Thursday, 17 April 2014

How much water is there on planet Earth? Not much.

This image from the U.S. Geological Survey gives you an idea of how much water there is on Earth.

This picture shows the size of a sphere that would contain all of Earth’s water in comparison to the size of the Earth. The blue sphere atop the United States, (which would cover a distance from +- Salt Lake City, Utah to +- Topeka, Kansas, has a diameter of +- 1,385 kilometers (+- 860 miles) , with a volume of +- 1,386,000,000 cubic kilometers (+- 332,500,000 cubic miles). The sphere includes all the water in the oceans, seas, ice caps, lakes and rivers as well as groundwater, atmospheric water, and even the water in all the flora and fauna, your dog, and your tomato plant.

Some amazing factoids:
• The volume of all water would be about 1,386 million cubic kilometers (km³), or 332.5 million cubic miles (mi³). A cubic kilometer of water is equal to a teralitre (10¹² litres - 1 000 000 000 000 liters). A cubic mile of water equals more than 1.1 trillion gallons.

• About 12,900 km³ (3,100 mi³) of water, mostly in the form of water vapour, is in the atmosphere at any one time. If it all fell as precipitation at once, the Earth would be covered with only about 1 inch of water.

• The 48 contiguous United States receives a total volume of about 17.7 km³ (4 mi³) of precipitation each day.

• Each day, 1,170 km³ (280 mi³)of water evaporate or transpire into the atmosphere.

• If all of the world’s water was poured on the United States, it would cover the land to a depth of 145 kilometers (90 miles).

• Of the freshwater on Earth, much more is stored in the ground than is available in lakes and rivers. More than 8,400,000 km³ (2,000,000 mi³)of freshwater is stored in the Earth, most within one-half mile of the surface. But, if you really want to find freshwater, the most is stored in the 29,200,000 km³ (7,000,000 mi³) of water found in glaciers and icecaps, mainly in the polar regions and in Greenland.

And this is how much fresh water there is, compared to Earth and the total amount of water:
All Earth’s water, liquid fresh water, and water in lakes and rivers
The sphere over the western U.S., (1384 kilometers / 860 miles in diameter) is all the water. The sphere over Kentucky, (273 kilometers / 169.5 miles in diameter) is all the fresh liquid water in the ground, lakes, swamps, and rivers. The sphere over Georgia, (56 kilometers / 34.9 miles in diameter) is all the fresh-water lakes and river.

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