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Old 09-05-2013, 04:07 PM
 
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Thank you everybody who has contributed to this discussion... You have all been a tremendous help and I now think I have what I want.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:49 AM
 
Location: The Valley of the Sun
1,481 posts, read 2,167,233 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post
Impossible to happen.
Agreed. The concept of the earth not having any water is not valid. I mean, where the heck would it go? I dont think our atmosphere could hold the entire earths water supply in the form of water vapor. We might pollute the crap out of it and render it unfit for consumption and agriculture but it would not simply disappear. I suppose an alien race could come along and use a giant pump to suck it out, a-la the movie Space Balls.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:20 PM
 
Location: McKinleyville, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecynicalmonk View Post
OK I get that, there is a lot of water, far too much for us to use. But I need you to just suspend your disbelief for a moment regarding this and imagine we DO use it all.OK, not by the end of this century, but sometime in the future, for reasons at the moment undisclosed.

My real question is about the atmosphere content... If all the ocean water was gone, would this mean there was no rainfall? And would it be possible for humans to survive in such circumstances?
Water recirculates in a cycle from rain to river to ocean and back to rain, something catastrophic would have to happen for all the water to dissapear, such as a large extraterrestrial object hitting the earth with a sideways blow and knock the water off. Much like has been proposed happened to Mars in its past. But earth is a water planet and without something taking the water away, it is not going to go dry.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:35 PM
 
Location: McKinleyville, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecynicalmonk View Post
I'm interested in the idea of heat from the Earth's core being a danger up on the surface.
But also, if all the water went down a hole but not to the Earth's core, would there be any way to make it stay many miles underground and be lost to humans for ever? Or would its return to the surface be inevitable?
Water already does go down into the earth and resurfaces in geysers. You might find it easier to lock the water up in ice sheets, that is the only way water can be deprived of the oceans and cause their level to drop, but water is a part of the planet and cycles back and forth.
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:43 PM
 
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Well sea-water is already used for drinking, for example gothenburg ons wedens west coast gets its main water-supply forom vaporizing sea-water, thus removing salts, organic compounds etc. (along with some other processes) but of course the water just circles right back.
If I'm not misstaken israel use the same system too.
The reason freshwater is used more comonly is that it takes a lot less energy when water does not have to be vaporized.

To answer an inquiry of a previous poster, the crystalization water to salts, i.e. ZnCl2(H2O)4 is formed when, and only when the conditions make that energetically advantageous for the molecules involved, decending to a lower energy state, meaning an exothermic reaction. BUT the energy difference is small, making this a slow process. To do this on a massive scale would likely take generations, and then you would need a storage for all this stone, that is more vast than the volume of the sea you absorbed into your salts/minerals(as the crystal structure is usually volumetrically more vast than the liquid form).

However if I might be so bold and give you a tip, if we're gonna play, then let's play
Let's say mankind first burns through the deposits of uranium and thorium as nuclear fuels, while having burned through OIL a long time ago, and in the meantime the rare earth metals used for building components for windmills, solar panels etc have become even more scarce than they are today(look it up it's a big problem) this would mean a great energy crisis, which in turn means it then gets extremely expensive to make drinking water out of seawater, this is turn would mean that even if plenty of water is laying around in the seas, vaporizing seawater would be considere a too great waste of energy, meaning the world would ahve to rely more strongly on fresh-water supply to produce drinkable water.

With that In mind, add that if freshwater is pumped too fast out of the ground, the ground will create a lot of "void" space that has to be filled, in near-sea environments this usually results in ground-water beign filled with sea-water, meaning both a salting of the ground, and a compromised water-supply.

this in turn will give you the scenario you're looking for, where drinking water is increasingly scarce, along with energy. and incase you're not wondering already this means you essentially end up with 4 very scarce resources;
Energy, Water, cultivatable land(=food), materials for advanced electronics, leading to a 4-part balance.
As far as oceans go though, they'd still be around, just as non-drinkable as before then 20th century...

have fun
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:52 PM
 
22 posts, read 17,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwedishViking View Post

With that In mind, add that if freshwater is pumped too fast out of the ground, the ground will create a lot of "void" space that has to be filled, in near-sea environments this usually results in ground-water beign filled with sea-water, meaning both a salting of the ground, and a compromised water-supply.

have fun
That's a great idea, thanks! But I have one doubt, based upon comments made by others (you understand that I myself have no idea about the plausibility of these things, hence my post here) - Would these underground holes which normally contain freshwater be big enough to drain all of the Earth's oceans? One major criticism of my idea is that it is not possible because there is just too much ocean water for all of it to disappear.
What are your thoughts? Are there vast expanses of caverns filled with freshwater which could absorb all the seawater and provide the scenario I'm looking for?

Last edited by thecynicalmonk; 09-13-2013 at 04:57 PM.. Reason: Need to clarify something
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:39 PM
 
31,385 posts, read 31,082,292 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottay View Post
Agreed. The concept of the earth not having any water is not valid.
Unless.... the earth loses enough of its atmosphere.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Eastern Kentucky
1,237 posts, read 2,643,988 times
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ok, I will admit I was a skeptic, as in you can't destroy water. No matter what you do to it, it is still water. Well, turns out water conservation is not about destroying water as much as it is keeping a significant amount in the water table. Have you heard of the sinkholes opening up around the country? Well, it seems that is a direct result of drawing too much water from the underground water resources, which causes the ground above to collapse.

Now I am a proponent of water conservation. Do what you will, just don't pull too much water from the water table at one time.
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