Posted by: Michael D. Austin | July 9, 2012

All the Water and Air on the Only Blue Planet

Just as a little reminder of the amounts of air and water we have on the only planet known to support life, I’m posting this image created by scientist Adam Nieman. If you’re reading this on Blue Planet Almanac, you might’ve already seen it. In that case, maybe you’d share it on Nieman’s behalf for everyone on the planet who breathes or drinks? This image is available for purchase at Science Photo Library, and it’s copyrighted. Please share it when you point viewers to Science Photo Library.

Nieman’s caption says: “Conceptual computer artwork of the total volume of water on Earth (left) and of air in the Earth’s atmosphere (right) shown as spheres (blue and pink). The spheres show how finite water and air supplies are. The water sphere measures 1390 kilometres across and has a volume of 1.4 billion cubic kilometres. This includes all the water in the oceans, seas, ice caps, lakes and rivers as well as ground water, and that in the atmosphere. The air sphere measures 1999 kilometres across and weighs 5140 trillion tonnes. As the atmosphere extends from Earth it becomes less dense. Half of the air lies within the first 5 kilometres of the atmosphere.”

Having Wolfram Alpha at my fingertips doesn’t incline me to convert the units from metric to ‘Merican. You get the idea, right?


Categories

%d bloggers like this: