2242: Ground vs Air
|Ground vs Air|
Title text: Water is thinner than both, and fire is *definitely* thicker.
| This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a THICK FIRE. More on the general thickness of the "ground", especially on the oceans and at the thickest parts. Needs more about the actual data portrayed.|
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
This comic depicts a map of the world, using the Winkel tripel projection, comparing the thickness of the ground, which refers to the lithosphere, to the thickness of the air above it, which refers to the atmosphere.
In an inserted figure, Randall defines the thickness using three boundaries. At the top is space, defined by the Kármán line at an altitude of 100 km (≈ 62 mi). Below that is the atmosphere which goes down to the ground, where Cueball is standing, including the ocean down to the seafloor as indicated on the left side. Beneath the surface is the lithosphere, also known as the Earth's crust, and beneath this is the Asthenosphere, the highly viscous region of the upper mantle of the Earth. The two measurements are between space and the surface, and the surface to the asthenosphere.
The map shades in the parts where the second measurement is thicker than the first. This almost only occurs over continents, and certainly only where the continental plates are located (which can stretch into the shallow parts of the oceans). But there are several sections, such as in the Caribbean and the Sea of Japan, where the ground is thicker even being below sea level.
Randall has mainly used a work by Conrad and Lithgow-Bertelloni from 2006 to estimate the thickness of the "ground", and he gives the reference to the paper DOI.1029/2005GL025621. Basically, Randall has taken their map and shaded the blue areas. It is the second comic in a row with a citation, after the footnote in 2241: Brussels Sprouts Mandela Effect.
Randall always uses the Kármán line as the boundary between Earth's atmosphere and space. He has previously mocked the alternative definition of the atmosphere boundary (at 80 km ≈ 50 mi) used by US Air Force and NASA in the title text 1375: Astronaut Vandalism. That definition would, of course, have resulted in a significantly different picture where the air is thicker than the ground only inside small areas around mid-ocean ridges.
The title text referrers to the ancient four classical elements earth, water, air, fire. The lithosphere, or ground, is earth, the oceans is water, the atmosphere is air, and fire would thus be the various magma layers underneath the crust down to the center of the core. See 913: Core. The water layer on Earth is never more than 11 km deep at the Mariana Trench, and thus cannot compare to the thickness of the atmosphere or the lithosphere. Whereas there is fire all the way into the core so this layer is either 6000 km thick, or 12000 km, depending if Randall would look at the depth to the center or to the entire diameter of Earth. In either case it would always be much thicker than the roughly 100 km or the other two layers.
- [Caption above the drawing]:
- Which is thicker—the ground or the air?
- [The drawing shows a Winkel tripel projection of the Earth. The features of the main map is unlabeled, with only the outlines of the landmasses present. Various parts of the map are labeled with "Air" (four times) or "Ground (5 times)." Areas marked as "Ground" are differentiated with gray shading. These are always over large landmasses or close to them. They cover most of North America (labeled), the northern part of South America (labeled), Northern Europe and most of Asia (labeled), Japan, Most of Australia and part of sea above, Western Africa, the part of Africa beneath Equator (labeled), and finally the central parts of Antarctica (labeled). Air is written on the East coast of America, in the Atlantic Ocean, over the central part of Africa and in the Pacific Ocean east of China.]
- [Over East coast of America]: Air
- [Over North America]: Ground
- [Over Atlantic Ocean]: Air
- [Over South America]: Ground
- [Over central part of Africa]: Air
- [Over south part of Africa]: Ground
- [Over Asia]: Ground
- [Over Pacific Ocean]: Air
- [Over Antarctica ]: Ground
- [A small diagram is present in the Pacific Ocean left of South America. The diagram depicts several labeled layers of Earth and its atmosphere, listed below. Cueball, a body of water, and several mountains are shown on the flat surface part of the diagram, with the ocean floor lower than where Cueball stand. Above is a line representing the border to space. The line beneath the surface is much more curved going both up and down. Two double arrows representing the thickness of the atmosphere and the Lithosphere are drawn between the surface and the layers above and below. Another curved double arrow is pointing to each of these distances and it is marked with a question mark in the middle of the line.]
- [In the bottom right corner of the comic with gray text is a reference:]
- Based mostly on Conrad and Lithgow-Bertelloni (2006) DOI.1029/2005GL025621
add a comment! ⋅ add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ refresh comments!