If all the water on earth could disappear, life would not be possible. Even imagining this situation is scary, considering that even 60% of the human body is composed of water. Water bodies always have water and this provides comfort that water will always be available. Flexing our imaginations a little, let’s imagine and focus on the possibility of all the water disappearing. This work investigates while providing reasons as to why this idea of earth without water could be a reality.
A quick reference of science about how water disappears and re-appears is a good start, a process known as the water cycle. Most of the water on earth is held in oceans, seas, lakes, dams and other water bodies. If we drained these water bodies completely, the remaining amount of water would not be adequate to support life on earth. Statistically speaking, water bodies harbor 91% of all earth water, this is a clear indication of the importance of the oceans as a storage of earth’s water.
Focusing on how most of earth’s water could disappear, it is important to consider ways in which earth water disappears. Earth is made up of matter; matter is anything that occupies space and has mass. Existence of matter is in three distinct states: gas, liquid, and solid. Each state can be converted to each other, when subjected to changes in temperature. In the case of earth water disappearing, we will first consider the ways in which the liquid state is converted to other states. Heating water converts it into hot air called vapor, this is called evaporation. Cooling water converts it to ice through freezing, the opposite of freezing is melting solid state back to water.
Climatic conditions influence temperature affecting oceanic water through seasonal changes where seasons influence temperature. Winter may lower temperatures to low degrees of about ?89.2 °C, while heat may increase to 56.7 °C. Adverse climates are the major converters of water into the other two states. A brutal cold climate results in freezing that converts most of the water into ice. This is common around the Arctics and polar regions, Himalayas is a good example where extreme freezing occurs.
Due to low temperatures, water is stored in glaciers in countries like Antarctica and Greenland. Seasons like winter create extremely freezing climatic conditions that risk disappearance of earth water into solid state. The opposite is also true, an adverse hot climate leads to evaporation of oceanic water. Disappearance of oceanic water is accelerated by the wide surface area of the ocean as well as sun’s heat that accelerates the conversion of more water molecules into gas. Although one would argue that clouds will still fall back as precipitation in water form, back to the ocean, a part of it falls on dry land. Out of this, only a little percentage finds it way back into the ocean again. Very hot conditions too melt glaciers reducing the amount of water stored in frozen state.
Apart from the water cycle processes, flora and fauna also contribute in the disappearance of earth water. Every living thing requires water for existence, and this water is provided by earth. Without water, life would be impossible, animals and plants would equally cease existing. Living things do not give earth back the water used to support life, instead, they produce waste. Apart from drinking water to support life, human beings use water in factories, for irrigation purposes in agriculture, and other human activities that reduce the amount of the water in earth. Factories pollute the environment with harmful chemicals that contribute to the depletion of the Ozone layer. Depletion of the Ozone layer means all the sun’s heat will reach the oceans, increasing the amount of water evaporation.
Having analysed the means in which earth water disappears, it is possible to tell under what circumstances all the water in the earth could disappear. Adverse climatic conditions seem a heavier means of depleting earth water compared to human factors. Practicing sustainable development is among efforts of averting the disappearance of all water on earth. People are encouraged to support afforestation efforts that seek to plant more trees so that we do not lodge ourselves into the effects of adverse climatic conditions. Caring for the environment should be a basic priority for every human being.