BCB science discussion 3 -or maybe 4....

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
Positive Passion
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BCB science discussion 3 -or maybe 4....

Postby Positive Passion » 01 May 2021, 19:43

Is the amount of water in the world (and the atmosphere) finite?

Does any of it disappear (note water disappearing is not the same as it becoming too polluted to be of use to humans)?

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Rorschach
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Re: BCB science discussion 3 -or maybe 4....

Postby Rorschach » 01 May 2021, 20:24

It recycles.
There is a finite amount, in that any that leaves the Earth won’t be replaced unless a water bearing meteoroid crashes into the planet, but otherwise there’s no way of replenishing it.
However, with Earth’s current conditions, I don’t think a significant amount leaves. In four billion years, when the Sun starts expanding, it’ll all evaporate and piss off, and I have recently heard, even before then, but it’s not going to happen within a time frame that is meaningful to humans.

By the way, the amount of the Earth’s water that is in the atmosphere, and therefore could possibly escape, is absolutely tiny and insignificant.

So, yes, it’s finite, but not in the sense that we can use it up or lose it. More or less the same amount of water will be on the planet after the last human dies, as there is now.
Bugger off.

Positive Passion
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Re: BCB science discussion 3 -or maybe 4....

Postby Positive Passion » 01 May 2021, 21:00

That makes sense - I understand what you say about its being finite but we can't use it.
So there is and will always be (to all intents and purposes) x amount of water, and the idea of "wasting" it (for example, by leaving your sprinkler on all the time or dumping your factory chemicals in it) relates not to the amount becoming less than x, but to it becoming useless by being too expensive to clean up, or being in the wrong place.

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Rorschach
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Re: BCB science discussion 3 -or maybe 4....

Postby Rorschach » 01 May 2021, 21:41

Positive Passion wrote:...there is and will always be (to all intents and purposes) x amount of water, and the idea of "wasting" it (for example, by leaving your sprinkler on all the time or dumping your factory chemicals in it) relates not to the amount becoming less than x, but to it becoming useless by being too expensive to clean up, or being in the wrong place.


Exactly.

This is a huge problem, as only very small amount of the water on the planet is usable to us, and this is decreasing daily.

But the total amount of water isn’t changing.
Bugger off.

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souphound
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Re: BCB science discussion 3 -or maybe 4....

Postby souphound » 01 May 2021, 22:00

Another one of the big problems with water supplies is what form we find it in. If I understand correctly, only a small percentage (less than 2%) of the earth's water is in the form of ice, but about 2/3 of the freshwater is held in ice caps. Releasing this water wildly through global warming and the likes can be utterly devastating to our infrastructures.

I wish I was more up to speed on the topic though. I'm kind of speaking through my hat.
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