Illustration Credit & Copyright: Felix Pharand-Deschenes and inspired by Adam Nieman.
Thought of the day!
“We must protect those two small spheres if future generations are to survive on that large one.”
This incredible illustration gives us something to ponder for sure. Here is Earth shown to scale if you collected the entire volume of water and air on the planet, balled them up into spheres and put them on display for a side by side comparison.
The air sphere shown here corresponds to its sea level density or one atmosphere. The water sphere represents 1.4 billion cubic km on Earth. That includes oceans, lakes, rivers, clouds and ground water. The air sphere represents all the air in our atmosphere; all 5,140 trillion tons.
Here’s an earlier (lower image quality) water only representation from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
The large sphere (860 mi. or 1384 km in diameter) represents all water on Earth.
The medium sized sphere (169.5 mi or 272.7 km in diameter) filters that down to only the volume of fresh water on Earth.
The tiny sphere (35 mi or 56 km in diameter) filters the results further by only showing the fresh water in lakes and rivers (leaving out ground water & swamps).
Now before the trolls come out of the woodwork (it always happens & most won’t even have read this) attempting to tell us how inaccurate these are, remember that these are put together by people and organizations who deal with, monitor and study these very systems for a living and have done so for decades. So you will need to provide some facts with your claims. Also you have to remember that YES, 71% of Earth is covered by water with 96% of that water being ocean water but the ocean is very thin (6.8 mi. or 11 km at its deepest point) compared to the almost 8,000 mi. or 12,874 km diameter of Earth. If all water on Earth vanished, the Earth would still look like a sphere. Not jagged and deformed from the pits that the ocean once filled. Mars for example has some of the highest mountains and deepest valleys in the entire solar system and even in orbit, it still looks like a sphere. Still don’t believe me? Here’s one more. As I said above, 71% of Earth’s surface is covered by water but that water only makes up 0.02% of Earths mass. It’s almost void of water when you look at it that way. If we blow this opportunity, the penalty is extinction!
USGS page for this image and all associated information: http://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html