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At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 9:04 AM

Just read a short story on Earth's Mysterious Hum on Live Science.

It reflects a poser I have often speculated on during travel to various assignments, while nothing else had my attention.

Do we contribute to stresses in the Earth's Crust and Mantle by overpopulation or does the mass and weight stay constant?

At least constant enough to take into consideration loss of gases to atmosphere.

Do we at any point reach maximum combined weight through the years because of population increase or density?

Or perchance, is density the only factor creating possible stresses as certain countries become over populated?

I know, just the musings of a lonely bored mind, but as always I appreciate the feedback and comments on C4.

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#1

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 9:31 AM

I'm not sure, but just to keep it in perspective, the combined weight of insects on the Earth far exceeds that of humans and their populations grow much faster than ours.

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#2
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 9:38 AM

Thanks Chris, I agree on the insect thing.

I just finished an assignment and awaiting info on next one, so I am pretty bored.

But from such musings comes new ideas.

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#37
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/18/2008 11:00 AM

For that matter, bacteria outweigh all other life combined.

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#4
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 11:58 AM

Ah Chris... but they are flying around most of the time so they don't count.
And even when they land...with 6 legs it spreads the load .
<cough splutter falls off chair>
Del

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#5
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 12:04 PM

Now we all know cats love to chase bugs, so I guess that means you are helping lessen the load by keeping them in flight.

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#12
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 3:04 PM

Notice that global warming started about the same time that widespread pesticide use did. It should be clear to even the most ignorant observer that the indisputable and only possible conclusion to be drawn from this fact is that the wind from the beating of all those insect wings was what was keeping the Earth cool.

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#15
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 10:48 PM

You could deserve a Nobel prize, too bad you didn't register!

Now, how do we build a large enough bug farm to test your theory?

I trust Del will provide the kittens to keep the bugs flying.

If you captire enough carbon in the insects, you may be in for the Carbon Prize!

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#40
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/18/2008 12:31 PM

Now, how do we build a large enough bug farm to test your theory?

We could build a colony of self-reproducing solar-powered robotic bugs, then just sit back and watch as their population grows exponentially. When a million massive swarms of these robo-bugs are flying around, we should start to feel the cooling effect. Yea, that sounds like a great idea!

[but seriously folks, the weight of the entire biosphere is negligible compared to the weigh of the top 1% of the Earth's crust. Our entire population could all jump and down in unison, and we wouldn't cause even a tiny blip on the seismometer]

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#18
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 11:54 PM

We humans can not fly, but certainly spread the load by walking on our four legs (evetually, we call two front legs as hand) like CAT (or monkey.. our ancestor)

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#21
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/18/2008 1:47 AM

By far, the most scary load on the Earth's crust is the collections of National Geographic that are hoarded around the World!!!

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#28
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/18/2008 8:17 AM

And that is exactly the reason that CA will one day slide off into the Pacific....

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#35
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/18/2008 10:28 AM

But if I limit my collection to pre-1985 issues, and keep the hoard out of California, am I doing any serious damage???

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#27
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/18/2008 8:15 AM

Good one, Del. I can always count on you to brighten my day!! Thanks!

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#3

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/17/2008 11:26 AM

The only mass increase this planet experiences comes from outer space in the form of falling debris. The mass increase is insignificant compared to the Earth's mass.

All the chemical ingredients to make humans is already here on Earth. More life simply converts a fractional amount of the elements already lying around into living organisms.

Additionally, most of the living biomass on this planet is also below the soil!

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#6
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 12:05 PM

Would a difference be made if all of this combined weight were evenly distributed or concentrated in specific areas?

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#8
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/17/2008 12:53 PM

Or... everybody in China jumps up at the same time...

Or... everyone just flushes their toilets at the same time...


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#22
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/18/2008 2:04 AM

:) haha,you are right,we often heard this joke when i was very young.but now,there are low population rise rate,since we have stict policy to control that,each couple just can only have one child

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#82
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/22/2008 10:47 PM

Don't take it in bad spirit my friend. We know china has controlled the population rate. But ledkevin is referring to jumping of existing population. It is true for India also (from where I am)

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#32
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/18/2008 8:40 AM

Your answer concurs with my own. The only thing that I would add is the obvious redistribution of the loads. For instance, South Florida. Now there is a place where the mass concentrated at Miami Beach, for instance, is greater now than when there were no large buildings and no concentration of people, cars, trucks, buses, trains, etc. The fact remains, however, that the effects of the human population and activities on most any aspect of the Earth's physical make-up is merely a drop in the bucket when compared to the enormous mass of the planet relative to anything that we, as mere humans can imagine. And, I say at the risk of starting yet another firestorm, that includes global warming.

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#36
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/18/2008 10:46 AM

But would not your typical environmentalist consider the subsidence of Southern Florida be low the waves a good thing? Think of the phenomenal artificial reefs! Furthermore, one should consider the rising sealevel a positive- think of it as Mother Nature's form of Urban Renewal...

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#7

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 12:36 PM

I've gained 30 Lbs in the last 2 months and I'm still growing.....

I will send a postcard from the Earths core when I fall through

TedJ

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#9

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 1:13 PM

The materials that make us up where all ready on the earths crust. Now they are just in a different form. Mobile until we give back to the earth crust in death. So the mass would stay relatively constant. In the past other life forms have placed greater mass on the surface than man now does. An example today would be the trees.

"Do we at any point reach maximum combined weight through the years because of population increase or density?"

Yes that is the point at which energy from the Sun that humans are able to collect will not support any more life to increase the collective human mass.

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#10

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 2:34 PM

Yes it does have an effect. Haven't you seen the balancing weights (or politicians) all around you preventing global wobbling.

In Africa there are rules against fast moves. (Mugabe is just adhering to that).

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#11

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 2:42 PM

Imagine a remote island that starts of with a population of just 2. After dozens of generations the population grows to maybe 20,000. If nobody eats anything from the sea (it could happen !) then where did the extra mass come from. Crops would keep re-growing so their mass would have been stable, and there's no animals (this one's my fantasy, so I'll spin it how I like ) to complicate the equations. If it's not animal, and it's not vegetable, then it must be mineral ? Oh I don't know, but I don't think the islands going to crack in half. Even if they stood shoulder-to -shoulder, the extra weight is only going to equal a few inches extra weight of rock, but the same amount of rock must have been converted into making people so there's no nett gain. If they stood on each other heads it would only be like an island with a hill on one side, and they don't usually crack in half. Doing country style dancing could be dangerous - Atlantis had circular islands and it disappeared into the sea.

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#38
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/18/2008 11:38 AM

"If they stood on each other heads" Good point but what if there were so many that the uppermost ones reached outside the earths atmosphere and were not quite as susceptible to earths gravitational pull? Would not that lessen the total weight on the planet?

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#39
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/18/2008 12:14 PM

Back-of-envelope sum suggests 0.1% change in accel. due to gravity @ 1km above earth surface (could be wrong!)

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#41
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/18/2008 12:39 PM

No because by that point the person at the bottom of the human ladder would have been crushed into a black hole which would then swallow the entire Earth. So maybe the surface weight distribution can have an effect!

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#13

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/17/2008 3:32 PM

I am not sure weather to reply seriously or with a half wit.

As we grow, we do so with the building blocks we take from our food. Our bodies build new ones by breaking others down and recombining with the help of proteins. As we grow, the total earths contents will diminish equal to our increase in mass.

Like you said before, the only addition is from space and that is totally negligible. The other thing to subtract from this is what we loose to space in the form of escape from atmosphere and from burning rocket fuel out there where it is lost forever. Again these are probably nothing compared with the big figures at play.

Total in is always total out.......or something along those lines.

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#14

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 4:40 PM

Another bit of perspective (with some gross approximations):

Population of Earth: 6 x 109 kg

Mass per person: 102 kg

Total mass of population (MP): 6 x 1011 kg

Mass of Earth (ME): 6 x 1024 kg

MP as a %age of ME: 100 x (6 x 1011) / (6 x 1024) = 1 x 10-11 = 0.000 000 000 01%

_____________

Another interesting thing:

Area of the Isle of Wight is 380 km2 = 3.8 x 108 m2

Get the population of Earth on the Isle of Wight, and we would have about 0.05 m2 each - that's a bit tight, we'd probably have to stand a couple of layers high.

OK, so lets try Essex. Area is about 3670 km2 ≈ 3.7 x 109 m2

So we could all get in there with about 1/2 m2 each!

[Caveat: Long hard day, sums not checked. If I'm not there, start without me. ]

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#106
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/24/2008 3:56 AM

<...Get the population of Earth on the Isle of Wight...>

Dum de dum....Given the current frequency and capacity of the SeaCats from Portsmouth Harbour→Ryde Pier Head....dum de do.... and the Island Line rail services, and, er, the frequency of the Wightlink ferries from both Southampton→Fishbourne and Lymington→Yarmouth..........which is so much in the summer timetable.....calculate the time taken for this movement to complete.........divide by that and carry 4.......and........dum de.dum...... blimey! It couldn't be achieved in a millenium!! No wonder the gene pool on the Isle of Wight is so small!!

Sandown Waste Water Treatment Works might require some expansion.......

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#115
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/25/2008 1:41 AM

So tell me... Do all train spotters use heroin?

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#16

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 11:05 PM

Actually its the combined weight of all the national geographic magazines stored in people's basements and garages in north america are slowing continental drift and causing the midwest to lift as the more densely populated coasts sink...

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#17

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/17/2008 11:26 PM

I would be more concerned about the oceans mass placed against the earth to affect the creating of hills and valleys more than humans populating the earth. I would also consider the amount of rain the earth gets from the ocean to affect the earth's crust to be far more than what humans can do.

Also, since most people eat things that come from the surface of the earth -- i.e. fruits, vegetables, meat from land animals, etc., the net difference on land is zero (0).

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#19

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/17/2008 11:56 PM

Mass can not be generated for distructed as per accepted science laws. So more population doesn't mean that new mass is added. It comes from earth elements only, so no stressing (physically) of earth.

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#20

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/18/2008 12:31 AM

Its not so much the weight of the humans themselves, but the diligence with which we move stuff around to make our lives more comfortable. The weight of the world doesn't change, but we do significantly change the distribution sometimes. I lived for a while near San Luis Obispo, CA, and there was a problem with ground subsidence cracking foundations and warping new buildings. It turned out that the culprit was the quantity of water being pumped out of a shallow aquifer. The new construction had taken place in a low lying part of town, probably originally a swampy area, with small lakes and ponds. As the water table fell to provide water for the town and surrounding agriculture, the ground dried out and settled. No doubt the mass ended up eventually in the Pacific Ocean. Again, no loss of weight (mass), just some re-distribution.

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#24
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/18/2008 5:52 AM

Gross and unplanned redistribution was my musing when I started the thread. Thanks, Good answer.

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#33
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/18/2008 9:10 AM

I guess your thread is going somewjere else from mass to global warming. I do not think that was your intention. I read them all and said, Ahm, we are going off track. I read them all any way. It was interesting although made no sense as the matter is constant so no resultant mass increase and if there is it will be insignificant. Del the cat will keep them all in the air.

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#23

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/18/2008 2:17 AM

But as we know mass does convert to energy (pretty light), but sometimes a heavier mass results. Chocolate cake is a good example. This is especially true when a National Geographic is involved.

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#25

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/18/2008 7:18 AM

Bit off topic, but similar. - Global warming.

a human body radiates considerable heat
(as allowed for in building design etc.)

Surely the massive increase in world population
could be having an effect on global warming?
(and stop calling me Shirley)

Not sure of the figures, but it's something like a
kw per person; x how many billions?

We wonder it's getting warmer!

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#29
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/18/2008 8:21 AM

Yes, it's not the mass, but the heat generated that will cause problems. Each one of us generates about 100 Watts at rest, just sitting here at our keyboards, at much as a single bright, hot, old fashioned light bulb.

Back in grad school in the 1970's, I heard an entertaining lecturer calculate how many people, just breathing, it would take to raise the world's temperature 1 degree C. I don't remember the results, but it was something way over an order of magnitude of what we had on Earth then.

But then he pointed out how many KW of power each person uses. Think of a KW as 10 people. Suddenly, we were not that far off from significantly warming the planet!

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#26

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/18/2008 7:56 AM

Lonely and bored: Aside from comets and the lost gas you mentioned, no mass change. Plate tectonics and tides move mass around more than people ever could.

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#45
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/19/2008 1:38 AM

Don't forget the role that beans play in global warming!

By the way I gave you a "good answer" vote. Excellent insight!

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#46
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/19/2008 3:12 AM

So did the Earth wobble more when Gondwanaland existed ? Maybe Gondwanaland caused so much wobble it split itself up. It's a bit weird (or maybe fortunate) that there was just 1 chunk of land to start with. Now I'm really confused.

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#47
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/19/2008 3:27 AM

Actually, there were two land masses - Gondwanaland and Pangaea. However, that's about as far back as we can estimate. There may have been many land masses previous to that. Also, in the future, we may go back to one or two continents depending on which way the plates flow.

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#48
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/19/2008 5:20 AM

As far as I can figure it, at one point all significant land had merged into one lump, Pangaea ( = "All land"). This then split into Gondwanalnd (South) and Laurasia (North), and eventually to what we have now (blessed be our eroded land-bridge to Europe ). In a few hundred million years, you could be enjoying Mauritius on your doorstep and I'll be stuck up a bloody big mountain ! As you say, it's a bit hard to guess.

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#49
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/19/2008 5:27 AM

I believe you are correct. Give that man a cigar! And if he doesn't smoke, shove it up his... nose?

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#50
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/19/2008 5:31 AM

Groucho Marx walked like he had that problem.

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#51
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/19/2008 6:42 AM

Beans, craving a lot lately. Thought it might contribute to the sustainable energy problem though. Never paid heed to the "global warming" aspect. Gee, are we getting way of topic here. My original musing centered around the noises and harmonics of earth.

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#107
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/24/2008 3:58 AM

And explosives.....

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#30

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/18/2008 8:22 AM

Don't lose sight of the fact that, as humans are born and grow, or cattle, or wild animals, etc, there is no MASS Differential on the Earth. We grow and increase mass by eating masses already present, and we return our atoms to Earth upon our death. We have converted a lot of Earth mass, in the form of forests, coal and petroleum, to carbon dioxide and other nitrogen and sulfur oxides. Some of which can escape Earth's gravity.

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#31

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/18/2008 8:39 AM

A friend of mine told me the earth's crust floats on molten magma like a boat. So even if a bug lands on a supertanker it should be measureable how much the tanker sinks! Therefore if there is a mass migration of people to one landmass it will sink a little; imperceptibly but still it will sink?

Actually there could be an answer to the global warming issue here. If everybody moves to the centre of the land then it will sink a little but because land is flexible it will bend like a banana! This will have the effect of raising the edges thus negating the effect of any sea level rise!

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#53
In reply to #31

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/19/2008 8:41 PM

Actually moving the GW crowd to an island and allowing it to sink sounds like a better solution to GW.

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#55
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/20/2008 4:49 AM

Isn't that the wrong way around ? The non GW crowd know they'd be safe from drowning on an island. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/disappearing-world-global-warming-claims-tropical-island-429764.html

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#108
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/24/2008 4:00 AM

<....if there is a mass migration of people to one landmass it will sink a little; imperceptibly but still it will sink?...>

It looks like the Isle of Wight is doomed, then....

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#110
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/24/2008 5:27 AM

Tell that to the INA!

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#34

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/18/2008 9:37 AM

Well humans, animals and insects don't give a net gain - but just think, plants are mostly made from water, air, and sunlight. A few parts mineral but not much!

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#42

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/18/2008 2:38 PM

If each human, as they are born, is fitted with a harness attached to a helium balloon (made of some material impermeable to helium molecules), and the amount of helium is just enough to reduce our "weight" by 50% (adjusted annually to account for growth) ... could we not reduce by half, the threat that gagcpipeman is concerned about?

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#43
In reply to #42

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/18/2008 6:12 PM

Nope. Mass is relative to the masses around it. The only reason Helium "seems" to reduce the mass of the gases on the surface of the earth is that we are used to that mass. At sea-level, the column of air (roughly 75 miles tall, if I remember correctly. Someone want to help me out, here?) has a mass which exerts a force of roughly 14.2 psi on our bodies, and which we no longer notice, solely because, while it may vary minutely, it is always there. And a substantial portion of it is always made up of helium, which DOES have mass. It just has less mass than the aggregate of the rest of what makes up the column (hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, neon, argon, some other noble gases, and some other breathable, or otherwise combinable gases, plus such dissolved solids as carbon, and solutes such as water in suspension).

So, your idea would SEEM to work, but not work, because all that would happen is that 50% of the lifted mass would bear on the air above the balance of the mass (stacked column, all still on one compact mass), and increase the mass of the column of air above it by that much (still not enough to notice). If one assumes that the human body, upright (its smallest configuration) has a horizontal surface area (shoulders, top of head, hands at rest, whatever else) of 45 square inches (probably too big, but not a LOT too big), and a total mass of 180 pounds, then the 50% transfer would equal 90 pounds distributed over 45 square inches, adding 2 psi to the 14.2 psi column of air. But you would not (I'm assuming you are the guinea pig in this experiment) feel the added pressure, since its total addition to your mass would be the same as was subtracted by the balloon.

And the net, then, would still be the same. As would the mass of the column of air above the surface, of which you are a part.

So, it still won't work. Anything IN earth's gravity well is a part of the load on the earth, no matter what it is doing, or is done to it. In fact, when the Air Forces take their pilot trainees on the parabolic "weightlessness" ride, they are in fact NEVER weightless. They only experience a positive vertical centrifugal force applied to their bodies equal for a short time to the negative vertical force applied by gravity.

Net wash, no change in force on the earth. Still no dreams come true. And when I was fat at 315 pounds, helium didn't make me less fat, nor less heavy. Only weight loss did that! And since the fat was pushed off/out of my body, and landed SOMEWHERE here on earth (I haven't had any out of body experiences, and I know THIS body never went into space), the total mass on the surface still didn't change.

HMMMM, there must be some truth to the idea that all that weight I lost attacked someone else. Or if it didn't, it just hasn't found its victim yet.

Micah

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#54
In reply to #43

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/19/2008 10:26 PM

Gosh! Am I anhaling Helium ?

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#60
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/20/2008 9:31 PM

Some, always. But if you suddenly start singing 2 octaves higher than before, and you're not a man suffering intense pain, suspect a sudden increase in it. All of us breath some helium, always.

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#61
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/20/2008 10:36 PM

Oh! Thanks!

From your earlier thread I though, I inhale only Helium !

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#62
In reply to #61

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/21/2008 12:36 AM

Nope! But you'd sure do a good Donald Duck impression if you did! At least, you would as long as you lived, anyway! Micah

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#66
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/21/2008 8:31 AM

After you inhale He, do not talk otherwise you will sound funny.

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#70
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/21/2008 6:57 PM

Why else would you inhale it ??

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#71
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/21/2008 7:39 PM

I saw some one inhale Helium and when he spoke, it was funny like a duck quacking.

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#73
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/21/2008 11:35 PM

Cool!!! I like the way you animated your avatar! Subtle, yet effective!

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#44
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/18/2008 6:23 PM

You must've been through the "birds flying inside an aeroplane" thing ... ?

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#83
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/22/2008 10:51 PM

Bad idea. True it will reduce the weight on earth. But walking will be difficult for every one. No weight thus no friction with earth. Besides, with little force one would jump to double the height and we will be walking like Armstrong on Moon. (Did you see him?)

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#84
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/22/2008 10:56 PM

Better idea will be to tax every one for every pound (or Kg) above healthy weight (proportional to his/her height). With this tax, every body will try to keep his weight in control, will benefit from the health.

By the way, how much is your weight and height OOBE?

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#85
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/22/2008 11:59 PM

My height and weight, Guest, is the same as it was when I was in the Special Forces; allowing me to land with my parachute a bit softer than my brothers in arms who were built as hulks, thereby sparing my bones a time or two more. So let's say ... I'm healthily average.

My original comment about the suggested helium-assist to the worlds population was not addressing the issues of atmospheric pressure on the earth as a whole, but rather the stress on the earth's crust at the point of contact; which I believe was one aspect of the original question. Let me pose the situation in a more specific way.

Let's say that I lay out 10,000 eggs in the desert. All side by side and touching. If I was to walk across that field, unassisted by a helium harness, obviously I would leave an omelet path wherever I walked. The stress is too great beneath my feet. On the other hand, if I increased the size of my helium balloon enough, I could likely walk across and they would be none the worse for wear, provided I didn't bound across in great leaps. The stresses on the crust beneath my feet would be lowered from my previous attempt.

How does this scenario correspond to the objections several of you posted to my original suggestion? How does this correspond with the stress on the earths crust beneath my feet, due to my weight? (170 lbs.) The first post mentioned not only mass, but weight also.

I'm straying from my comfort zone of knowledge, so by all means ... enlighten.

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#88
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/23/2008 12:18 AM

Ha! When I was in Ultra-Extra-Special Forces, they taught us to jump out of planes without parachutes!!! AND WE LIKED!!!

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#95
In reply to #88

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/23/2008 1:17 AM

r

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#96
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/23/2008 1:20 AM

You start it from now !

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#121
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/30/2008 7:21 PM

Since the first liar does not have a chance, here's my story.We never wore shoes growing up, except to Sunday school.Our feet were very tough, and calluses as thick as leather soles were on our feet.We went to school barefooted.One winter, it snowed, and then it sleeted on top of the snow, making for very slippery conditions.It was uphill to school, both ways (there was a valley in between), and we could not get up the hill, we kept sliding back down.Finally, we went back home.Dad asked why we weren't in school, and we told him we could not get up the hill due to the ice.He rubbed his chin, his eyes brightened, and we could tell he had an idea.

He bolted out of the house and came back with a roll of barb wire from the barn.He wrapped our bare feet in it, and we went off to school with no problem with traction.

HTRN

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#122
In reply to #121

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/30/2008 7:27 PM

OUCH!!!

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#123
In reply to #121

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/30/2008 7:45 PM

'The Waltons' broke my heart to. The only major difference was that they didn't have ration coupons.

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#126
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

05/01/2008 6:03 AM

The Waltons had it made.At least they had enough to eat.At one point, we got down to one piece of fatback for the whole family.Wanting to be fair, my dad tied a string to it, and everybody got to swallow it one time.....

HTRN

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#127
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

05/02/2008 1:12 AM

What did you do with toilet paper?

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#124
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/30/2008 8:11 PM

I think we had some of the same kin.

Sounds awfully familiar to me.

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#89
In reply to #85

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/23/2008 12:21 AM

You took my comment to your heart. My comment was on lighter side. Sorry, if you felt bad.

You are right about the weight load on earth crest. But, see comment by gsuhas just in the morning. You won't be able to walk.

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#91
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/23/2008 12:30 AM

My bad. I have a reputation of being a bit thin skinned.

I'M WORKING ON IT!!

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#92
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/23/2008 12:46 AM

They took our skin away from us... AND WE LIKED IT!!!

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#93
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/23/2008 12:52 AM

They took your skin away Vermin? At last ... the truth is out! Vermin wears a rug!!

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#94
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/23/2008 1:04 AM

AND I LIKE IT!!!

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#102
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/23/2008 6:49 PM

Thank you for your service to our Country.

Special Weapons and Logistics.

Dragon

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#104
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/23/2008 8:06 PM

You're welcome Dragonsfarm. My pleasure.

And thank you too.

Grunt Sniper.

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#101
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/23/2008 6:44 PM

Bad Idea!! Who gets to set the standards for "healthy weight"? The medical profession hasn't been able to agree on the standards for something as straightforward as Diabetes (they have changed the standards again!) And I certainly don't want yet another idiot HMO bureaucrat who couldn't tell me what an endocrinologist does without a road map and fourteen forms signed in triplicate telling me I am overweight. Most of them couldn't find their ass with both hands.

Sorry for the rant, but when they pass out those papers giving a doctor a license to practice medicine, thats what they do: Practice.

Blue

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#105
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/24/2008 2:15 AM

Not really. They get told by the HMO guy, "This is the way you will practice medicine from now on. If you don't like it, please feel free to starve!"

If you want to make a difference, contact your State insurance regulator and ask him to press the matter.

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#52

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/19/2008 8:17 AM

Nothing new is created as additional weight on the earth. When child is born he consume available resouces such as minerals, water ,air and transfers them into human body consisting of bones, muscles, blood etc. So there is nothing which is coming from outside of earth's atmosphere.So relax, there will not be Fatty earth even if China and India produces more kids.

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#56
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/20/2008 11:12 AM

i agree totally. it reflects back the theory that says "Energy cannot be created or destroyed but can only changes it forms " from my secondary science lesson. And all of us humans, insects etc are carbon which will return to earth when we die (cremate or buried). return here means our body will changes to another form of Energy ! methane gas, coal, CO2 etc...

then again as we overpopulate, earth resource will be faster digested off and natural resource does not come magically in two days. Hence, the earth will be more and more dangerous place to live onwards until a time where it cannot contain any human life.

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#109
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/24/2008 4:04 AM

<...even if China and India produces more kids...>

What about the Isle of Wight, though?

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#111
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/24/2008 5:31 AM

Have you been on holiday or something ? Del didn't bring me back any rock either. Not even a plastic lighthouse full of pretty sand. Maybe he had to endure some horrible cat-tailing ritual like they do on the IoM.

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#113
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Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/24/2008 10:17 AM

Blimey, what have I started?

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#57

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/20/2008 6:54 PM

A somewhat intriguing hypothetical; but probably not in the way that seems most obvious. Accepting the premise, let us first assume that this would (must needs be) be a short-lived, temporary event--this gathering of human mass--and not an event of lasting duration in the sense of "geologic time."

In order to concentrate the mass of all persons (or even all living animal creatures) sufficiently to have any substantial (imagined) effect (other than, perhaps, soil tamping/compaction) there would have to be (i.e., we would have to imagine) significant stacking—the individual or distributed free-standing weight or weights, respectively, of any one person/animal or group of persons/animals, being negligible in terms of "impact" on the continent crust, even at the surface.

So now we have our imaginary population being stacked to the heavens...and therein lies the rub. Since the weight of human beings (in particular) is also relatively insignificant in comparison with weight of water they contain, and since the combined weight of water contained is comparatively significant, then our stacking of humanity must lead to the crushing down and consequent..."expressing" (a medical term) of water from the vastly greater water weight of beings in our imaginary stack. (Bear in mind that it will be only the upper/outer layer or two of individual beings who will survive to tell any story, those being also, not among the number of those who initially survive only to succumb to disease, or asphyxiation or toxic inhalation.) This expressing of water will proceed most rapidly at the bottom of our stack, proceeding upward as decomposition and consequent liquefaction sets in.

Now the question becomes, what happens to all the water, now that it has escaped from its sequestering in animal-tissue "vessels"? The well understood and documented "water cycle" (which see elsewhere) provides the answer. Of the portion of "lost" water that returns directly, as surface run-off, to the sea (over a period of weeks/months/years)—we can discount the rest because decades, even centuries, will transpire before that water finds its way to the sea—the question, what effect on oceanic crust (which is already denser than the continental crust) might be asked. Since that portion of water sequestered in animal's (much less human beings) is negligible in comparison with total water on "thu planet," and because the depositing of such water in the ocean will occur over a time frame likely to be offset by operation of the water cycle, it will be safe to say there will be no noticeable effect.

At this point the original question transmutes to an entirely different question: what would be the (lighten-ing) effect on a continent if all human beings were (more or less) suddenly removed?

Next: the aftermath

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#58
In reply to #57

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/20/2008 6:55 PM

Another question-- "What of the aftermath?"

The survivors of the great piling up would have (in addition to propensity for ancestor worship) key "advantages" that their original forebears on Earth did not, most importantly: the knowledge of greatly enhanced soil fertility where the pile had been; and the knowledge of symbolism. Accordingly, when they returned to the "place of piling" they would not set the place "off limits" as a sacred dying ground...preferring instead to memorialize with discretely placed symbolic markers. They would establish agricultural domains within the place of piling...from which a single world civilization would eventually arise.

Remembrance of what has happened will pass through generations, increasingly as lore. Some of the religious constructs of the "ante-piling" epoch will return or be born anew--one being the notion of a place of great torment for the unfortunate wherein a writhing mass of humanity in various stages of physical and chemical alteration agonizes as its individuals gasp for air and for relief from ever mounting heat and pressure--another being the notion of a nether-world stream carrying the departed to an unknowable destiny.

Not long after the allocation of domains, it will be widely questioned, and a court will be convened to inquire, who decided who would be placed where in the great piling. Finding no answer, it will be adjudicated that that person (or persons) must be acknowledged as God or Gods, and absolved forever of all guilt.

...

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#59
In reply to #58

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Earth

04/20/2008 6:58 PM

qaqcpipeman, does this answer your question?

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#63

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/21/2008 2:27 AM

Still thinking ha ha - actually I am not so sure I agree with Micad02's logic. If I understand it M's saying that the air will increase in weight due to the increase added by the person 'floating'. Maybe this part is true but I don't think that changes the air pressure one bit. It is not like the air is in a 'closed' container for example.

If you think of a boat in a bath - take the boat out and the level of bathwater goes down! I think it would be the same with air! There is probably a law somewhere about this probably written by a British dude with a funny name like Boyle or something. Not wanting to rock the boat any more he he but I also am not sure about the logic of taking a person's surface area and calculating the load born by it due to the column of air it is supporting - if this were correct then it would seem to me that if you had an air pressure gauge with the hole on top and turned it on its side it would read 0?

So I think qaqcpipeman may be onto something here especially with the redistribution issues. Take for example the obesity increase in western society (no offense to Micad02 of course). But this is a perfect redistribution issue! More mass is being imported into these countries and concentrated more and more in a population that also is increasing thru immigration etc

It seems to me that stresses on the earth's crust due to these forces could well be a factor. Especially if there were a harmonic vibration caused for eg by people on the east coast all getting out of bed at the same time. So as their feet hit the ground a vibration is caused. Then people in central zone get out of bed, also at the same time, a little later, and their feet hit the ground in synch with the arrival of the energy wave caused by easterner's feet. This Mexican wave type form is propagated from east to west as feet hit the ground in sync with the wave front thus adding energy to it with disastrous results!

This increase in an individual's mass due to the obesity effect plus immigration combined with morning shock effect must cause extra stress to the earth's crust and in fact could be a reason why the west coast is subject to more earthquakes! My feeling is that Out of the Box is right – reducing a person's weight will reduce the 'force' with which each person's feet hits the ground thus reducing the likelihood of earthquakes on the west coast! And therefore reducing stress on the Earth's crust! I think this could be a definitive answer to qaqcpipeman; once again the crowd provides the answer!

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/21/2008 3:30 AM

Actually, several million tons are added to the Earth's mass every year from space dust.

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#65
In reply to #64

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/21/2008 5:00 AM

I dunno; http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/moondust.html

Why doesn't it burn up ? Also, if we have loads of space-dust on Earth, why did NASA send a probe to collect it ? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10860451/

I suppose there must be plenty of small bits left from meteors that don't fully burn up, but I couldn't find a good estimate. Maybe it's less each year than all the probes we send into space ?

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#69
In reply to #65

Re: At what point does Combined Mass and Weight of Humans have an effect on Eart

04/21/2008 6:43 PM

Well what do you mean by "burn up?!" When was the last time you had a fire in your hearth? I bet the log burned up real good, but there there was still stuff left over. Some got turned into energy, some got turned into ash, smoke particles, and some even got turned into gas, but there were still bits of it.

As meteorites come down, even "little, teenie-tiny, ennie-weenie, itty-bitty, teensy-weensy" bits of it still float down onto the earth... By the way I was using scientific terms for size in deference to you.

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