Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Planet Earth & Its Genesis In Space

Planet Earth & Its Genesis In Space

Earth From Outer Space Wallpapers - Top Free Earth From Outer Space  Backgrounds - WallpaperAccess

Planet Earth & Its Genesis In Space Four billion years ago, the Heavens witnessed the coalescence of an oblate marble. I presume few thought much of it at the time; after all, strewn with molten fractures from top to bottom, it was merely a carbon copy of the 30 billion other distorted spheroids that populated the vast expanse below them.

But the Creator—whomever or whatever you believe Him to be—certainly harbored an intricate and premeditated agenda for his work. Of all the 30 billion marbles out there, only this one was handpicked to host what would later become known as human life. This marble is Earth. 

Fast forward to the present, and Earth continues to generously supply human civilization with life’s necessities. The blanket of oceans and circuit of greenery are the backbone to the youthful vigor we strive for, and the natural shield from ultraviolet light rivals only he of Marvel lore, Capitan America. 

The Creator, I’m sure, did not intend for the current state of affairs at hand. In the spirit of reciprocal solicitude, He meticulously crafted nature such that the doctrine of mutual dependence lies at its core. The bee pollinates the flower and receives sweet nectar in the process. The algae masks the spider from predators and receives a reliable habitat in exchange. The Earth sustains our population, but do humans do enough in return? 

This is the crux of our environmental crisis. As per the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, humans are naturally selfish. We prioritize our needs over others, including the environment. To be sure, there are several organizations and individuals invested in engineering solutions to climate change, water, and air pollution. But, to take a page out of Al Gore’s book, here’s the “Inconvenient Truth”: It is not enough..

Since the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in the 1960s, the movement has exploded, but it is still disheartening to hear the critics. We are transitioning into an era where the majority fear for its future; however, not all of us understand the extent to which our planet is deteriorating. 

NASA Astronaut Tom Jones

Planet Earth & Its Genesis In Space

The other day, for example, I was volunteering at our local firehouse. We had just finished a drill competition, and we were all sitting around a cooler filled with ice-cold Poland Springs. While the men were chatting about Rob’s new Model X and the not-even-first-read juniors were flipping water bottles, I noticed something peculiar: we had a garbage out, but there was no recycling. When I asked my friend where to recycle my bottles, I was met with a brusque “Eh, just throw it in the trash.” With that he took a hold of all the empty bottles and threw ‘em away for me. 

Of course, I love my buddy to death—always have and always will! Nonetheless, the nonchalance is ever so slightly alarming, especially considering the onslaught of climate change hysteria fed to us by this ever-evolving information age. Indeed, I am not writing to add wood to the unrestrained forest fire that is environmental journalism, but I do believe that some shared concern should be present for these matters. 

My motive for publicizing this blog is not to detest the industrial nature of our world nor is it to force members of society to act upon my suggestions. As I harbor a firm conviction that numbers are the backbone to our solutions, I just want to put our dynamic planet into perspective. 

But hey—perhaps I am optimistic about numericals, and maybe you don’t believe my inflated praise for mathematics. If that’s the case, I’d like to share with you a peek into a future article. Treat the following as an example as to why mathematics is so incredibly integral to understanding our world: 

Consider this [the melting of Greenland and Antarctica] logically. Melting all the ice on both land masses—and assuming even distribution—will significantly increase sea level. The sea level rise will amount to roughly the total water within the ice divided by the area on Earth covered by water (there is one flaw to this line of reasoning, however. We will discuss the limitations at the end.) 

To calculate the total water in the ice, we have to make yet another simplification—suppose each land mass is a perfect prism. The surface area of Antarctica is 14 million km2, with an average depth of 2.5 km2. As such, the theoretical “volume” is the product of the two: 35,000,000 km3. Water is peculiar in that it expands by a factor of 9% when it freezes; hence the ratio of volume of ice to volume of water is 1:0.917. Taking this into account, the water contained within the Antarctic ice sheet is 32,110,092 km3(forgive the improper use of cubic kilometers for a liquid). By the same reasoning, the water contained in Greenland is: (1,700,000 km2)(2.5 km)(0.917) = 3,899,083 km3. In total, we have 36,009,174 km3

NASA Astronaut Rhea Seddon : First Female Astronaut Class of 6 Member
Planet Earth & Its Genesis In Space

Since that volume of water must distribute equally across the Earth’s bodies of water, we must calculate the surface covered in water at present. The Earth’s radius is an estimated 6371 km, and, assuming it is a perfect sphere (which it is not), the Earth’s total surface area is 510,064,472 km2. As we all learned in elementary school, the majority of the planet is covered in water—71% to be exact. Accounting for this factor yields a water coverage of 362,145,775 km2. Since we assumed the water will distribute evenly, the sea level will rise by (36,009,174 km3)/(362,145,775 km2) = 0.0994 km, or 99.4 meters. 

Current estimates hold that the sea level will rise about 70 meters should Antarctica and Greenland melt. The discrepancy is due to the many limitations inherent to our simplified calculations here. For one, Antarctica and Greenland are not parallelepiped; they have a slight curvature to their land masses. The Earth is an oblate sphere, not a perfect sphere, skewing our calculations of surface area.

However, our greatest error was the fact that we used what-would-become an outdated metric. If all the ice were to melt on both ice sheets. The Earth would not still be covered with 71% water—the percentage would be far greater. Low lying coastal areas will quickly be submerged to our calculated 99 meter rise in sea level, causing the water to further seep into mainland regions. As it covers a greater surface area, and thus a greater percentage of the Earth, the water level will drop. This accounts for our gross overestimate. 

By applying a few calculations, we employed a child’s bane as an analog to see into the future. This is the power of numbers.

I also intend to cover the beautiful intricacies of our planet through statistical analysis. Whether it is the looming Hurricane Barry or the famed Canary Current, we will be able to view the planet through a different lens. Both technical analysis and a deep humanitarian understanding are key to correcting the mistakes of the past and solving the issues of the future.

But those three water bottles won’t alter the path we are heading down. More can be done—nay, must be done—in years to come. So sit back, relax, and enjoy my numerical story behind that four billion year old oblate marble. After all, numbers never lie.

Planet Earth & Its Genesis In Space

Space – Rebellion Research