Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?

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ROBERT

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Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« on: 19/12/2005 14:01:15 »
Is planet Earth, including its atmosphere, currently gaining or losing mass ?.

Mass is gained from space by meteors, (mostly tiny ones), falling to Earth or burning up in the atmosphere.

Mass is lost into space by gases at the outermost limits of the atmosphere escaping Earth's gravitational pull, (only a small minority of gas molecules will exceed Earth's escape velocity).

So currently is there a net gain or a net loss in Earth's mass INCLUDING its atmosphere ?.

If Earth was losing mass then this would explain why the moon is slowly moving away from Earth.
 Earth's gravitational pull on the moon would be reduced and the Earth-moon distance would increase,
 if Earth was losing mass.



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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #1 on: 19/12/2005 14:12:49 »
http://www.mcasco.com/qa_lomfe.html

Although this doesn't address the question of loss of gases, I think you'll see from the figures that any such loss would be almost negligible. Then apply the inverse square law of gravity and the figure you'd get for the difference in gravitational attraction reaching the moon would be almost zero
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ROBERT

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #2 on: 19/12/2005 14:37:20 »
Thanks for the link DoctorBeaver,
however, as you said, it does not address the lost gas question.
The moon is moving away VERY slowly (3.8cm/year) so the loss in Earth's mass to cause this would be VERY small and could possibly be accounted for by the loss in atmospheric gas.

http://science.msfc.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/ast08dec98_1.htm
« Last Edit: 19/12/2005 15:13:14 by ROBERT »

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #3 on: 19/12/2005 15:13:31 »
I can't find anything about the earth losing gases
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ROBERT

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #4 on: 19/12/2005 15:28:30 »
I got this link from a forum called UPLINK:  http://uplink.space.com

"" Earth has lost 18% of its oxygen in the last 3 billion years.
 
http://thayer.dartmouth.edu/spacescience/wl/misc/Outflow/Seki%2001.pdf ""
« Last Edit: 19/12/2005 16:32:31 by ROBERT »

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #5 on: 19/12/2005 15:33:35 »
I was obviously using the wrong search criteria.

Interesting links. I'll work through them more thoroughly later
« Last Edit: 20/12/2005 00:33:39 by DoctorBeaver »
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ROBERT

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #6 on: 21/12/2005 15:46:07 »
If the "18% loss of oxygen over 3 billion years" is correct,
 then this approximates to a loss of one billionth of one percent of all atmospheric gases per year.

This is approximately 50 million kilogrammes per year,
i.e. 50,000 tonnes of gas lost into space per year.

(here billion = thousand million, NOT million million).

This article estimates the mass gained from meteors is 105,000Kg per year:-
http://www.mit.edu:8001/afs/athena/user/g/o/goodmanj/Public/madsci/894579086.Es.r.html

However this article says 100,000,000Kg per DAY (sic) of meteors fall on Earth:-
http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae75.cfm

« Last Edit: 21/12/2005 16:47:50 by ROBERT »

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #7 on: 28/12/2005 09:59:51 »
The Earth is not losing gas, it is being converted into water. The Earth is growing, which common sense tells us when we see the continents drifting apart.

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another_someone

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #8 on: 28/12/2005 10:40:22 »
quote:
Originally posted by Andrew K Fletcher

The Earth is not losing gas, it is being converted into water. The Earth is growing, which common sense tells us when we see the continents drifting apart.

"The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct."
K.I.S. "Keep it simple!"




I believe the notion of a growing Earth to accommodate continental drift was a common theory some decades ago, but has now been superseded by the understanding that subduction faults can recycle the Earth's crust, and thus there is no need to consider the Earth to be anything but of a fixed size.

Nor is any gas being converted to water excepting that water vapour itself might condense.  Water itself may well be being consumed by photosynthesis (in conjunction with the consumption of CO2) to create oxygen and carbohydrates, but ofcourse animals (such as humans) are busily trying to reverse that process by converting carbohydrates and oxygen back into water and CO2.

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #9 on: 28/12/2005 11:53:02 »
I beg to disagree on this one. maybe the thought of the Earth growing in mass is too much for the people responsible for ignoring common sense to admit. To believe that stability is achieved in a planets mass is nonsense. All planets are ever evolving and will one day reach their ultimate goal and become too big for their own boots. this will indeed produce the predicted armageddon when the mass reaches its critical point and becomes either a sun or part of another larger mass.

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #10 on: 28/12/2005 12:45:03 »
If the continents are moving apart, how come Africa is pushing northwards into Europe? Ditto India into Asia?
If the Earth is gaining mass, why is the moon moving away? The opposite should be true.
The minimum mass for a body to start nuclear fusion is 75 times that of Jupiter. Jupiter's mass is 318 times that of the Earth. That means the Earth would need to be 75*318=23850 times its current mass before it had the chance to become a star. Considering the Earth is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old, I doubt that much mass could be gained before our sun turns into a red giant in about 4 billion years from now. Yes, you are right in saying that the Earth will become part of a larger mass - the sun. But the reason for that lies in the evolution of stars and has nothing to do with the Earth gaining mass.
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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #11 on: 28/12/2005 13:01:20 »
magnets can attract and repel, depending on the way the polarity lines up. Could the Earths growth and its inevitable increase in gravitational pull as it grows, coupled together with the moons growth have something to do with the alleged increase in distance between them?

"The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct."
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another_someone

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #12 on: 28/12/2005 13:12:33 »
Andrew,

One thing one has to be careful of here, even if one wishes to entertain the possibility of growth in size or mass of objects, is that a growth (or reduction) in size is not necessarily accompanied by a similar growth (or reduction) in mass, nor visa versa.

Are you sure you wish to speculate upon both, or are you really looking merely to speculate on a growth in size (which would be easier to explain than a growth in mass)?
« Last Edit: 28/12/2005 13:13:14 by another_someone »

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Offline daveshorts

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #13 on: 29/12/2005 12:28:09 »
The increase in distance to the moon is all to with the tides. Because the moon creates tides on the earth which have a net effect of slowing it's rotation, due to one of newton's laws this means that the moon must be dragged in the opposite direction - in the direction of it's orbit, hence increasing the height of it's orbit.

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Offline daveshorts

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #14 on: 29/12/2005 12:32:34 »
Andrew, if you use GPS to measure the movements of the plates you find that the amount of subduction is the same as the amount of plate that is created so the earth is staying the same size.

 If the earth was increasing in mass that mass would have to come from somewhere outside of the earth. since plates move at the order of a few cm a year that would mean there would have to be a few cm of cosmic dust and meterites faling every year. if this was the case meteorites would be a hell of a lot easier to find.

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #15 on: 29/12/2005 13:18:40 »
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/SEhelp/ApolloLaser.html

From the above site:-
 
quote:
Measurements show that the Moon is receding from Earth at a rate of about 3.8 centimeters per year
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Offline rikuk

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #16 on: 01/01/2006 14:23:35 »
A quick one, from someone who doesn't know much........

If the earth isn't growing, why are most fossils (including fossil fuels) buried? any time you look at a deep hole/land mass movement, its in layers, sugesting that it has been built up. if the earth was staying the same size, wouldn't every thing just be on the surface?

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Offline ukmicky

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #17 on: 01/01/2006 16:23:10 »
quote:
A quick one, from someone who doesn't know much........

If the earth isn't growing, why are most fossils (including fossil fuels) buried? any time you look at a deep hole/land mass movement, its in layers, suggesting that it has been built up. if the earth was staying the same size, wouldn't every thing just be on the surface?



Like you I'm no expert[:)]but thinking about your reply i feel Apart from volcanic eruptions there are two other processes going on.  


The first one is the natural cycle of the earth where something is converted from one form into another.
In other words something dies and rots and becomes food/ energy for something else which then  dies and becomes food and energy for the growth of something else . This doesnt increase the mass of the earth.

The second one is the energy from sun.(The Equivalence of Mass and Energy }
Just by shinning on the earth the sun passes on some of its energy and therefore increases the rest mass of the earth.
Its like how a charged battery weighs more than an uncharged one,or a hot metal bar   will weigh more than when it was cold.
However going by Einsteins e=mc2 and the part of the equation c2 its not going to be much.
(I definitely stepped into areas their that i should leave to the experts[:)])

Plants also us the suns energy (electromagnetic radiation) which is converted through Photosynthesis into mass. It may only be a tiny amount but mass is being added to the earth so yes i would say your right.

DISCLAIMER I may be wrong,but i'm sure someone will say if i am or explain it better[:)]

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« Last Edit: 01/01/2006 18:04:54 by ukmicky »

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another_someone

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #18 on: 01/01/2006 21:19:23 »
Like UKMicky, I think (as a non-expert) that part of it is detritus food is absorbed from beneath the surface through the roots of plants, which are then eaten and recycled through faeces, or simply rot on the surface.  Beyond that, there are animals that simply turn over the surface, anything from earth worms, to moles.  Finally, one has sediment movement, where soil high up on a mountain side comes down into the valleys and covers whatever was in the valley.

Ofcourse, sometimes that which was deep down in the Earth sometimes comes to the surface, so it isn't all just going down.

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Offline Bass

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #19 on: 02/01/2006 01:15:31 »
quote:
Originally posted by rikuk

If the earth isn't growing, why are most fossils (including fossil fuels) buried? any time you look at a deep hole/land mass movement, its in layers, sugesting that it has been built up. if the earth was staying the same size, wouldn't every thing just be on the surface?



It's not the size that matters, what's important is how you move it!

The surface of the Earth is dynamic due to the motion of the plates.  Because of plate tectonics, we have a rock cycle- ocean basins form, collect sediments (including fossils and fossil fuels), get uplifted, squeezed into mountains, erode, dump sediments into new ocean basins...

A static surface, whether growing or not, would result in "Waterworld"- no land masses, no sediments (other than organic material) and we'd all have to grow gills in order to survive.

Subduction causes orogeny.
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another_someone

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #20 on: 02/01/2006 01:41:31 »
quote:
Originally posted by Bass

The surface of the Earth is dynamic due to the motion of the plates.  Because of plate tectonics, we have a rock cycle- ocean basins form, collect sediments (including fossils and fossil fuels), get uplifted, squeezed into mountains, erode, dump sediments into new ocean basins...

A static surface, whether growing or not, would result in "Waterworld"- no land masses, no sediments (other than organic material) and we'd all have to grow gills in order to survive.




Not sure this is totally true.

Certainly, mountain ranges are caused by plate tectonics, but volcanic mountains would be there even if there were no plate tectonics, as would depressions caused by meteor strikes, featured carved by weathering, etc.

Mars, which (as far as I am aware) no longer has any active plate tectonics, nonetheless has uplands and lowlands.

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Offline daveshorts

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #21 on: 02/01/2006 11:48:26 »
Most volcanism on the earth is related to plate tectonics, if you have a look at it's distribution it is all along the edges of the plates, there is some that is not, Hawaii for example, but that is definitely in the minority.

Mars does have highlands, but it also doesn't have water, so errosion is far less active, hence mountains are fossilized for far longer.

If the world was just getting bigger with no plate tectonics the rocks may be in layers, but you would never see them as you wouldn't get uplift so the layers would allways be under your feet.

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another_someone

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #22 on: 02/01/2006 16:27:54 »
quote:
Originally posted by daveshorts

Most volcanism on the earth is related to plate tectonics, if you have a look at it's distribution it is all along the edges of the plates, there is some that is not, Hawaii for example, but that is definitely in the minority.

Mars does have highlands, but it also doesn't have water, so errosion is far less active, hence mountains are fossilized for far longer.

If the world was just getting bigger with no plate tectonics the rocks may be in layers, but you would never see them as you wouldn't get uplift so the layers would allways be under your feet.



I am not questioning that many of the land features we see would be absent, only that this would not make the world featureless.

Yes, the east coast of Britain is falling into the sea, but as it does so, the north-west of the country continues to rise out of the sea and this, despite their being no plate boundaries near Britain.  There have been arguments that part of this is a rebound from the weight of ice that sat atop of Britain in the last ice age, another theory is that it is due to hot magma beneath the crust.  Whatever the reason, it is happening.

Mars does still have considerable erosion because of the high winds and sandstorms.  There is still much we do not know about the processes that shape the Martian environment, so I will not make claims about those processes that I certainly would not know of there, only to say that wind blown sand can be a highly corrosive force.

Ofcourse, the other question is that in the absence of volcanism (or the substantial proportion of it), how much water would be on the surface of this planet either, or would we have an environment much more similar to Mars?

There is the other issue as to whether the speculation is about a world without any plate tectonics, or merely a world without subduction faults.

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Offline Bass

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #23 on: 02/01/2006 20:03:57 »
quote:
Originally posted by another_someone
I am not questioning that many of the land features we see would be absent, only that this would not make the world featureless.



Let's see- open my mouth, insert foot, wiggle toes....

Absolutely correct, Another Someone- the planet would not be featureless.  I made the huge assumption that, without plate tectonics, water would still be present and would quickly erode any wayward topographic features above sea level.  But as to the original question of finding layers- they would either be non-existent or extremely thin (no detrital material) if the earth's surface were static.  The exception would be organic sedimentary rocks.

Subduction causes orogeny.
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ROBERT

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #24 on: 07/01/2006 11:51:41 »
IF the recession of the moon was entirely due to earth (including atmosphere) losing mass, i.e. ignoring tidal drag, (humour me Daveshorts), then it is possible to calculate the annual mass loss (m) if you have software which can cope with an astronomical number of significant figures.



Where:-
D = mean moon-earth distance = 384,400,000 metres,
d = mean annual increase in moon-earth distance = 0.038 metres,
r = ratio,
E = mass of earth (crust+interior) = 5.98x10^24 Kg,
A = mass of earth's atmosphere (gas) = 5.11x10^18 Kg,
m = net annual loss of mass = (gas lost to space - meteors gained).

If your calculator gives r=1 , then it doesn't store enough significant figures to perform this calculation,
(no mine doesn't either).

If my assumptions are correct, (probably not [B)]), then "m" cannot exceed the mass of atmospheric gas lost to space which I estimated (above) at approximately 50 million kg (per year).

« Last Edit: 26/01/2006 11:22:24 by ROBERT »

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Offline Ian33

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #25 on: 10/01/2006 00:00:34 »
The Moon is pulling away from the Earth because the force of gravity exerted by the Earth is slowly diminshing. This is due the slowing of the earth's rotation. All in all, it's a very slow process, but when the earth was spinning faster, the Moon was much closer.

And, you should also realise that the Earth's core is cooling, albeit again very slowly. At some point in time, there will be no subduction zones, no fluid zones. Result, no Magnetic fields. Whichever way you cut it, the Planet is doomed and all life forms with it.

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Offline ukmicky

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #26 on: 10/01/2006 00:24:23 »
quote:
The Moon is pulling away from the Earth because the force of gravity exerted by the Earth is slowly diminshing. This is due the slowing of the earth's rotation. All in all, it's a very slow process, but when the earth was spinning faster, the Moon was much closer.



Not quite Ian

Its to do with energy transference
The moon is moving away from the earth not because the earth gravitational force is diminishing but because the moon is gaining energy by robbing it from the earth through tidal friction. And the energy that its robbing is the earths rotational energy which is why the spin of the earth is slowing.

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« Last Edit: 10/01/2006 17:41:29 by ukmicky »

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Offline Ian33

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #27 on: 12/01/2006 19:08:02 »
Interesting, I'll look into that further. At least we are all agreed that the Moon is slipping away from the Earth.


Cheers

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Offline ukmicky

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #28 on: 12/01/2006 19:34:11 »
It will stop though and interestingly tidal friction is also the reason why we always see the same face of the moon, just like how the moon is slowing the rotation of the earth, the earth has also slowed the rotatation of the moon,so it now revolves only once for every orbit of the earth.

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« Last Edit: 12/01/2006 19:38:46 by ukmicky »

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #29 on: 12/01/2006 21:14:41 »
If the Earth's core is cooling, how come it ain't cooled yet????? More to the point, how come the core's molten constituents are spued out of volcanoes and hot water bubbles out of the rocks?

You are off your frigging nut if you believe this garbage. Come on, umpteen billion billion billion billion years old and it aint half hot mum.

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Offline ukmicky

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #30 on: 13/01/2006 00:27:46 »
Yes the earth core is cooling and its mainly only the size of the earth and its position in relation to the sun which has prevented it from going the way of mars

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« Last Edit: 13/01/2006 01:14:09 by ukmicky »

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #31 on: 13/01/2006 01:23:37 »
quote:
Originally posted by ukmicky

Yes the earth core is cooling and its mainly only the size of the earth and its position in relation to the sun which has prevented it from going the way of mars

Michael                 HAPPY NEW YEAR                    



Mars is now believed to have a liquid, or partially liquid core.

http://www.aig.asn.au/mars_core.htm
quote:

New information about what is inside Mars shows the Red Planet has a molten liquid-iron core, confirming the interior of the planet has some similarity to Earth and Venus.
Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif., analyzing three years of radio tracking data from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, concluded Mars has not cooled to a completely solid iron core; rather its interior is made up of either a completely liquid iron core or a liquid outer core with a solid inner core. Their results are published in the March 7, 2003, online issue of the journal Science.
"Earth has an outer liquid-iron core and solid inner core. This may be the case for Mars as well," said Dr. Charles Yoder, a planetary scientist at JPL and lead author on the paper. "Mars is influenced by the gravitational pull of the sun. This causes a solid body tide with a bulge toward and away from the sun (similar in concept to the tides on Earth). However, for Mars this bulge is much smaller, less than one centimeter. By measuring this bulge in the Mars gravity field we can determine how flexible Mars is. The size of the measured tide is large enough to indicate the core of Mars can not be solid iron but must be at least partially liquid," he explained.
The team used Doppler tracking of a radio signal emitted by the Global Surveyor spacecraft to determine the precise orbit of the spacecraft around Mars. "The tidal bulge is a very small but detectable force on the spacecraft. It causes a drift in the tilt of the spacecraft's orbit around Mars of one-thousandth of a degree over a month," said Dr. Alex Konopliv, a planetary scientist at JPL and co-author on the paper.
The researchers combined information from Mars Pathfinder on the Mars precession with the Global Surveyor tidal detection to draw conclusions about the Mars core, according to Dr. Bill Folkner, another co-author on the paper at JPL.
The precession is the slow motion of the spin-pole of Mars as it moves along a cone in space (similar to a spinning top). For Mars it takes 170,000 years to complete one revolution. The precession rate indicates how much the mass of Mars is concentrated toward the center. A faster precession rate indicates a larger dense core compared to a slower precession rate.
In addition to detection of a liquid core for Mars, the results indicate the size of the core is about one-half the size of the planet, as is the case for Earth and Venus, and the core has a significant fraction of a lighter element such as sulfur.


« Last Edit: 13/01/2006 01:24:42 by another_someone »

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Offline ukmicky

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #32 on: 13/01/2006 01:49:40 »
HI ANOTHER_SOMEONE

I've read that before somewhere.

but in the end the core of mars is still getting colder and is well on its way to cooling off totally compared to the earth which will stay hot for much longer due to the size of the body.

PS you need a name. a person type name . doesn't matter what it is, don't even have to be yours ,you can call yourself dick if you wish, but you still need a name , so sort it out mate. maybe we can have a competition to give another_someone a name

Michael                 HAPPY NEW YEAR                    

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another_someone

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #33 on: 13/01/2006 01:50:04 »
quote:
Originally posted by Andrew K Fletcher

If the Earth's core is cooling, how come it ain't cooled yet????? More to the point, how come the core's molten constituents are spued out of volcanoes and hot water bubbles out of the rocks?

You are off your frigging nut if you believe this garbage. Come on, umpteen billion billion billion billion years old and it aint half hot mum.



Firstly, the Earth is only about 4 billion years old.

It also has thick insulating layers over the core, namely the magma and a thing crust.

There are also additional heat being created within the core by radioactive decay.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_%28geology%29
quote:

The planet's internal heat was originally generated during its accretion, due to gravitational binding energy, and since then additional heat has continued to be generated by the radioactive decay of elements such as uranium, thorium, and potassium. The heat flow from the interior to the surface is only 1/20,000 as great as the energy received from the Sun.




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another_someone

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #34 on: 13/01/2006 01:55:33 »
quote:
Originally posted by ukmicky

HI ANOTHER_SOMEONE



PS you need a name. a person type name . doesn't matter what it is, don't even have to be yours ,you can call yourself dick if you wish, but you still need a name , so sort it out mate. maybe we can have a competition to give another_someone a name

Michael                 HAPPY NEW YEAR                    



Since I have subsequently linked my web site to my profile, I have somewhat uncloaked my anonymity.

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Offline ukmicky

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #35 on: 13/01/2006 01:59:05 »
Hello George nice to meet ya, damn shame your still faceless though[:D]

Michael                 HAPPY NEW YEAR                    
« Last Edit: 13/01/2006 02:00:56 by ukmicky »

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Offline Solvay_1927

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #36 on: 14/01/2006 02:03:23 »
AT LAST - you have a name!  Hi George.
 

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another_someone

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #37 on: 14/01/2006 03:25:13 »
quote:
Originally posted by Solvay_1927

AT LAST - you have a name!  Hi George.




Well, I actually had a name a long time ago.

Hello Paul. Hello Micky.

In fact, Neil had spotted my web site some while back.  I know I've had about a dozen people from here look at the site.

George.
« Last Edit: 14/01/2006 03:26:33 by another_someone »

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Offline ukmicky

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #38 on: 14/01/2006 03:55:21 »
I must admit i did do a search a while back and came across it, but didn't say anything in case you wished to remain anonymous.

Michael                 HAPPY NEW YEAR                    
« Last Edit: 14/01/2006 03:55:47 by ukmicky »

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another_someone

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #39 on: 14/01/2006 07:10:08 »
quote:
Originally posted by ukmicky

I must admit i did do a search a while back and came across it, but didn't say anything in case you wished to remain anonymous.

Michael                 HAPPY NEW YEAR                    



It would seem a bit perverse to attach a link to my web site, knowing full well that my name is on the site, and still expect anonymity.

When I first joined up, I did not have the link to the web site, for that reason.  What did surprise me was that my e-mail address was effectively published on here (i.e. the mail link used the clients mail reader, and hence showed the mail address it was sending to, rather than using web mail and hiding the mail address it was sending to).

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Offline Ian33

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #40 on: 16/01/2006 22:32:31 »
How very rude Fletcher. It may of escaped your notice, but Volcanic activity is very low compared with the much earlier epochs. The massive outpourings from the Deccan traps occured around 65 million years ago. There has been alot of activity since, but not on that scale. I suggest you are talking rubbish. The earth's core is thought to be solid iron, around which the various fluid zones move, hence magnetic fields.
That the Earth is cooling is factual.
Ian

Cafe Del Mar. Vol Siente
Cafe Del Mar. Vol Siente

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Offline ukmicky

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #41 on: 17/01/2006 00:04:23 »
The wonders of google

George, the thing is when i googled your name (another_someone)it was before you placed your website link in your profile. And somehow don't ask me how google came up with your site. At the time i wasn't sure if it was definitely you. So i decided not to say anything,and also in case you wished to remain anonymous.



Michael                 HAPPY NEW YEAR                    
« Last Edit: 17/01/2006 04:33:38 by ukmicky »

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Offline Leif

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #42 on: 19/01/2006 01:51:20 »
The Earth is gaining mass in negligible amounts through small bits of debris falling into it, and the occasional large chunk like the one that is thought to have wiped out the dinosours (except some that evolved into birds, but that's another topic).  We may be loosing gas to space, but we'd be gaining gas from space too.  We also loose a teensy weensie bit to spacecraft and wayward ammo that we humans shoot out.  I'm not sure if volcanos can shoot rocks out at escape velocity, but none of the outgo can compare to all the income.  The Earth was formed out of falling debris, so in an earlier solar system there were more smaller objects colliding with each other, then a steady shower on the bigger objects, and finally the occasional falling star like we see today.  Jupiter gained more than a little mass a few years back when a commet flew into it, there are great pictures of that!  Jupiter and the sun are so huge that they are like solar system vacuum cleaners which protect us from most of the crap flying around out there, but we still get some.

Plate tectonics have nothing to do with this gain of mass at this point.  The very fast rising of the Earth's temperature due to people adding carbon to the atmosphere which traps heat does increase the size of the Earth's crust but not its mass, and that can and probably does lead to increased tectonic and volcanic activity which also adds greenhouse gasses in a positive feedback until the Earth's atmosphere stabalises again at a new higher temperature.  

Photons are believed to carry no mass, so we don't get mass from light from the sun.  While this has never been proven, it has been proven that any mass gain would be next to nothing.  If it is indeed zero, then light may only reach out and touch us and the mass of it remains in the sun, which would be weird.  Having said that, the "solar wind" is full of particle rubbish which might add a tiny bit of mass to the Earth, but from what I understand our magnetic field deflects most of it somehow.

The Earth's core would have cooled down if it weren't for all the fisionable material deep down there somewhere.  The supplied diagram of the Earth in cross section is fanciful, nobody know what's there and there's rife speculation about it. [}:)] But nuclear fission is the only reasonable explaination for all that great geothermal potential, that aided and abetted slightly by squashing and squishing of the Earth by our very large moon (for the size of our planet).

Here's the one to get you all going...  gravity is not magic, it's well documented effect is caused by the fact that time goes slower where there's less space.  The only place there's less space is where there's some matter displacing it, either by its density or by its motion (covering a distance).  Where time goes slower it is easier for matter to exist because an electron (for instance) has more time to complete its orbit reletive to where time goes faster.  So the time speed gradient that surrounds denser matter, from slower at the core to faster out in space, is the slide that things fall down.  Nuclear processes at the Earth's core happen at the same speed as anywhere, except the speed of time is going slower there relative to here so from our perspective the nuclear fision down there is in slow motion.  This is true even more in the sun, which much denser than the Earth and has a much more extreme time speed gradient (or "gravitational field" in dull old inaccurate talk).   The strongest time speed gradients are around the purest bits of matter which displace the most space relative to their size, namely black holes and sub-atomic particles, which make both fascinating to study.  There is no evidence that space is curved, which is a wing-nut half-explaination of gravity - space in the entire observable universe is as flat as a pancake.  It is well documented that time runs at a slower speed at sea level than on mountain tops and in accellerated objects - GPS systems need to take that into account to be accurate.  Its not a big difference, unless you try to lift something heavy or climb a mountain!  Even very small differences in the speed of time have a huge impact on matter because there is incredible amounts of energy in matter, that's why things fall so well.

Here's the forcast.  The moon is in a somewhat unstable orbit and though it may be going a few cm this way or that, it would eventually fall into the Earth if the sun wasn't growing so fast that it will swallow us both up long before then.  We're talking billions of Earth years, so don't panic.  Or, if you're going to panic, panic about real environmental destruction and overpopulation, evil presidents and war-mongering, prejudice and killer germs, etc. which are much more immediate threats.
 

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Offline Leif

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #43 on: 19/01/2006 01:53:56 »
I just registered and spent 2 hours writing a reply, then was told that I'd done something wrong and had to go back, and now my post has vanished.  Un register me from this crappy time eating forum!
 

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Offline ukmicky

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #44 on: 19/01/2006 02:19:55 »
quote:
LIEF
just registered and spent 2 hours writing a reply, then was told that I'd done something wrong and had to go back, and now my post has vanished. Un register me from this crappy time eating forum!


Sorry to hear of your loss,maybe you didnt enter anything in the subject box at the top. Hopefully you wont give up with this forum so soon and i hope you try again.

However i also have to say, their is something very basic which most people learn when they get their first pc.   SAVE OFTEN. [:)]

Next time Try writting your post in word and when your finished copy and paste it into the reply window.

Michael                 HAPPY NEW YEAR                    
« Last Edit: 19/01/2006 02:20:45 by ukmicky »

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ROBERT

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Re: Is the Earth gaining or losing mass ?
« Reply #45 on: 26/01/2006 11:07:11 »
On a BBC TV programme I saw recently it was said that "30,000 tonnes" of meteors fall to Earth each year.

However this site says "10,000 tonnes".

""Meteorites on the Earth
It is estimated that about 10,000 tons of meteor material enter the Earth's atmosphere every year. The very small meteors (size less than about one tenth of a millimeter, or 1/250 of an inch) descend slowly, at a few cm/sec or about 1 inch/second. Medium-size meteors (size between 0.1 mm and a few centimeters, or between 1/250 of an inch and 1 inch) burn up completely in the atmosphere. Bigger meteors burn up partially but part(s) of them do reach the surface of the Earth.""
http://www.sunspot.noao.edu/sunspot/pr/answerbook/meteoroids.html#q118

My estimate of atmospheric gas loss is 50,000 tonnes per year, (based on an article in "Science"),
 so an meteor gain of 10,000 - 30,000 tonnes per year would mean that Earth is losing mass.

(However the error margins on these figures are large).
« Last Edit: 26/01/2006 11:30:37 by ROBERT »