Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"All Earth's water in a bubble"

Saying, "perhaps this will give us some perspective on how truly precious a resource water really is," Treehugger posted this provocative info-graphic from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), attempting to show how much water is there on, in, and above the Earth as a series of full bubbles.
 Earth water as a bubble 860 mi. in diameter

The big one represents all of the water on, in and around Earth as a bubble 860 miles in diameter.  But that's 96% saltwater.  "The smaller sphere over Kentucky represents Earth's liquid fresh water in groundwater, swamp water, rivers, and lakes," the USGS says.  The volume of this sphere would be over 2.5 million cubic miles, forming a perfect bubble (and you have to imagine, quite an imposing one) about 170 miles in diameter.

That's the fresh water we need every day, but around 30% of it is unavailably deep in the ground. Rivers, the source of most of the fresh surface water people use, only constitute about 300 cubic miles, about 1/10,000th of one percent of total water.
"How much water is there on, in, and above the Earth?"  (USGS) 
From the USGS Water Science School, which offers "information on many aspects of water, along with pictures, data, maps, and an interactive center." 
"If you put all Earth's water In one place, it'd look like this"
by Jaymi Heimbuch, Treehugger.com