Pyramid Science

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Global Water Volume

The volume of a comet needed to deliver sufficient water to a sphere (Earth) in order to leave an estimated 71% sea distributed across its surface can be calculated.

The volume of the Earth excluding any water is approximated by:

π = 3.142
Earth volume = 1,083,206,917,000 cubic km
  • The radius of the Earth is an average of 6371km (volumetric mean)
1,085,141,211,000 cubic km
  • The volume of water will be the difference between these two quantities:
1,934,294,000 cubic km
  • The proportion of water to land is roughly 71:29, so the actual volume of water will equate to:
1,373,348,740 cubic km

1.37bn cubic km (approx)

  • The diameter of a comet (water source) necessary to deliver this quantity of water would need to be about 1378 km:
r3 = 3/4 * 1,370,000,000 * 1/π

Radius = 689 km
  • Earth without water = 1,083,206,917,000 cubic km
  • Earth covered with water = 1,085,141,211,000 cubic km
  • Difference = 1,934,294,000 cubic km
  • If land:water is approx 29:71 then
Water = 1,373,348,740 cubic km
  • Radius = 689 km

Diameter = 1378 km

For the global level of the sea to rise by 1 metre, a volume of ice approx 1904 square km by a depth of 100 metres would need to melt. An initial volume (excluding land) was calculated above: 1,085,141,211,000 cubic km. To increase in the mean depth from 3790 metres to 3791 metres, the new volume would be:

1,085,141,722,000 cubic km

The difference between 1,085,141,211,000 and the new volume of 1,085,141,722,000 caused by the increase equates to 511,089 cubic km. Taking 71% of this reduces to 362,873 cubic km. An approximate size of 100 metres (deep) with a surface area of 1904 * 1904 km would provide this amount of water. [The volume of (water) ice differs to liquid water, but because of the enormous volumes involved does not here represent a significant difference.]

Similarly, the size of a volume of ice can be calculated that would raise the sea depth by 100m or 200m. This would absolutely and realistically

be available to melt unless a very large proportion of the sea was itself to freeze. Ice with a surface area to a height of just 1km would be necessary to increase global sea volumes by 1m, 100m, 200m as follows:

  • 1m depth = 602km x 602km (or 1904km x 1904km x 0.1km)
  • 100m depth = 6017km x 6017km
  • 200m depth = 8522km x 8522km

Clearly such an inundation is impossible.

The baseline water temperature and the associated volume of the oceans cannot be known. It is possible that the maximum atmospheric temperature has not yet been reached where cooling by the melting ice will result in much of the global land is threatened with deepening waters. This is now speculated, but scaremongering for cynical (or other) reasons is unforgivable. Science must rid itself of being corrupted by political interference. It is also possible that the alleged rising temperature is returning to an earlier (lower) value before any global cooling happened that formed the ice in the first place. This operates in a similar principle to ice contained in a drink to keep it cool. The ice melts and so removes heat from the liquid (latent heat). Alternatively, the minimum is still to be achieved. The melting-ice volume in the Antarctic has yet a long way to go before it is exhausted. The current problem is that increased water levels are just inconvenient. Living in low lands is not the best place to be, but Earth's climate cannot just be massaged to make it convenient.
The reality is there are some places that are unsafe in which to be. The change in climate will continue as a cyclical event.


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