Two Questions

Two questions I have, but haven’t had the time to do the research:

1. Based on the law that mass can neither be created nor destroyed; if we send too much mass from the earth outside the gravitational pull of the earth, will that cause the earth’s orbit around the sun to change? If that’s true what effects will that have on the earth? Conversely, if too much mass from an asteroid or the like adds itself to the earth, will that affect our orbit? (Actually, I doubt there is any way to know how much mass is too much unless it actually happens.)

2. Since humans are mostly made up of water, doesn’t it follow that as the population grows the amount of water decreases regardless of the weather conditions and our consumption (ie: droughts)?

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One response to “Two Questions

  1. 1) Yes it will change the orbit, but it depends on how much gets removed. To see an appreciable difference, you would need to remove more than is within our power. Any asteroid would have to have a huge momentum to knock the earth out of it’s orbit. We’d probably be more worried about the worldwide earthquakes, vaporized atmosphere, etc.

    2) Yes, but proportion plays a role here as well. For fun, let’s estimate the proportion of the world’s water sequestered in human bodies:

    50% of human body is water (actually it varies quite a bit from person to person)

    150 lbs is close to the average human weight

    6.7 billion people

    Multiply those and we have an estimated 502,500,000,000 lbs of water in human bodies, currently.

    There is approximately 3,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 lbs of water on earth.

    The percentage of water sequestered in human bodies is about 0.00000002%. Even if we only count fresh water (2.6% of all the water on earth), the percentage only goes up to 0.0000006%. Pretty small. Might as well call it zero.