets.com

The globe and water on the right is obvious, the earth. The globe on the left? Europa. It is a difficult to see from the image, but Europa's total water volume is believed to exceed that of Earth's.

IO9: Remember that image from a few weeks back that showed Earth with all its water gathered up in a sphere beside it? Well here's that image again, only this time, it also features Jupiter's moon Europa, along with all of its water. Notice anything interesting?

Based on data acquired by NASA's Galileo satellite, astronomers think the global oceans sloshing around beneath Europa's icy exterior are likely 2-3 times more voluminous than the oceans here on Earth. Not 2-3 times more proportionally, 2-3 times more in total volume.


Disclaimer: "likely." Also, it's IO9, a Gawker site. Grain of salt.
 
2012-05-27 02:16:48 PM  
That's some powerful waterbending...
 
2012-05-27 02:21:04 PM  
Lovely! Thanks, subby.
 
zez
2012-05-27 02:53:17 PM  
How can all the freshwater in the world be smaller than one of the great lakes?
 
2012-05-27 03:02:58 PM  

zez: How can all the freshwater in the world be smaller than one of the great lakes?


The little sphere is far taller than the depth of the Great Lakes. Same reason as for the ocean.
 
2012-05-27 03:15:33 PM  

Niveras: The globe and water on the right is obvious, the earth. The globe on the left? Europa. It is a difficult to see from the image, but Europa's total water volume is believed to exceed that of Earth's.


That actually is more impressive and elicited an almost audible "huh" from me. Thank you. Doesn't do us much good since we can't land there.

The original linked image of the four spheres, not so much.
 
2012-05-27 03:17:12 PM  
We still have enough water to average over a mile per the surface area of the planet. That is a lot of water though it is not as impressive if you do as the image does put it into a sphere instead of covering a two dimensional surface.

Still do we really want save percent of water that Europa has? It would be a world that only Kevin Costner could love.
 
2012-05-27 03:28:13 PM  

zez: How can all the freshwater in the world be smaller than one of the great lakes?


Because most humans are incredibly ill-equipped to comprehend the scales of what they are looking at.

/Also, the earth is proportionately smoother than a pool ball.
 
2012-05-27 03:53:45 PM  

TheMysteriousStranger: We still have enough water to average over a mile per the surface area of the planet. That is a lot of water though it is not as impressive if you do as the image does put it into a sphere instead of covering a two dimensional surface.

Still do we really want save percent of water that Europa has? It would be a world that only Kevin Costner could love.


It's not alot considering there are around seven billion people who have to use it, not to mention the biomes that depend on it. Google "Aral sea" and "mouth of the Coloardo river" to see the future if we don't start using it more intelligently.

Cost effective desalinization technology would be nice too, tho' even that can't be relied on too much.
 
2012-05-27 04:03:11 PM  
I'm going to be honest and say that Waterworld is one of my favorite movies. I also love The Postman.
 
2012-05-27 04:04:34 PM  
I liked Waterworld too. Yes it was goofy but so what, does a fun movie have to be realistic?
 
2012-05-27 04:12:27 PM  
That's a really interesting picture, but in a way it's an optical illusion.

We look at it and try to compare 3 dimensional objects, but we only have 2 dimensional representations of those objects to compare. So we're really just comparing the circumferences of the 3 dimensional spheres.

And I'm not sure "the Earth has only a little water" is the only thing you could take away from that.
You could also look at it and think "the Earth has a heck of a lot of rock"
 
2012-05-27 04:35:08 PM  

redsquid: I'm going to be honest and say that Waterworld is one of my favorite movies. I also love The Postman.


I also liked both even though I was told I was supposed to hate them.
 
2012-05-27 04:56:39 PM  
In the meantime, we'll be hearing from the flat earther jackhole farkers who believe in the bible, as written by the invisible sky guy, telling us that the world really really really honest and truly got flooded for 40 days and 40 nights and drowned all the heathens. In the meantime, the evidence, though in a nice spherical ball says otherwise says "unpossible".

...biblical mental delusion. 1 part schizo 99 parts mouthy asshole who wants to share with you.
 
2012-05-27 05:43:15 PM  
Guess the doomsayers who predicted that fresh water would be the next "bubble" were right.
 
2012-05-27 05:58:08 PM  

Myria: The little sphere is far taller than the depth of the Great Lakes. Same reason as for the ocean.


I sincerely hope he wuz trollin, since even so the diameter of the waterball is greater than the diameter of all of the great lakes collectively, as anyone can see. Unless he thought that Hudson Bay was a 'great lake', in which case wtf?
 
2012-05-27 06:04:56 PM  

indarwinsshadow: In the meantime, we'll be hearing from the flat earther jackhole farkers who believe in the bible, as written by the invisible sky guy, telling us that the world really really really honest and truly got flooded for 40 days and 40 nights and drowned all the heathens. In the meantime, the evidence, though in a nice spherical ball says otherwise says "unpossible".

...biblical mental delusion. 1 part schizo 99 parts mouthy asshole who wants to share with you.


Dammit, Bill, why do you always do that?
 
2012-05-27 06:54:08 PM  

Krieghund: That's a really interesting picture, but in a way it's an optical illusion.

We look at it and try to compare 3 dimensional objects, but we only have 2 dimensional representations of those objects to compare. So we're really just comparing the circumferences of the 3 dimensional spheres.

And I'm not sure "the Earth has only a little water" is the only thing you could take away from that.
You could also look at it and think "the Earth has a heck of a lot of rock"


That's rational thinking though they want you to be alarmed that its going to run out, it ignores exactly how thick the earth really is.
 
2012-05-27 08:07:47 PM  

TheMysteriousStranger: We still have enough water to average over a mile per the surface area of the planet. That is a lot of water though it is not as impressive if you do as the image does put it into a sphere instead of covering a two dimensional surface.

Still do we really want save percent of water that Europa has? It would be a world that only Kevin Costner could love.


We can fill our abandoned mines with the excess water, even carving underground aquifers to house it. There's all kinds of ways to squirrel it away, we are natural hoarders.
 
2012-05-27 08:25:50 PM  
And scientists wonder why no one takes them seriously.
 
2012-05-27 09:01:22 PM  
I'm thirsty.
 
2012-05-27 09:17:31 PM  

doglover: And scientists wonder why no one takes them seriously.


Which part of the article do you believe is wrong? Just curious, that way people will know why to laugh at you.
 
2012-05-27 09:22:21 PM  
Even though we have seen this picture several times, we still don't have an acceptable unit of measurement to go by. HOW MANY RHODE ISLANDS dammit!
 
2012-05-27 10:14:40 PM  
great now I gotta pee
 
2012-05-27 10:34:33 PM  

Skyfrog: doglover: And scientists wonder why no one takes them seriously.

Which part of the article do you believe is wrong? Just curious, that way people will know why to laugh at you.


The part where someone took the time to make a graphic where all the water on earth is imagined as three spheres floating over the continental United States. I mean, if that's your kick and you like image boards, by all means make the graphic.

But the only less meaningful way to to promote this kind of information would be have a clown in a lab coat narrating the video in a silly voice.

I personally would have gone with a giant cylindrical pool 1000 miles across and x feet deep in the middle of the states with a smaller, freshwater pool in Canada. Much better graphic than a sphere, and more relatable. because water doesn't form floating spheres in a gravity, but it can certainly pool up just fine.
 
xcv
2012-05-27 10:39:14 PM  

indarwinsshadow: In the meantime, we'll be hearing from the flat earther jackhole farkers who believe in the bible, as written by the invisible sky guy, telling us that the world really really really honest and truly got flooded for 40 days and 40 nights and drowned all the heathens. In the meantime, the evidence, though in a nice spherical ball says otherwise says "unpossible".

...biblical mental delusion. 1 part schizo 99 parts mouthy asshole who wants to share with you.



i49.tinypic.com

So Earthly civilization really isn't going to end with cannibal warlords fighting over the Himalayas?
 
2012-05-27 10:46:57 PM  

doglover: Skyfrog: doglover: And scientists wonder why no one takes them seriously.

Which part of the article do you believe is wrong? Just curious, that way people will know why to laugh at you.

The part where someone took the time to make a graphic where all the water on earth is imagined as three spheres floating over the continental United States. I mean, if that's your kick and you like image boards, by all means make the graphic.

But the only less meaningful way to to promote this kind of information would be have a clown in a lab coat narrating the video in a silly voice.

I personally would have gone with a giant cylindrical pool 1000 miles across and x feet deep in the middle of the states with a smaller, freshwater pool in Canada. Much better graphic than a sphere, and more relatable. because water doesn't form floating spheres in a gravity, but it can certainly pool up just fine.


They're just trying to make it more interesting for people, and I like the way it shows the water as a sphere so it can more easily be related to the size of the earth. A giant cylindrical pool wouldn't convey that as well.
 
2012-05-27 11:06:54 PM  

redsquid: I'm going to be honest and say that Waterworld is one of my favorite movies. I also love The Postman.


Same here, along with a subtantial number of other Costner movies. I don't get the hate for the guy.
 
2012-05-27 11:50:11 PM  
Since I just patented binary lauguage moisture vaporators I'm getting a kick of this.
 
2012-05-27 11:51:09 PM  

TheMysteriousStranger: Still do we really want save percent of water that Europa has?


Only if anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like.
 
2012-05-28 04:49:48 AM  
I don't get all the hype about fresh water running out.

It's not like humans and other animals drink all the fresh water and don't pee it all out.

And all that liquid waste eventually gets back into the water cycle and filtered naturally through evaporation and rain. Am I right?

I'm not scientist, so I must be missing something ... are we looking at one day mother nature saying fark it I'll stop doing my job and will rain nothing but liquid animal waste?
 
2012-05-28 07:17:52 AM  

kayanlau: I don't get all the hype about fresh water running out.

It's not like humans and other animals drink all the fresh water and don't pee it all out.

And all that liquid waste eventually gets back into the water cycle and filtered naturally through evaporation and rain. Am I right?

I'm not scientist, so I must be missing something ... are we looking at one day mother nature saying fark it I'll stop doing my job and will rain nothing but liquid animal waste?


The problem is that we're draining aquifers to feed our crop and lifestyle choices. So, we're essentially in the red as far as the fresh water replacement cycle goes.
 
2012-05-28 07:30:41 AM  

kayanlau: I don't get all the hype about fresh water running out.

It's not like humans and other animals drink all the fresh water and don't pee it all out.

And all that liquid waste eventually gets back into the water cycle and filtered naturally through evaporation and rain. Am I right?

I'm not scientist, so I must be missing something ... are we looking at one day mother nature saying fark it I'll stop doing my job and will rain nothing but liquid animal waste?


Drinking is a very small part of human fresh water usage. Think about how much more water is used when taking a shower or flushing a toilet. Or the vast quantities required for industrial processes.

There is something called groundwater depletion which actually is reducing the total fresh water available but the real issue is one Sim City players will recognise. When someone uses a unit of water, say by running a tap, that unit is no longer available for anyone else, and won't be for at least several hours. So, you have a fairly constant reservoir of fresh water, and a system in which drawing water from it takes seconds but replenishing takes hours to days. If water usage were fairly constant this would be fine: after a while a natural equilibrium level will emerge. However, water usage in most human settlements is increasing. Unless new sources can be found, or water reprocessing speed can be improved, the water supply is going to decrease.
 
2012-05-28 08:07:43 AM  

dillengest: (much deleted for brevity) However, water usage in most human settlements is increasing. Unless new sources can be found, or water reprocessing speed can be improved, the water supply is going to decrease.


Something like 10% of the world's population already does not have access to clean drinking water.

It's something I worry about when I travel. I live on the Great Lakes, and we rarely have water-use restrictions (last one I remember was in the heat wave in the late 80s) but when I'm not home, I worry about how long I'm in the shower, things like that.
 
2012-05-28 08:52:12 AM  
Meh, we have thousands of such caches, and only a few of us know them all. And when we have enough, we shall change the face of Arrakis.
 
2012-05-28 08:54:38 AM  

kayanlau: I don't get all the hype about fresh water running out.

It's not like humans and other animals drink all the fresh water and don't pee it all out.

And all that liquid waste eventually gets back into the water cycle and filtered naturally through evaporation and rain. Am I right?

I'm not scientist, so I must be missing something ... are we looking at one day mother nature saying fark it I'll stop doing my job and will rain nothing but liquid animal waste?


The problem is we interfere with that process in a variety of ways, mostly by consuming water faster than the system can replace it.

First of all: Pollution. Argicultural and industrial chemical runoff is not filtered out through the water cycle. Many of the rivers in the S.E. are so polluted, people can't even swim in them or eat the fish. In Nevada, they are, last I heard, building a nuclear waste storage cite though water channels that feed one if the state's biggest water tables.

2. Elimination of wetlands. Swamps and marshes are a huge part of the cycle to repurify water, but we keep filling them up and building over them.

3. Massive deforrestation also causes water to run off into rivers (and then into the ocean) rather than being absorbed into the ground and back into the aquifers/water tables we drink from. The roots that would hold the soil together and trap the water and filter it are gone. If not paved over.

4. The human body is 80 or 90% water that is locked up out of the cycle. Six billion 100 to 300 pound bodies of them. And water is usually rerouted from feeding natural environments to feed cities where it does not reenter the water table, but whatever is left over from us is dumped into the sea or locked out of the system in cooling or what not. Again, look at pictures of what is left of the Aral Sea and how the Colorado river no longer reaches the ocean. Look at how many rivers the greater L.A. area stole and drinks dry.

5. Climate change has also brought drought to many regions of the world, lowering or eliminting aquifers. There simply is not enough rain for us to live on, not to mention the rest of the species on the planet. We rely aquifers that are disappearing.

6. Glaciers are another source of fresh water and part of the purification cycle, and they are dramatically retreating.

We get focused on oil, but the truth is many of the conflicts in the Middle East are fueled as much by water rights. All the countries on it have been squabbling over the Jordan river forever, and one peace deal in Jeruselem was rejected because the Jewish Israelis would have kept control of all the wells.
 
2012-05-28 08:57:48 AM  

dillengest: kayanlau: I don't get all the hype about fresh water running out.

It's not like humans and other animals drink all the fresh water and don't pee it all out.

And all that liquid waste eventually gets back into the water cycle and filtered naturally through evaporation and rain. Am I right?

I'm not scientist, so I must be missing something ... are we looking at one day mother nature saying fark it I'll stop doing my job and will rain nothing but liquid animal waste?

Drinking is a very small part of human fresh water usage. Think about how much more water is used when taking a shower or flushing a toilet. Or the vast quantities required for industrial processes.

There is something called groundwater depletion which actually is reducing the total fresh water available but the real issue is one Sim City players will recognise. When someone uses a unit of water, say by running a tap, that unit is no longer available for anyone else, and won't be for at least several hours. So, you have a fairly constant reservoir of fresh water, and a system in which drawing water from it takes seconds but replenishing takes hours to days. If water usage were fairly constant this would be fine: after a while a natural equilibrium level will emerge. However, water usage in most human settlements is increasing. Unless new sources can be found, or water reprocessing speed can be improved, the water supply is going to decrease.


That too. That's a biggie I did mot think about.
 
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