Useful numbers about water

Here is some information about global water stocks and flows.  The source of the data is the appendix to John Harte’s Consider a Spherical Cow.

Stocks of water on earth

  • Oceans: ( 1.5 times 10^{21} ) kilograms
  • Ice: (3 times 10^{19} ) kilograms
  • Groundwater: (8 times 10^{18} ) kilograms
  • Freshwater lakes: ( 1.2 times 10^{17} ) kilograms
  • Other freshwater:  about ( 10^{16} ) kilograms
  • Amount in living things (biomass): about ( 3 times 10^{15} ) kilograms

Flows of water on earth

  • Precipitation on land: ( 1.08 times 10^{15} ) kilograms per year
  • Precipitation on sea: (4.10 times 10^{15} ) kilograms per year
  • Evaporation from sea: ( 4.56 times 10^{15} ) kilograms per year
  • Evaporation and transpiration from land: ( 0.62 times 10^{15} ) kilograms per year
  • Runoff (from land to sea): (0.46 times 10^{15} ) kilograms per year

 

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