Timelapse shows fate of Earth if all oceans disappeared

Nearly 70 percent of the Earth is covered with oceans, but a timelapse animation reveals what the planet would look like if they all dried up. 

Planetary Scientist, James O’Donoghue has released a timelapse video that demonstrates how the world would be affected if all the water from the planet’s oceans were gradually drained. 

The video, created by O'Donoghue, who is a scientist at the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, remade an animation constructed by NASA in 2008, but at high resolution and with edited timing.

This new timelapse video shows in just a 51 seconds how the Earth could change if all the water from the oceans disappeared. The animation simulated a drop in a range of sea levels that gradually reveals the two-thirds of land hidden underwater, with most of the area becoming visible at a decrease of 459 feet.

If the oceans of the world were to dry up, over 70% of the planet's surface that’s currently under water would be revealed. Hidden mountain ranges and canyons would be visible and the Earth would expose land over 6,000 metres (currently) below sea level.

If the world was deprived of water at a depth of less than 200 metres almost all the Earth's coastal areas would be exposed and at 3 kilometres below the current level - even the ocean ridges would be seen.

O'Donoghue commented on Twitter: "Emptying the oceans reveals mountain ranges and submerged canyons.

"It also shows where the Earth's ‘bridges’ were connected during the ice ages.”

animation of earth
James O'Donoghue timelapse animation

The characteristic brown colour of dry land emerges rapidly during the short in the video.  Focusing on Europe, the animation shows that the first of the seas to disappear would be the Adriatic Sea, followed by the waters around Sicily and Sardinia.

The model presented by O'Donoghue goes down to almost 11,000 metres below current sea level, which shows the lowest point on Earth, Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean.Although the video could be deemed alarming, the Earth's water is far from disappearing, as many studies continue to warn - rising sea level is accelerating. A recent report published in the journal Nature highlights that ice melt in Greenland is accelerating at a rate seven times faster than in the 90s. 

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