Is This A Myth That The Earth Ran Out Of Water?
We often hear in the media that there is not enough fresh drinking water for everyone on the planet, and the number of people on the planet is rapidly increasing. So it seems that our planet will one day run out of water. Fortunately, this is not the case.
Earth’s oceans, lakes, rivers, atmosphere, and the rocks inside the Earth contain large amounts of water, believe it or not. For millions of years, most of the water has been recycled between the Earth’s interior, oceans, rivers, and atmosphere. This cyclic process means that fresh water is constantly available on the surface of the planet we all live on.
Volcanoes release large amounts of water from the Earth’s interior into the atmosphere.
Our planet is also very effective at protecting this water. Like steam in our atmosphere, water can escape from Earth into space. But the water didn’t escape because some areas of the atmosphere were icy. (For example, at an altitude of 15 kilometers, the atmospheric temperature is as low as -60°C!) At this freezing temperature, the water forms solid crystals and returns to the Earth’s surface.
Water vapor falls back into the air as rain or snow.
Many people live far from freshwater sources. They need to bring water home.
While our planet as a whole may never run out of water, it’s important to remember that clean, fresh water is not always available where and when humans need it. In fact, half of the world’s freshwater is found in just six countries. More than a billion people lack safe, clean water.
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Plus, every drop of water we use continues in the water cycle. What we throw down the drain ends up in someone’s water or something. By using freshwater more wisely, we can help preserve freshwater quality on the planet.