Water Curiosities (and other stuff)
Strange and Little Known Facts about Water, and the fascinating ways it interacts with its surroundings…
- For every foot of sea level rise, the average distance the shoreline moves inland is 300 feet (indirect quote from John Englander during Boca Raton TED talk).
- Greenland shed a trillion tons of sheet ice in four years (Jan 2011 – Dec 2014). (NOTE: I took the time to look this up. Does a trillion tons of sheet ice equate to ~270 gigatons per year? That’s the figure the official report used to describe this mind-boggling quantity of ice loss. A gigaton is 1 billion tons. So 270,000,000,000 tons multiplied by four years would equal 1, 080,000,000,000 tons. So, yes…well over a trillion tons of sheet ice over four years was lost).
- The Guarani Aquifer in Latin America contains nearly 9000 cubic miles of fresh water.
- Only three percent of all the water on the planet is fresh, and much of that exists in the form of ice. Most freshwater is underground.
- One part per billion is about the same as a drop of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. You’ll notice that many safe (or at least “acceptable”) levels of chemicals in your drinking water are established around parameters that use ppb and ppm (parts per billion and parts per million, respectively) as their measuring stick. Some of the levels presented are, for the most part, totally random quantities, with no established basis to human medical studies that would validate their usage.
- While Greenland’s melting ice is causing sea levels to rise across the planet, sea levels around the island, itself, are actually falling slightly. As Greenland sheds its ice, it is also shedding some mass, causing its bedrock to rest slightly higher above the earth’s mantle.
- There are rivers (beautiful to behold) that criss-cross Greenland’s surface, and often terminate quite abruptly and dramatically by plunging down a deep hole known as a “moulin.”