The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Does Water effect Earths Gravity/Mass ?  (Read 8170 times)

Offline GraMar

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Does Water effect Earths Gravity/Mass ?
« on: 20/01/2005 15:16:02 »
How much effect does the earth's water (ice included, etc) have on its mass?

We know that climate has an effect on the way things grow in terms of size, but would less water have enough impact on the earth's mass to affect its Gravity, and therefore the growth pattern of living matter?
« Last Edit: 20/01/2005 19:40:51 by neilep »


 

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Re: Does Water effect Earths Gravity/Mass ?
« Reply #1 on: 20/01/2005 19:42:26 »
GraMar...in case you're wondering why it shows 'edited by me' in your posting, it's purely because I just changed the title only of your thread to make it clearer for other users.

'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'
 

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Re: Does Water effect Earths Gravity/Mass ?
« Reply #2 on: 20/01/2005 21:12:26 »
The Earth is a watery place. Somewhere between 70 and 75 percent of the Earth's is covered with glorious H2O.Water also exists in the air as water vapour and in the ground as soil moisture and in underground streams and porous stone and gravel etc!

How much water is there ?.....well here's some number for ya:

The total water supply of the world is 326 million cubic miles ,with each cubic mile of water equalling more than one trillion gallons.

About 3,100 cubic miles 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.

Each day, 280 cubic miles of water evaporate or transpire into the atmosphere.

If all of the world's water was poured on a land mass the size of the USA, it would cover the land to a depth of 90 miles.

Of the freshwater on Earth, much more is stored in the ground than is available in lakes and rivers. More than 2,000,000 cubic miles of fresh water is stored in the Earth, most within one-half mile of the surface. Contrast that with the 60,000 cubic miles of water stored as fresh water in lakes, inland seas, and rivers. But, if you really want to find fresh water, the most is stored in the 7,000,000 cubic miles of water found in glaciers and icecaps, mainly in the polar regions and in Greenland.


Having said all that, when you take into consideration the ratio of water to land mass (when I say land mass I mean the whole planet, exterior and interior) then I personally don't think that there would be that much of an effect upon gravity. If, you were looking at a globe of the planet then you'd probably be looking at less than a millimetre (dependent on the size of the globe of course, but you get the idea eh ?)...

Obviosuly without water the growth pattern of living matter will be zero, and that of course goes for you and me and eveyrthing else too..but I think I know what you meant. You meant, if the effect on the gravity was noticeable then would this have an effect on living plants and everything else ? I would say yes, if, gravity was reduced we'd all be slightly taller and if gravity was increased we'd all be shorter.

I've given you a very very laymans answer and I could well be wrong, so lets see if a passing ' gravity ' expert (GSMOLLIN ?)will clear things up a bit.

Welcome to the site GraMar.



'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'
 

Offline gsmollin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 749
    • View Profile
Re: Does Water effect Earths Gravity/Mass ?
« Reply #3 on: 21/01/2005 02:24:25 »
I am not a gravity expert, but I think I can field this question. The mass of the earth is 5.97 X 10 to 27th power grams. Neilp is my source for the mass of water: 1.36 X 10 to the 24th power grams. That figure ignores the mass of salt in the water, and just uses the standard fresh water density. Dividing the mass of water into the mass of earth, gives 228 parts per million of water mass on the earth. If that mass would disappear, then the earth's gravity would decrease by 228 ppm. I don't believe that gravitational change would affect life on earth.

However, losing the water on earth would have profound changes for life on earth. To wit: Life as we know it is not possible without water, and in liquid form. Life would not exist on an earth without water.
 

Offline Ercole

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Does Water effect Earths Gravity/Mass ?
« Reply #4 on: 21/01/2005 09:40:40 »
Scandinavia land (norway and sweden) are arising because of the melting of the ice accumulated during last ice age - so the interaction of water as ice or liquid or gas is incalculable... The rising of scandinavia is one exemple, but the water stream which bring us in Europe nice temperature may shut down because of melting of ice. In fact the way water "exists" - sorry for my bad english, I'm french... - as liquid or ice or gas changes everything for the whole earth...
 

Offline GraMar

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Does Water effect Earths Gravity/Mass ?
« Reply #5 on: 23/01/2005 20:35:07 »
Thank you very much for your indepth response. I know I am going to enjoy these forums immensely.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Does Water effect Earths Gravity/Mass ?
« Reply #5 on: 23/01/2005 20:35:07 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums