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"Water, Water, Everywhere..." You've heard the phrase, and for water, it really is true. Earth's water is (almost) everywhere: above the Earth in the air and clouds and on the surface of the Earth in rivers, oceans, ice, plants, and in living organisms. But did you know that water is also inside the Earth? Read on to learn more.
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"Water, Water, Everywhere...."You've heard the phrase, and for water, it really is true. Earth's water is (almost) everywhere: above the Earth in the air and clouds, on the surface of the Earth in rivers, oceans, ice, plants, in living organisms, and inside the Earth in the top few miles of the ground.
For an estimated explanation of where Earth's water exists, look at this bar chart. You may know that the water cycle describes the movement of Earth's water, so realize that the chart and table below represent the presence of Earth's water at a single point in time. If you check back in a million years, no doubt these numbers will be different!
Here is a bar chart showing where all water on, in, and above the Earth exists. The left-side bar chart shows how almost all of Earth's water is saline and is found in the oceans. Of the small amount that is actually freshwater, only a relatively small portion is available to sustain human, plant, and animal life.
One estimate of global water distribution(Percents are rounded, so will not add to 100)
Source: Igor Shiklomanov's chapter "World fresh water resources" in Peter H. Gleick (editor), 1993, Water in Crisis: A Guide to the World's Fresh Water Resources (Oxford University Press, New York).
Below are other science topics associated with Earth's water.
Below are multimedia items associated with Earth's water.