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earth, ocean, fresh

Happy World Oceans Day

Earth is an ocean planet. More than 70% of its surface is covered by ocean with an average depth of just over two miles. But how much water is there really? In observance of World Oceans Day, the sphere on the left in this illustration represents Earth with all of the water removed, the blue sphere to the right shows the approximate volume of all of Earth's water, and the tiny blue dot on the far right represents the available fresh water. Another way to think of it is that if we represented the size of Earth with a basketball, all the water on the planet would fit into a ping pong ball and the available fresh water would be smaller than a popcorn kernel. Despite being such a water-rich planet, drinking water is one of our most precious resources. (Illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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