The Future Is Here

# All the Water On Earth

This is one amazing visualization by the U.S. Geological Survey: a picture that gives you a perfect idea of how much water there is on Earth compared to the solid materials that form its main body. It's truly staggering:

This picture shows the size of a sphere that would contain all of Earth's water in comparison to the size of the Earth. The blue sphere sitting on the United States, reaching from about Salt Lake City, Utah to Topeka, Kansas, has a diameter of about 860 miles (about 1,385 kilometers) , with a volume of about 332,500,000 cubic miles (1,386,000,000 cubic kilometers). The sphere includes all the water in the oceans, seas, ice caps, lakes and rivers as well as groundwater, atmospheric water, and even the water in you, your dog, and your tomato plant.

Here are some more numbers from the USGS:

• The volume of all water would be about 332.5 million cubic miles (mi3), or 1,386 million cubic kilometers (km3). A cubic mile of water equals more than 1.1 trillion gallons. A cubic kilometer of water equals about 264 billion gallons.

• About 3,100 mi3 (12,900 km3) of water, mostly in the form of water vapor, 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.
The 48 contiguous United States receives a total volume of about 4 mi3 (17.7 km3) of precipitation each day.

• Each day, 280 mi3 (1,170 km3)of water evaporate or transpire into the atmosphere.

• If all of the world's water was poured on the United States, it would cover the land to a depth of 90 miles (145 kilometers).

• Of the freshwater on Earth, much more is stored in the ground than is available in lakes and rivers. More than 2,000,000 mi3 (8,400,000 km3)of freshwater is stored in the Earth, most within one-half mile of the surface. But, if you really want to find freshwater, the most is stored in the 7,000,000 mi3 (29,200,000 km3) of water found in glaciers and icecaps, mainly in the polar regions and in Greenland.