Friday, November 15, 2013

WUWT comment of the week - why the earth isn't dry

Sou | 10:12 AM Go to the first of 15 comments. Add a comment

Fun fact.  Here is a picture of all the water on or near the surface of the earth compared to the size of our planet, courtesy of NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day:


That's a precursor.  This morning, Andy Skuse reminded me of something that appeared the other day at WUWT.

Do you know why the oceans haven't all drained down the plug hole to the centre of the earth?

No?  Then read on (archived here):

ferd berple says (my bold italics):
November 13, 2013 at 4:12 am
Ben Wouters says: November 13, 2013 at 3:28 am
Total nonsense. We’re living on a planet that consists of molten rock, with a core a molten metal.
Agreed. In scale, the crust of the earth is thinner than the skin of an apple. Under the thin skin, the apple is molten rock.
Most folks think that the oceans rest on top of the earth’s crust, like water in a swimming pool. This is incorrect. The oceans extend well below the bottom of the ocean basins. They saturate the earths crust and descent towards the interior until they reach the boiling point of water under high pressure (600-800C). At which point they can descend no further.
Without the molten core of the earth to hold them in place via steam pressure, earth’s oceans would have long ago drained into the interior and the surface of the planet would be dry.
It is at this boundary layer that limestone (fossilized CO2) and steam are reduced in the presence of iron to produce hydrocarbons. Being lighter than water these percolate upwards toward the surface and are occasionally captured by rock formations. Otherwise the hydrocarbons are released to the atmosphere and digested by bacteria to continue that carbon cycle necessary for life.

Click here for a very nice video explaining what is known about earth's inner structure.

And here is a link to some NASA pages on the carbon cycle.

Is there a vast amount of water in inner Earth?  Here is the related paper in Science.


  1. From that thread:
    "Bill Illis says:
    November 13, 2013 at 6:45 am
    The Sun puts out 421,000,000 Hiroshima bombs every second on every square metre or a total of 2,566,700,800,000,000,000,000,000,000 Hiroshima bombs every second across the whole surface.
    Luckily only 1/2 the sun faces us at any time."

    What geniuses! First, the solar light received on earth on average is 341 W/m^2, which for one second and one square meter is 341 J. A bit less than a 421,000,000 hiroshima bombs. A hiroshima bomb is 60,000,000,000,000 J. They are only off by a factor 74,000,000,000,000,000,000. Proposing a logarithmic scale for error called a WUWT, this error is 20.876 WUWTs. Or one LOLWUT.


    1. LOL, Reading comprehension @ all time low @ hotwhopper, commenters confuse Sun with Earth and host loves it. What part of Bill Illis' "The Sun puts out" do we not understand?

    2. Really highlights just how little Sou and crew understand about radiative physics, basic astronomy, and science in general; not understanding the Earth doesn't receive all the Sun's output is on par with not understanding the Earth orbits the Sun.

    3. LOLWUWTs have returned.

      A Hiroshima bomb is about 63,000,000,000,000 joules.

      The sun emits about 63,000,000 Watts per square meter at its surface or approx one Hiroshima bomb every sq kilometre every second, not 421,000,000 Hiroshima bombs every sq m each second.

      The sun's surface is around 6,088,000,000,000 sq km. It emits the equivalent of 6,088,000,000,000 Hiroshima bombs each second over its entire surface.

      Bill said it emitted 2,566,700,800,000,000,000,000,000,000 Hiroshima bombs every second across the whole surface.

      Bill overstated the sun's output by something more than just a tad.

    4. Anonymous at 3:33 am and at 8:11 am on 1 December 2013...

      I'd post anonymously too if I was as stupid as you have demonstrated yourself to be in not following the very simple arithmetic above.

      When you were a baby were you dropped on your head from a significant height?

      Bernard J.

  2. Replies
    1. I have speculated previously that Fred Berple is faking his denial. If he is, he's never let on. He often makes ..ahem..interesting comments like the one about CO2 pressing on the walls of the sky.

    2. Oh, and here's another one, in which Fred reckons that updating a skepticalscience video sounds the death knell for quantum physics, astronomy, all theories of the universe and all the religions in the world.

    3. It's FERD Berple, not Fred.

    4. Oops, it's not the first time I've slipped up there. Sorry Ferd, if that's you :(

    5. What is actually more interesting about a post like "Ferd's" is that the WUWT moderators don't seem to know enough about basic facts to correct or delete such comments.

  3. The non-biological origin of hydrocarbons is an old crank theory, one I haven't seen around for a while. Continuous production means there's no end of the stuff, hence no Peak Oil; oil companies are keeping this secret, of course.

    I think we can file fred under "crank-magnet".

  4. Ferd Berple is putting it on. Especially with a name like that. I can't help thinking it's an anagram for something but I can't find anything.
    Bled Prefer
    Deb Pelf Err
    Bed Pelf Err
    Bled Ref Per
    Bled Ref Rep
    Bred Elf Per
    Bred Elf Rep
    Bred Pelf Re
    Brr Peed Elf
    Brr Deep Elf
    Brr Fed Peel
    Brr Def Peel
    Brr Fled Pee
    Brr Pled Fee

    1. I wonder if the name Ferd Berple was derived from the Ferd Berfle - neighbour of this blast from the past, the Farkle family? (Video here)

      Whatever, Ferd's comments provides some amusement or bemusement for normal people who accidentally stray into the weird and wonderful conspiracy crowd at WUWT.


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