If all the water on Earth were . . .

. . . bunched up into a ball, here’s what it would look like:


Verlen Kruger could’ve paddled that.

Calculate the volume of that

– Last Updated: Sep-11-16 4:32 PM EST –

Science geeks!
Cool image
4/3 pi r cubed

How small for fresh water?
I’d like to see how small that sphere is if one counts just fresh water, and also if one counts just ice.

glad you shared it
I passed that image around some years ago when it first started showing up and I think it deserves to be in the public eye as much as possible.

I think seeing that stark visualization of how thin the “sheen” of moisture is on our planet helps people realize how critically important it is to protect it in all ways. I’d like to see a similar image of the fresh versus salt water on Earth. Only 2.5% of terrestrial water is fresh (and less than 0.3% of that fresh water is on the surface, the rest is in subterranean aquifers and ice).

So figuring that blue ball is about 1,000 miles in diameter, the fresh water volume would be 1/40th the size. A similar visualization of the present (and shrinking) volume of arable land on the planet would be an eye-opener too. The resources that sustain our lives are not limitless.

Fresh water is 3% of total water volume. So a sphere with 3% of the volume or almost too small to see in this image.

Diameter of ball is 870 miles

– Last Updated: Sep-12-16 10:37 AM EST –

Here's the link to the full APOD explanation of the picture:


Here are freshwater balls

Fuller page explanation:


Climate change/water treatment
I had an interesting discussion at work last week about the future of our water supply at a small (300 acre) remote site. We truck in treated water from a municipal system to our storage tank. It is necessary to boost the chlorine a bit to maintain a state health dept. acceptable level for potable water. This can add slightly to the disinfectant byproducts measured at the tap, particularly in summer when those levels are a bit more elevated from the supplier. Nothing out of the ordinary at this point. It gets interesting when you add the effects of climate change and what it is doing and will continue exacerbating in the future. The bottom line is that the standards for clean drinking water will not change, but the amount of treatment and associated equipment is going to. A warmer climate increases biologicals and turbidity in the water. This necessitates more treatment equipment and chemicals, and the byproducts of that treatment. We are already dealing with the beginnings of this change and it will only get more severe. It’s thought provoking at the least.

Have We Lost Our Marble?
Big Blue Marble

so much aqua marine

her one fresh start

so small in part

to make so much that’s green

Now salt of earth

spreads out its girth

it doffs its caps it’s said

saline solution

heats revolution

Mars soon greets fellow red

how do you figure that?
Dont get it. Earth is like 73% water…you show about 1%

surface area
The rest is solid.


that is
surface of earth probably no volume

not a lot is it?

earth is barely wet
The average depth of all the oceans on the planet is 2.3 miles (deepest areas are 7 miles). Since the diameter of the Earth is over 7,900 miles. That means the film of water over it is only around 3/10,000 of the dimension of it’s diameter.

Picture the Earth as a mapped globe the size of a 9.5" standard basketball for an easier to grasp reference (pardon the pun). Two coats of regular latex house paint is around 7 or 8 mils, so having two coats of paint on the areas of the globe shown as blue for surface water would be equivalent to the average water depth on the planet.

Nice analogy
Now imagine that trash and plastic filled latex, contaminated in places with a film of petroleum, and acting as the sewage treatment plant for many human outposts of “civilization” in impoverished portions of the planet. This thin film provides necessary oxygen for the inhabitants of Earth. These things might be a problem some day…

Skin is relative atmospheric depth.

Try volume of oil pumped from USA

not just in “impoverished” regions
I just learned that the city water here in Pittsburgh is so bad due to pollution from regional gas well fracking and hydro authority mismanagement that “The Guardian” news magazine (all the way across the Atlantic in the United Kingdom) recently published a feature story about it. There are dangerous levels of lead and other kinds of contamination that have been ignored and under-reported.

Fortunately my own house is on a smaller system outside of the metro grid, but most of my friends, some family and eateries I frequent have city taps.

The highly publicized public water disaster in the city of Flint is not unique, unfortunately.


Chemical pollution is pretty wide

– Last Updated: Sep-14-16 10:20 AM EST –

spread. I was just referring to human waste as in Hong Kong, Subic Bay, Rio, and many other places of similar nature, not always impoverished but frequently. Here in Colorado people like to say that everyone else is downstream. True in a lot of cases of municipal waste. Not so true when it comes to mine tailings and processing. We're all downstream of cadmium, mercury, lead, other heavy metals and process acids. I'm sure you heard about the EPA disaster in SW CO., that the Navajo are suing over. They got it bad and no one seemed to care much.

How could I forget some local problems? The City of Arvada has water that washes over tailings of an old uranium mine. The creek, reservoirs, and city water system all have shown traces of uranium. Westminster, Thornton, and Northglenn share a reservoir contaminated with plutonium from the former Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant. That will be around for awhile.

I’m glad they landed the ball
mostly in the USA!;-

(Makes it convenient for most of us here.)