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Old 08-26-2013, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,102 posts, read 20,362,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecynicalmonk View Post
Yes, I take your point and you are quite right. But what I am trying to do is show the reader that we are currently living in a situation where this is something that could happen... way in an improbable future, yes, but even far in that future it will be possible to look back to the 21st century and say "That's where it all started."
I don't see that being plausible. There is just to much water. So if you want us to suspend belief then sure if you want to make it plausible to the real world I don't think you can.
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:38 PM
 
4,990 posts, read 7,769,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecynicalmonk View Post
Yes, I take your point and you are quite right. But what I am trying to do is show the reader that we are currently living in a situation where this is something that could happen... way in an improbable future, yes, but even far in that future it will be possible to look back to the 21st century and say "That's where it all started."
Are you talking about the loss of water on Earth scenario as a result of mankind's folly which could've been prevented from happening? Or are you talking about any scenario, includng natural events, that could result in the loss of Earth's water? Also, are you talking about a fictional scenario? Or a natural scenario?
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
3,738 posts, read 6,221,713 times
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So the opposite of Water World? The sun could super heat and expand (or Earth itself can fall closer to the sun in its orbit) to the point that the water is simply boiled away. Earth would have a more similar climate to Venus though, I would think. Maybe some future technology could cool the planet enough for continued habitation, but they didn't quite fully implement it in time to prevent the boiling away of Earth's oceans? That doesn't make much sense though either. Or maybe the planet's inner core cools, the magnetic protection around the Earth is greatly reduced, the atmosphere begins to thin, the planet's climate itself greatly cools, and water either evaporates into space, retreats far underground, or becomes permanently trapped in ice caps at the polar regions. Something similar to what happened to Mars. In story telling though, anything is possible.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
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Without water everything is dead. Where is the water supposed to go? You cannot destroy matter. Einstein. What can you change the water into? It is H + 2O. Free H will oxidize with the free O and you have water again. I guess you could make it all escape through the ozone hole....into outer space...
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:41 AM
 
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OP, I couldn't happen, at least not in the next couple of billion when the sun starts puffing off some of its out layers. Water isn't used up, it is recycled in the hydrologic cycle. The water that you drink today has been on the planet for billions of years, and you will sweat it out and eliminate from your body in other ways, and it will be recycled again-- just as it has for billions of years.

Here is a USGS illustration of the cycle.

Hope that helps.

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Old 08-28-2013, 06:05 AM
 
22 posts, read 17,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
Are you talking about the loss of water on Earth scenario as a result of mankind's folly which could've been prevented from happening? Or are you talking about any scenario, includng natural events, that could result in the loss of Earth's water? Also, are you talking about a fictional scenario? Or a natural scenario?
I'm talking about a fictional scenario in which mankind responds to rising sea levels by converting the oceans into drinking water, and it all gets out of control and the oceans are all used up.
From what people are saying here, that could never happen just via human consumption.

So what I am now wondering is: What if mankind built a huge machine designed to convert enormous quantities of sea water in one go, and the whole thing backfired and resulted in the water being vapourised? Would that be possible in theory?
And if you're going to say that vapourised water is just water in another form, would it be possible for water to be accidentally converted into something else, something solid? Like rock? Is there any scenario where water could, in theory, be converted into something completely different, like rock?
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:18 AM
 
8,164 posts, read 9,372,664 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecynicalmonk View Post
I'm talking about a fictional scenario in which mankind responds to rising sea levels by converting the oceans into drinking water, and it all gets out of control and the oceans are all used up.
From what people are saying here, that could never happen just via human consumption.

So what I am now wondering is: What if mankind built a huge machine designed to convert enormous quantities of sea water in one go, and the whole thing backfired and resulted in the water being vapourised? Would that be possible in theory?
And if you're going to say that vapourised water is just water in another form, would it be possible for water to be accidentally converted into something else, something solid? Like rock? Is there any scenario where water could, in theory, be converted into something completely different, like rock?
The only solid thing water could be turned into is ice, but no, nothing else like rock. And if the water is vaporized, it would only later condense back into liquid water. So even if it were possible to completely drain the water from the ocean, the water is still in the hydrological cycle somewhere, it hasn't disappeared. It would either be absorbed by plants, which then respirate it back into the atmosphere, or it goes into ground water, etc. Water just changes state, and continuously recycles.

So like the others said, short of the sun becoming so hot it literally boils away all water out of the atmosphere, and into space, which breaks the water cycle and thus makes it non-recoverable, we'll always have water in some form.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:13 AM
Status: "My eyes are rolled back so far I can see my brain." (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Here.
13,395 posts, read 11,893,698 times
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Here's a plot:

In order to create more living and agricultural space on Earth, a former Vice-President devises a scheme where sea water is pumped 93,570 feet* into outer space where it evaporates.

*At that altitude, the ambient temperature is -47.980 C 1976 Standard Atmosphere Calculator and the boiling point of water is -47.981 C Water Altitude Boiling Point Calculator so this is the lowest altitude that water will boil without any heating required. Of course, the water will presumably be warmer since it is coming from warmer temperatures and because the friction from transport would generate some heat, so the actual altitude could be lowered. The water could also be heated by solar power.

I don't know how you would support a pipe that long but I'm sure a former Vice-President could invent something.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:32 AM
 
Location: In the realm of possiblities
2,710 posts, read 2,167,159 times
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To the OP. I have been hooked on science fiction since I was a kid, and it was because I could suspend my belief of logic and enjoy the writing if I so desired. There have been many writers that were prophetic in their words, but quiet a few simply wrote stories for the entertainment of the reader, knowing the scenarios would never be plausible. I say to you to not limit your imagination to fundamental science. Dreamers create wonderful things, and they are only limited by their imagination. Instead of asking for confirmation of your ideas, dream big, and create.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:39 AM
 
4,990 posts, read 7,769,277 times
Reputation: 2869
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecynicalmonk View Post
I'm talking about a fictional scenario in which mankind responds to rising sea levels by converting the oceans into drinking water, and it all gets out of control and the oceans are all used up.
From what people are saying here, that could never happen just via human consumption.

So what I am now wondering is: What if mankind built a huge machine designed to convert enormous quantities of sea water in one go, and the whole thing backfired and resulted in the water being vapourised? Would that be possible in theory?
And if you're going to say that vapourised water is just water in another form, would it be possible for water to be accidentally converted into something else, something solid? Like rock? Is there any scenario where water could, in theory, be converted into something completely different, like rock?
Thanks. It's possible, although hard to say for sure, that humans could screw things up bad enough to cause a problem. For example, imagine pollution being so bad that it starts a runaway greenhouse effect that could ultimately rival Venus. I don't know if it would get quite as hot as Venus, but it could get pretty toasty and unsurvivable. It'd take a long to to get to the point that water would become completely unavailable on the surface. And by that time, humans would likely have evacuated from the planet, and any life remaining on the surface would eventually perish.

There could be some water available in the upper cloud layers above the atmosphere, but if the surface was hot enough, any rainfall would evaporate before hitting the ground and end up back in the cloud layers again. Even if you could scoop the clouds, it wouldn't make much difference since no one would be able to live on the ground. I suppose it could be conceivable to live in space and scoop water as needed, but it would probably be more practical to move to another more habitable planet, or live in artificial migrating space habitats and manufacture water by mixing hydrogen and oxygen molecules, or harvesting ice from asteroids, comets, or moons covered with water ice.

Water is one of those interesting things that can change form as a liquid, vapor or solid, depending on temperatures.

As has already been mentioned, and had crossed my mind, when the Sun expands by blowing off its layers making it a red giant, well before it engulfs the Earth, water would be vaporized and blown off into space by solar winds. Eventually, the Sun will die and shrink down to become a white dwarf star. That's talking about somewhere around 5-7 billion years off in the future though.

Anyway, your point was about no water on Earth in the future, and such scenarios would be off in the far distant future. It wouldn't likely happen any time soon.
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