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Those silly scientists are still at it

global-water-volume-fresh-large
Credit: Howard Perlman, USGS; globe illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (©); Adam Nieman

Scientists are a barrel of laughs, aren’t they. First, in a gigantic conspiracy, 97% of them keep telling us the Earth is warming, in part because of man’s activities. Isn’t that the craziest notion you ever heard?

Now some more scientists, a group of them over at the USGS (US Geological Survey) are trying to tell us Earth’s fresh water is in short supply. Or at least it certainly looks that way. And they even produced this illustration to make their point.

The blue spheres represent total volumes of water. That biggest blue drop over the western United States represents all the water (both fresh and saline) in, on, and above the entire planet. Yep, slurp up all the oceans and everything and that’s all you get. And 68 percent of it is locked up in ice and glaciers.

The smaller drop over Kentucky is all the Earth’s fresh liquid water — groundwater, lakes, swamps, and rivers. Groundwater, of course, can only be reached by drilling wells.

Finally, the teeny droplet over Georgia (did you even notice that one?) is all the fresh water in all of Earth’s lakes and streams. The Nile, Amazon, Mississippi, Great Lakes, and so much more, all in that speck of blue. That’s the easily accessible water that sustains most plant and animal life on Earth.

That’s it, folks. That’s all the water we have. So we best not mess it up. Or use it up. Otherwise we might have to die of thirst or starvation instead of drowning in rising oceans or suffocating in dirty air.

Or, of course, we could do something positive to stave off those unpleasant ends …

(Thanks to Jim Wheeler, who has more to say on this subject.)

 

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