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## New Estimates Say Earth's Oceans Smaller Than Once Believed263

Velcroman1 writes with this snippet from Fox News: "Using lead weights and depth sounders, scientists have made surprisingly accurate estimates of the ocean's depths in the past. Now, with satellites and radar, researchers have pinned down a more accurate answer to that age-old query: How deep is the ocean? And how big? As long ago as 1888, John Murray dangled lead weights from a rope off a ship to calculate the ocean's volume — the product of area and mean ocean depth. Using satellite data, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute set out to more accurately answer that question — and found out that it's 320 million cubic miles. And despite miles-deep abysses like the Mariana Trench, the ocean's mean depth is just 2.29 miles, thanks to the varied and bumpy ocean floor."
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## New Estimates Say Earth's Oceans Smaller Than Once Believed

• #### Well it was more volumous... (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:29PM (#32270996) Journal

Well, it was more volumous. But all those sponges soaked up so much.

• #### Re:What were the earlier estimates? (Score:4, Funny)

on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:35PM (#32271060)

I wonder if you need to correct for the oil if you use the Gulf of Mexico units. Or perhaps it just counts for that date.

• #### Re:How about some metric figures? (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:41PM (#32271142) Journal

For all you metric fans out there, the volume 320 × 10^6 cubic miles is approx. 133.4 × 10^7 cubic km with an average depth of 3.69 km.

Yes, but that's meaningless to most people, it's a VLN without context. For all you fans of real, visceral numbers you can relate to, that volume (1.33 x 10^9 km^3) is approximately equal to the amount of water in the earth's oceans.

Hope that helps you to understand the magnitude of the number. Glad to be of service.

• #### Re:What were the earlier estimates? (Score:3, Funny)

on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:42PM (#32271158) Homepage
How many Libraries of Congress would that be?
• #### Paging Captain Nemo (Score:4, Funny)

on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:45PM (#32271216)

2.29 miles isn't even 1 league! I thought the ocean was 20,000 leagues deep!

• #### Mark my words (Score:1, Funny)

on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @06:48PM (#32271256)
Fox News will retract this story once they realize that it increases the percentage of the ocean filled with oil. And then denigrate the scientists involved as Marxists.
• #### Global warming? (Score:2, Funny)

on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @07:09PM (#32271550)
We must stop global warming!! Our oceans are getting smaller, we, um, need to, uh, what?
• #### Re:What were the earlier estimates? (Score:4, Funny)

<joe.joefrancia@com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @07:13PM (#32271598)

How many Libraries of Congress would that be?

About 12 million football fields worth.

• #### Re:Global warming? (Score:3, Funny)

on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @07:18PM (#32271668)

Have Al Gore hop in the water at Coney Island and the global sea level will rise 26.58mm.

• #### Re:I estimate (Score:5, Funny)

on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @08:08PM (#32272266)
640 billion people? I suppose new estimates say Earth's population is larger than once believed...
• #### Government didn't force them to drill there (Score:1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @08:44PM (#32272722)

To be fair, government didn't force them to drill there. It disallowed drilling in some locations so the company evaluated risks and decided to drill there.

Now that we know how well they do evaluating risks, I am rather pleased that government put some restrictions on their drilling. Because it is clear that they choose a risk of a massive catastrophe if they believe that there are profits involved and can't be trusted in this matter. I just wish that the government(s) would have put much more restrictions in place.

• #### Re:I estimate (Score:3, Funny)

on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @09:06PM (#32272954)
640 B should be enough for any planet.
* ducks *
• #### Re:How about some metric figures? (Score:3, Funny)

on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @09:13PM (#32273046) Journal

Well, if you put all the water after each other, it would reach from here to the moon and back. maybe that helps us grasp such a big number...

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