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New Study Shows Oceans At Their Deepest In 250 Million Years

sunset ocean horizonSea-level rise would be a complicated topic even if it were not politicized. People often talk as though the seabed were like a bathtub, rigid and immobile, into which water either pours or does not.

But it’s not; it rises and falls in complex local patterns, it erodes and accumulates, it shifts about. And it seems to be drifting downward if you get our drift.

This is continental because a new study says thanks to landmasses moving away from one another the seas are about 250 meters deeper than they were in the heyday of the dinosaurs and the seabeds are older than they’ve ever been.

The effect on ocean currents, heat absorption, and climate is… unclear.

It’s strange to realize that, deep as the seas are, they’re not very deep, in the sense that you wouldn’t think a 2.3-mile car ride very far.

You may have heard that if the Earth were the size of a billiard ball it would be smoother, a very cool factoid lacking just one key quality: accuracy.

Actually the Earth’s surface is rough, like sandpaper. But there is an important truth hidden in that urban legend: The mighty mountains and ocean depths that stir our souls are as grains of sand to the Earth.

If our planet were the size of a billiard ball (namely 5.715 cm give or take .127 mm), Mt. Everest would be 0.04 millimeters high, which would certainly simplify one item on the old bucket list.

And the awesome Marianas Trench would be barely bigger, at 0.45 mm. (Don’t ask how big you’d be unless you fancy a session in the Total Perspective Vortex.)

So yes, even the Marianas Trench is nothing to the planet, despite the intricate way life depends not just on oceans but ocean tides.

Read more at Climate Discussion Nexus