What if all the saltwater in the world became fresh water? The moisture content of the oceans would drop, and a new Earth would exist. This idea has been floating around for a long time, but it has only recently made sense to people.
Today, many thriving communities depend on the freshwater resources in rivers and lakes. If the seas were to become freshwater again, we’d have to think about how much land we would lose if it meant becoming a new planet.
What Would Happen to the Lands and Water on Earth?
Saline soils would become freshwater, and arid lands would become savannahs. The topsoil layers would become freshwater, and the lower layers would remain salt. As the seas rose, the land would dry out, and grasslands could develop.
How Fast Would This Change Take Place?
The globe would pass through four periods of different ocean states over the next thousand years. The oceans would likely become water thoroughly once again over short periods. At the same time, it is also likely that the oceans would not become fresh water again over short periods.
During the first phase, the oceans would remain mostly salt water. During the second phase, the ocean level would rise about 20 to 50 feet; during the third phase, it would fall about 10 feet. During the final phase, the oceans would return to their state before the current event. The change over time is called seawater osmosis.
Is It Even Possible to Return to a State of Fresh Water?
It would take an extremely long time, but it is possible. The oceans have been around for 65 million years, and it would take at least that long for the seawater in the ocean to reach a level where fresh water could form. It would take a longer time than that.
The Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years, and we still haven’t returned to a state of fresh water. The rate at which the oceans are changing is faster than in the past, but it is still far from being fast enough to return the seas to a state of fresh water.
How Much Would Land Be Lost?
The best-case scenario would be for the oceans to return to a freshwater state in just a few thousand years. In this case, the total land and sea area would return to the state it was in before the current event. This scenario assumes that the present rate of operation is sustainable.
The reality is probably somewhere in between. The best-case scenario would lose about 5% of the Earth’s total land area; it would leave about 97% of the Earth’s land area as an ocean, with the other 3% being glaciers or deserts. The oceans return to fresh water in just a few thousand years; we will lose about 5% of Earth’s total land area.
How High Would Sea Levels Rise?
The level of seawater is known as “current water” as it flows in rivers and seas. With the oceans where most of the freshwater is, it would mean that the lands surrounding the oceans would also become water. However, if the seas were to return to their original state, then the level of water in the oceans would be far lower than it is now. It would result in a sea-level rise of around 3.5 to 5 meters, depending on a few factors such as the CO2 concentration in the air and the shape of the land masses.
As most of the population is located in coastal areas, the rising sea level would significantly impact people’s lives. For example, if you lived in New York City, then the impact on your daily routine would be significant. You would have to factor in the amount of land needed to raise the water level by 5 meters and the construction needed to accommodate this. In addition, it would take time for this to see effects, so we would not see a dramatic change in a decade.
How New Would Earth Become?
Over the short term, the most significant impact of a seawater return would be on the ecology of the oceans. Many aquatic species are highly dependent on freshwater; it would be difficult for them to survive if the seas were to become fresh water again. These species would then be at risk of extinction.
In addition, freshwater is generally less expensive to extract and use than salt water, so we would likely use it in places where salt water is unproductive or in areas with a low rainfall rate.
A seawater return would mean that freshwater resources would become even more critical as a water source for the planet. It may seem like a good thing, but there are risks. For example, if we needed the land for agriculture, it would become more valuable, leading to larger countries owning more land.
In addition, if there were a shortage of fresh water due to climate change, some areas would have to give up some of their water resources. It could have severe implications for areas such as the Middle East, where water shortages have become a severe problem.
Freshwater Ocean With Low Mg
One way to ensure that freshwater resources are not lost is to choose places with a high likelihood of finding them in the first place. It can be achieved by engineering the land so that it is attractive to water. For example, if vast tracts of land were to become tropical or subtropical, then there would be little need for water to flow between these different landforms. It could effectively prevent the loss of freshwater resources if we chose the land with care.
The Fresh Water Equation
One way to ensure that freshwater resources are available for everyone is to engineer the land to be relatively abundant. To achieve this, scientists and engineers must know what type of water is present and where it is located. It is known as “the freshwater equation,” based on the assumption that the concentration of dissolved salts in the water is equal to the capacity of the water to retain salt.
If this assumption is accurate, then the amount of water that would flow into a country given a proposed level of water fluoride would determine the amount of freshwater that country could expect to have.
Freshwater Is More Palatable Than Salt Water
The water we drink comes from a wide range of sources, but most of it comes from rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Salt gets left over when this water is treated, which causes our drinking water to be rank and, in some cases, poisonous. But in an ideal world, all the freshwater would return to the sea. The entire world’s freshwater supply chain would start from the ocean.
When the salt water runs out, the fresh water from the ocean flows into the sea, replenishing the water table. The world would have access to a freshwater supply that was as easily accessible as the seas, without digging ditches, building canals, or paying farmers to supply it.
Freshwater Becomes More Pleasant
In an ideal world, the fresh water from the ocean would be delicious, safe to drink, and able to support human life. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case today. In many areas of the world, drinking fresh water comes with a price — in terms of illness, death, and economic losses. There are situations where people would benefit from drinking water that is fresh and comes with a dose of salt.
Salts liven up the flavour of foods and improve the texture of drinks, but they also cause damage to the environment. They are in high concentrations in car tire bases and oil and gas wells. What if, instead of salty water, the water from the ocean became pleasant tasting and safe to drink? It, of course, is a much more drastic change, and it would significantly impact the environment.
What Would Happen to Ocean Life?
Oceans cover about 70% of Earth’s surface; about two-thirds is ocean water. The other one-third is freshwater, about one-tenth of Earth’s surface. It’s easy to think about the composition of fresh water and ocean water, but what if the fresh water from the ocean were to become ocean water again?
What would happen to all the life that lives in and on the ocean? If the world’s freshwater were to become ocean water, then all the marine life that lives in the oceans would also have to be able to survive. There would be no place for them to go, so they’d all have to be moved to the ocean. Unfortunately, water is more expensive to move around than land, which would probably significantly impact the environment.
Consequences of a New Earth
On a smaller scale, the economic impact of the new Earth would have significant consequences. Although the price of oil might decline, the price of other fossil fuels would still rise as they become more expensive to extract. The price of food would rise, as would utilities and housing. In general, it would impact the environment in many ways, such as the loss of biodiversity and changes in the climate.
However, the most critical consequence would be that developing new technologies and products would take longer. It would take longer for engineers and scientists to duplicate the results from an experiment in a lab, let alone on a large scale. The technologies and products that are currently successful and popular would remain the same. Still, the environment would take longer to change because of climate change, stricter weather patterns, and other problems that now exist only in theory.
Freshwater Wouldn’t Be Much More Expensive than Salty Water.
Unfortunately, the more realistic the scenario becomes, the less expensive it would be. Even though developing new technologies and products would take longer, they would become more affordable because of the rising demand for freshwater. In particular, the price of electricity would skyrocket. To put this in perspective, think about how much electricity your computer, phone, or TV uses.
If all the electricity in the world suddenly flowed into the ocean, then your computer, phone, and TV would use more energy than if there were no oceans. It would happen if the world’s freshwater were to become fresh again: Your computer would run faster, your TV would be more popular, and the price of electricity would skyrocket.
The Planet Without Seas or Rivers: What Would Be its Impact?
The ocean significantly impacts the climate and environment on a global scale. The loss of one acre of ocean surface would warm the world by about 0.13 degrees Celsius. If the whole world’s ocean were to become saltwater, the atmosphere would become denser. It would scatter more solar energy in the form of steam instead of being bound to the ground as nitrogen, oxygen, and trace elements.
The change in weather patterns would be dramatic, with heavy precipitation and flooding from melting sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic. The world would also lose about 80 per cent of its fisheries, its biodiversity, and most of the CO2 and other gases currently locked in the atmosphere.
How Much Would Dry Land Be Destroyed?
Based on current estimates, it would take about 70 times the amount of fresh water in the atmosphere to cover the entire Earth. If this were to become fresh again, then the amount of land and water present would be similar to before the changes. It, of course, is optimistic, as there are significant risks that the new environment would be drier than the current state of affairs.
Freshwater withdrawal from rivers and lakes has increased rapidly over the past century. If it continues at the same pace, by the end of this century, the amount of fresh water in the world’s oceans will have dropped by one-fifth. A new Earth would mean a vast landmass loss and a corresponding sea level gain. In a world of fresh water, the number of cities that could be established would be limited only by the city’s growing need for water.