Global water volume

Global water volume

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Credit: ADAM NIEMAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Global water volume. Conceptual computer artwork of the total volume of the Earth's water, seen as a sphere, centred over North America. It dramatically shows how finite the water supply on Earth actually is. The sphere measures 1390 kilometres across and has a volume of 1.4 billion cubic kilometres. These figures were calculated by adding the volumes of water in the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, ground water and water in both ice caps and the atmosphere. The largest percentage (97%) of water is held in the oceans, with ice caps and glaciers accounting for a further 2%. The average depth of the ocean is 3.8 kilometres.

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