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Huge Reservoir Discovered Beneath Asia

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the city-of-R'lyeh dept.

Science 273

anthemaniac writes "Seismic observations reveal a huge reservoir of water in Earth's mantle beneath Asia. It's actually rock saturated with water, but it's an ocean's worth of water ... as much as is in the whole Arctic Ocean. How did it get there? A slab of water-laden crust sank, and the water evaporated out when it was heated, and then it was trapped, the thinking goes. The discovery fits neatly with the region's heavy seismic activity and fits neatly with the idea that the planet's moving crustal plates are lubricated with water."

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So THAT's where all the water went (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190236)

... after Noah's Flood! This proves the existence of God! Suck it, James Cameron!!!12!!

Re:So THAT's where all the water went (1, Funny)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190264)

Unfortunately, in order to really prove that there was a global flood, you would need to produce the Mexicans that built the Arc. Until then, it's just a story in a book.

As to proving the existence of a god, in whatever form you want, that's an exercise best left to the reader.

Give it 20 years and it'll be as polluted as the (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190464)



Give it 20 years and it'll be as polluted as the rest of China's water supply, if it's not already !! What a filthy part of the world.

Re:Give it 20 years and it'll be as polluted as th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18191144)

Give it 20 years and it'll be as polluted as the rest of China's water supply, if it's not already !! What a filthy part of the world.
Actually, i am curious as how it would compare to the USA itself.. ! Remember China made deals (like Kyoto) to decrease its environmental footprint, the USA didn't. (in favor of its industrials)

Re:Give it 20 years and it'll be as polluted as th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18191356)

Kyoto has nothing to do with the fact that China has almost zero environmental policy. Take a closer look at the environmental situation in China. It is very sobering.

While the USA is a huge CO2 emitter, our environmental policies are otherwise top-notch.

I won't address the political problems with Kyoto and its inequities in regards to developing nations.

Re:So THAT's where all the water went (3, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190684)

These are certainly interesting times. The Arabs had "our" oil, and now it turns out the Chinese have "our" water in their mantle. Expect to see a lot of cheap knock-off water hitting the market soon.

in order to really prove that there was a global flood, you would need to produce the Mexicans that built the Arc

I thought the Ark maintenance guys had decided by Genesis 8:20 that the whole thing was made in China, and not a Noah original with Mexican hired laborers. It carried two of every shipping container, one for the male and one for the female of each species, plus piles of inexpensive cheap shirts, sweaters, pants, ties, coffee mugs, pillows, socks, cordless drills, cheap carbon-zinc batteries, and phones, all wrapped in those annoying plastic bags. You know how to spot an Ark that's a cheap Chinese knockoff? When the Ark is empty it displaces more water than a genuine Noah's Ark. Also, the termites and the woodpeckers can tell you. God made them so they just know.

As to proving the existence of a god, in whatever form you want, that's an exercise best left to the reader.

If there were no God, someone would surely manufacture a convincing knock-off of Him.

Re:So THAT's where all the water went (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190922)

We have thousands of cheap knock-off gods. Examples include L. Ron Hubbard, Sun Young Moon, Jim Jones, Ronald Reagan, W, Pat Robertson...
 

Re:So THAT's where all the water went (1)

MyEyesTheyBurn (908621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190962)

"The next century is ours!" - China

Re:So THAT's where all the water went (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191038)

If god did not exist it would be necessary for man to create him. Wasn't that Voltaire?

Re:So THAT's where all the water went (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190330)

shhhh!!! keep your voice down.. or the nutcase fanatics will hear and try to relate it to pr0n http://games.slashdot.org/games/07/02/27/218202.sh tml [slashdot.org]

Re:So THAT's where the flood water CAME FROM (5, Interesting)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190494)

Genesis 7:11-12
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.

I see your snarky comment and raise it one Interesting one.

Re:So THAT's where the flood water CAME FROM (1)

mikael (484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190602)

Sorry (4, Funny)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190690)

Sorry.. That's a string bet. This isn't the wild west. You must make your wager in one continuous play.

Re:So THAT's where the flood water CAME FROM (5, Interesting)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190782)

The vast majority of sea life is VERY sensitive to the salinity of the water they live in. The sudden addition of fresh water would dilute the salt water to about 1/7 or 1/8 and would have either directly or indirectly killed all sea-life, completely destroying the only ecosystem left.

Re:So THAT's where the flood water CAME FROM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190824)

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm pseudo-science... yummy. So a bunch of water, embedded in rock on the bottom of the earths crust is obviously fresh water.

Re:So THAT's where the flood water CAME FROM (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190966)

Do you know where our drinking water comes from? It is filtered through rock and sits in vast reservoirs (lakes) deep under ground, I have never heard of someone digging a well and coming up with salt water. And even if the underground springs were salt water, the rain certainly wasn't. So maybe the salt level is only reduced to 25% or 50% or 75%, still enough to kill most(if not all) sea-life and eliminate the only food there would have been to eat.

Re:So THAT's where the flood water CAME FROM (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18191296)

Never heard of a salt-water well? Here's one mentioned in Tibet: http://zt.tibet.cn/tibetzt-en/xzcwh/xzcwh_2_7.htm [tibet.cn] Also the word "sealt-wille" appears in Bosworth and Toller's Anglo-Saxon Dictionary: http://lexicon.ff.cuni.cz/html/oe_bosworthtoller/b 0852.html [ff.cuni.cz] Guess what "sealt-wille" means. They've been around a while.

Re:So THAT's where the flood water CAME FROM (4, Informative)

Crazyscottie (947072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191188)

Erm... Call me crazy, but I think the story says that the floods DID destroy all life - except those animals on the ark, of course. Whether or not the story of Noah and the Ark on the whole agrees with science may be arguable, but your comment suggests that you've only researched one side.

Re:So THAT's where the flood water CAME FROM (3, Insightful)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191346)

OK, that doesn't really change my point. If the ENTIRE worlds ecosystem was destroyed it would take some time to revive it (probably millions of years) if it wasn't beyond recovery. They were told to take enough food for the year on the arc, what did they eat when they stepped foot onto a completely world. it takes about 4 months for carrots to grow from seed (for example) that's a long time to go without food. When the water did "recede" there would be no fresh water anywhere anymore, plants don't grow well in salty soil and we don't do well drinking salt or "salty" water. If there were no fish left, where did the current ones come from? I don't believe Noah had any fish tanks on the ark.

Re:So THAT's where the flood water CAME FROM (5, Informative)

b0r1s (170449) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191326)

The volume in the article doesnt match your math, but you're basically correct. Most natural sea water has a specific gravity of about 1.024-1.025. You can drop it as low as 1.009 without any real damage to fish, but invertebrates die pretty quickly if you do that (great way to treat saltwater fish for parasites, the lower SG of freshwater causes osmotic shock and they die).

Re:So THAT's where the flood water CAME FROM (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18191270)

Picking and choosing Bible Quotes is a fun game.

If you follow up with Genesis 8:1-5, you'll notice that God "caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the [Flood] water subsided."

You want to explain how the >16,800 ft of water covering the world got dried up by God's wind? The version of the Bible that you quoted from is fairly explicit in saying that "the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed". Where did it all go?

Anyone can pick and choose quotes out of context.

the creationsists will say... (-1, Troll)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190248)

the flood waters had to go somewhere, didn't they?

Re:the creationsists will say... (0, Flamebait)

flynt (248848) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190486)

"Science" is easy when you've already stated your conclusion, and then you look for evidence to support it.

Common question and answer on CNN lately with the James Cameron documentary:

Question to some god fanatic: Is there any evidence that anyone could show you to convince you Jesus wasn't a god?

A: No.

There it is in a terrible little nutshell.

Re:the creationsists will say... (2, Interesting)

fredrated (639554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190500)

And they WILL use this. In a video about how the Grand Canyon was formed in the Flood, they interview a U.S.G.S. scientist and he says "During the miocene there was a huge lake in north eastern Arizona", without mentioning that the miocene ended 5 million years ago.

be like the Earth (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190260)

the planet's moving crustal plates are lubricated with water.



Be like the Earth: use water-based lubricants, kids.

Re:be like the Earth (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191178)

Too bad! We could probably figure a way to run cars on a giant reservoir of K-Y Jelly or Baby Oil.

Re:be like the Earth (2, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191208)

Wrong website, bud. They/we have no need for lubricant.

So now if the Gobi turns to quicksand... (0)

Cesium12 (1065628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190268)

we know why.

dammit! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190278)

There goes my astroglide tectonics theory! Back to the drawing board...

I get the same thing once in a while.... (5, Funny)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190284)

but a tall glass of Prune juice always gets that trapped "slab of water-laden crust" out just fine.

Re:I get the same thing once in a while.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190314)

eeeeeewwwwwwww. eating here, not a pleasant image (but funny :) )

Re:I get the same thing once in a while.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190920)

You wouldn't get that crust if you wiped better.

I'm just saying.

Mother Earth Complained of feeling bloated... (1)

Bamafan77 (565893) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190932)

And all this time we ignored her only to have her proven right by a bunch of nosey geologists.

Great. Now we'll never hear the end of it.

I wonder how those human-habitation-on-the-moon projects are going?

Re:I get the same thing once in a while.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18191056)

Please, I need a "-1, Informative" mod!

Venus (5, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190298)

The discovery fits neatly with the region's heavy seismic activity and fits neatly with the idea that the planet's moving crustal plates are lubricated with water."

This may explain why Venus, a planet of similar size, appears to have a very different resurfacing mechanism. Venus's surface appears to "explode" once roughly every half-a-billion years, and then stay mellow until the next cycle. Thus, pressure probably builds up until a giant venusquake is eminant and kabam! Water on Earth appearently provides some lubrication such that the pressure is releived relatively gradually in comparison.

Re:Venus (4, Interesting)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190366)

Water cant prevent all pressure build up.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/1999/supervol canoes.shtml [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Venus (5, Insightful)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190678)

From the linked article:
Scientists have very few answers, but they do know that the impact of a Yellowstone eruption is terrifying to comprehend. Huge areas of the USA would be destroyed, the US economy would probably collapse, and thousands might die.

Thousands . . . might? In that situation I'd say "hundreds of thousands will" is far, far more likely.

They're either hilariously overexaggerating the first part or hilariously underexaggerating the second.

Re:Venus (3, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190748)

It's hard to say, though it does seem like an incredibly lowball estimate. Still, a major disaster that hits the US doesn't seem to cause anywhere near the same level of fatalities as it does in other areas, though a heck of a lot of damage is done.

I would have thought that a Yellowstone eruption was going to wipe out a few states, and pretty much anyone in them. The ash makes helicopter operation practically imposible and hot chunks of rubble will just sear through tires, leaving not much to evacuate with, assuming that the CO2 and sulfur emissions don't choke.

Re:Venus (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190820)

Not to mention the "nuclear winter" and following crop failures. Our "global economy" lives hand to mouth. Billions would die, not thousands.

Re:Venus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190982)

Queue the post apocalyptic road warriors, stealing local stashes of seeds, and using converted marijuana indoor and underground grow rooms to fund a new black market: FOOOOD!

In all seriousness, don't worry about it. We'de just have to send in military death squads to kill/scare in to exile excess population, and then live off top roman until our first crop of indoor grown food was ready. Then we just Un-Dead all the people we killed, and we can start watching postapocalytic movies and growing food full time.

I'm so gonna be the first person to capitolize on it. I'll open a franchise called McAshy's and sell people ash burgers. I'll be rich.

It'll be totally awesome!

Great (2, Funny)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191024)

Hey, it gets my vote. Any situation where massive numbers of human deaths can be associated with the word "hilariously" twice in the same sentence, is a situation that I want to be a part of.

Re:Venus (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190882)

I wonder if there is not a way to pump water or something into Yellowstone to not only slowly remove the dangerous heat bubble, but also generate power. We could kill two birds with one yellowstone.
     

Re:Venus (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191174)

Thats a horrible pun, but a great idea.

Re:Venus (1)

icedcool (446975) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191180)

Wow.... that's terrifying.

Usefulness? (5, Interesting)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190306)

So TFA states that there is good chance of there being lots of water beneath the crust in Asia. Okay, so that's water cooler (whoops...no pun intended) material.

What would make it truly interesting (to non-seismologists) would be if that water were fresh (i.e. drinkable) and accessible (so it could be used as a drinking water supply).

- RG>

Re:Usefulness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190326)

No, "TFA" also states that the water is in the rock so some form of refinement would be needed to draw it out.

Re:Usefulness? (2, Interesting)

Edis Krad (1003934) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190352)

I'm not really sure about this. The article also mentions that the water tends to dampen seismic waves (and some sort of tectonic plate lubricant). If you were to remove it, earthquakes could become disastrous.

Re:Usefulness? (2, Funny)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190440)

So are you saying that tapping a little water from this "ocean" will cause more earth quakes. There are always earthquakes, big and small. Next you will probably say that by producing greenhouse gases we are effecting climate change........

Agricultural use (1, Flamebait)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190382)

It has already been speculated by many that if Asia (well China in particular) gets its shit together it can wipe the world as a commodity agricultural producer (just like it has as a manufacturer). Water is a huge constraint to massive agricultural output. If they have a huge amount of water available, they're all go!

Re:Usefulness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190596)

It might be drinkable but in no case accessible. haven't read this article but the one on digg said that water is 400-800 miles beneath the surface. I doubt we can make a well that deep. here is the link if u r interested: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/07 0227-ocean-asia.html [nationalgeographic.com]

Bottled water market (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191198)

Pass me a bottle of that Gobi Gob, willya?

I bet water goes down.. (0)

bergeron76 (176351) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190318)

I bet some water goes down into the Earth. I find it hard to believe that all of it gets evaporated into clouds/rain in a condensation cycle.

I bet gravity pulls a significant amount of it down into the ground(s), and into some sort of underground reservoir.

This is interesting none-the-less.

Re:I bet water goes down.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190368)

Uh, yea, it's called groundwater. No shit sherlock.

Groundwater can't just drain down to the center of the earth though - it stays high in the crust (mostly) because of heat and pressure. This is what makes this particular situation unique.

So yea.. don't be retarded.

+3 Interesting??? WTF?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190608)

How in the hell did this get modded +3 Interesting?
Should be more like -5 "God I feel dumber for reading this"

holding up earth "joke" is now a scientific theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190344)

It really *is* turtles all the way down.

Re:holding up earth "joke" is now a scientific the (1)

Keiseth (1064792) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190548)

I'm not sold until we find four giant elephants to go along with it.

Re:holding up earth "joke" is now a scientific the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190746)

Very clever Mr Russell but it's turtles all the way down!

Water based lubricants versus oil based lubricants (4, Funny)

andy314159pi (787550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190354)

planet's moving crustal plates are lubricated with water.
The planet's crusts used to lubricate with oil based lubricants until it got the memo to switch to water based lubricants.

Re:Water based lubricants versus oil based lubrica (1)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190722)

>>The planet's crusts used to lubricate with oil based lubricants until it got the memo to switch to water based lubricants.

Hmmm -- Interesting. I wonder if removing all the oil in the ground is leading to more and more violent earth quakes, versus many less violent ones?

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190758)

Especially if you're too stupid to realize it's a JOKE and lacks seriousness.

Re:Water based lubricants versus oil based lubrica (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191012)

The planet's crusts used to lubricate with oil based lubricants until it got the memo to switch to water based lubricants.

      What's even funnier than your joke is that it's rated Interesting instead of Funny and elicited some speculation on switching to water based lubricants. Holy cow :)

      After reading the article (such as it is), it seems like awfully fuzzy science. They estimate that .1% of waterlogged ocean bottom is made up of water, and if .1% of the bottom of Asia (?) evaporated out, then you would have an Arctic ocean worth of water.

      What, it seeped together from all over the mantle below Asia into a structural breach of some kind and condensed back into water? At that depth and pressure?

      From readings of earthquake seismic attenuation they're basing this on, could you really tell if it's oil versus water (if either) doing the attenuation? I doubt it. And for that matter, does the so called waterlogged crust at .1% water density attenuate seismic activity significantly differently than dried out rock with a water bed over it (which once evaporated out, does not reenter the rock which apparently had the capacity to be entered before?).

      What kind of science is this? It looks like it reads for fifth graders. I remember we had some kind of similar "ain't science just fascinating" type light reading material in grade school. Must come on a web page now. Probably patented because it's on a web page. Still the same light weight fluff though.

  rd

Re:Water based lubricants versus oil based lubrica (1)

StellarFury (1058280) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191238)

More like the planet's crust switched to water-based lubricants after its amino-acid condoms started developing holes and some primordial soup leaked to the surface.

Elongated Well (1)

Haxx (314221) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190438)


  Whats to stop the America's from drilling through the planet to tap the water, or Europeans from slant drilling?

Re:Elongated Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190926)

Whats to stop the America's from drilling through the planet to tap the water, or Europeans from slant drilling?

[American engineer]"We need four thousand miles of pipe -- resilient enough for the pressure and heat in the depths of the planet -- and QUICK! Before the French get to the water!"

[European engineer]"We need thousands of kilometers of pipe -- resilient enough for the pressure and heat in the depths of the planet -- and QUICK! Before the Americans get to the water!"

*pipes collide*

Please >_>

It's not fair! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190454)

First they got all the tea in China and now they got all the water too?
It's not fair!

China... (1)

Berserker76 (555385) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190508)

...how soon until they try to find a way to extract this water/lubricant to provide the much needed drinking water for their bloated population. What could possibly go wrong??

My guess is extraction will commence on December 21st, 2012.

Re:China... (1)

Radon360 (951529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190652)

One could only speculate. Would it be out of line to think that if enough water were extracted, China would start falling into one gigantic sinkhole? I guess one would have to know more about the geology in the area first.

Hopefully, this might put an end to the silly idea that occasionally rears its head about sending supertankers into the Great Lakes to take on lake water to ship back to Asia. I never saw how something like this would be economically feasible.

Re:China... (4, Informative)

Timbotronic (717458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191064)

There's not a snowball's chance in hell they'll extract it. It's over 1000 kilometers down. To put that in perspective I think the deepest well ever drilled (Oil well in the North Sea IIRC) was 20kms deep - 2% of the distance. The depth for most oil and gas wells is between 3 and 5 kms and just getting that far takes some serious engineering and costs a fortune.

Unsurprisingly, there's not a lot of research into drilling wells deeper than that "oil and gas window". It's a pity though, the amount of heat energy in that water would be staggering.

Probably (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190554)

Vodka piss. (Because Russians drink tons of vodka, which gets excreted.)

I have no real source, just a musing (1)

caywen (942955) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190558)

I'm just purely musing on this and have absolutely no scientific basis to even seriously wonder... but I can't help but wonder if this has anything to do with the Moon. If it was violently ripped from Earth via a collision with another body, would that leave some kind of geographic feature like this?

Re:I have no real source, just a musing (2, Interesting)

karmic_penguin (845053) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190632)

No, couldn't still be down there from the moon-forming impact (we're talking ~4.5 *billion* years ago). It would have made the entire surface of the earth molten and evaporated any water that was already there. If you read the article it explains that this was probably produced by compaction and heating of an H2O-rich oceanic plate after it was subducted under the continental plate. Seems like a plausible explanation, no?

Re:I have no real source, just a musing (1)

caywen (942955) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191090)

Yep, I didn't RTFA, I'm just fascinated with the origins of the moon and that was a kneejerk post.

Combine that with the recent minerals (1, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190584)

China recently found HUGE amounts of minerals in tibet. The thinking is that the recent train is not about passengers, but about delivery of ore (copper, iron, etc). So now, they have water and loads of raw materials. The one mistake that they have going is that they are trying to use the most expensive energy ; oil and coal. It is cheap to obtain, but will only contribute to their growing ecology problems. If they decide to move to alternative and nukes, they will control the next 100 years. Scarey for those that like democracies.

Re:Combine that with the recent minerals (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190772)

Obviously you didn't RTFA. There's really no way to access this water.

Re:Combine that with the recent minerals (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190902)

I think Jules Verne is right and was right when he wrote his novel.
Now all that remains is, travel to iceland, find the damned volcano and see if "Arne Sakknussen"'s name is scratched near the Central Sea.

Why? (0)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191388)

60 years ago, the idea of going to space was unobtainable, let alone crawling on the moon.
 
  The simple answer is that it is possible. The hard answer is, is it economically feasible. In particular, China may have no choice but to either consider how to go after it or go after desalination of ocean water combined with transportation from their east coast into their interior. They are facing a very real possibility of having their entire central to west be out of water. I doubt that they can afford to give up ground that easily.
 
  But the idea of saying that it is unobtainable is silly.

Re:Combine that with the recent minerals (5, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190948)

If the only thing you need to kick ass was mineral wealth, Japan should have just thrown themselves upon a sword and given up from day 1. Japan has absolutely no mineral wealth, nor does Hong Kong. Taiwan is pretty sparse in mineral wealth as well. Plenty of African nations are up to their necks in valuable things you can dig out of the ground.

Mineral wealth is nice, but it is hardly a deal maker. China has some serious, crippling problems that is going to keep it from being the magical fairy tail land that people hope for. The demographic imbalances of China in the male to female ratio are horrifying and an invitation to civil strife. China's bureaucracy is corrupt and crippling to industry. China is very lucky it has 1.2 billion people running around it, because unlike the US, China's xenophobia does a handy job preventing it from doing a world wide brain drain as the US is so notorious for. China's government has its hands so far up the ass of its own economy that one incompetent move on the government could spell disaster for the entire nation's economy. We saw and example of this yesterday when the Chinese stock market dumped 10% of its value on a rumor that the government was about to do something dumb.

China has some very sever problems. True, China is a big growth engine right now, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that China was so desperately poor in the past. The Chinese government has done some things right in opening up their markets. They have also managed to keep law and order (which set them well ahead of most of Africa) which counts for a lot. That said, China has some very sever organizational problems with their government. Unless China commits to a real restructuring of their government, I really don't fear all that much for the US position of #1 in the world economy.

Re:Combine that with the recent minerals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18191224)

I wander which country / region will eventually supercede the US in power ... maybe India or Brazil or Antartica or something. I guess no one country ever stays in power forever.

Re:Combine that with the recent minerals (4, Interesting)

Shihar (153932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191376)

Well, the US is pretty damn big and has a large population. In terms of raw power, the US is pretty damn hard to top. That said, there are some Eastern European nations like Estonia who are really toying around with some truly alternative forms of government. While I doubt Estonia is ever going to drop the US to its knees, it could very well wield the power of a nation like Japan... which is not bad for a little Eastern European country that is smaller then most US states.

The big countries that have the mass to match the US pound for pound really just don't have their shit together. Western European nations are in the process of shedding off more population then they can afford to dump due to low population growth and low immigration. Europe is going into a death phase and their social system is not changing to keep up with the shifting demographics. The leaders of EU see the problem and are trying to get their shit together, but the people of Europe really want nothing to do with it. Sadly, due to the EU's current structure it only takes one nation to throw the wrench into the gears of reform. I am deeply skeptical that the EU is going to pull itself together and deal with the challenges facing it.

China, India, and Russia while certainly having the man power to be rivals to the US, but really are too shackled with government control, bureaucracy, and corruption to ever hope to match the US in the next few decades. They are just too big and massive to change direction. Nothing short of a political revolution can fix these nations.

The Middle East is FAR too socially dysfunctional to even dream of matching the US. They will be lucky to make it through the next decade or two without suffering the collapse of multiple governments and a genocide or three.

Africa, while mostly screwed up, does have some bright spots of hope. They are very much behind the rest of the world, but so was Korea, Taiwan, and Japan for much of history. That said, they really have the deck stacked against them, and most of Africa is such a mess that they stand little chance of getting a toe hold in the world economy.

The only nation that can take down the US is the US. The US could very well find itself in a death cycle with unadaptive social programs like Western Europe under the right conditions. Some might argue that the US is inching its way in that direction, but at the pace it is going, it is going to be a long time before the US gets there.

Re:Combine that with the recent minerals (1)

Dr_Banzai (111657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191082)

China's growth is being fueled by cheap fossil fuels. For that matter, the entire world's growth is also fueled by cheap fossil fuels. Alternative sources of energy can provide only a minute fraction of the energy of oil, gas and coal, but at many times the cost. I don't think China cares about indirect costs like pollution, as long as they're on time with their next shipment of 3 million widgets for wal-mart.

Our dependence on fossil fuels will have dire consequences once they start running out, which could be sooner than we think (3-5 years before major increases in the price of oil).

Illuminati (2, Funny)

Llarian (158700) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190628)

Its the sea of Valusia, of course...

maybe... (0, Offtopic)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190644)

Oh, so that's where bin Laden is hiding?

Maybe it's (1)

Raidedguy (1030950) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190670)

Atlantis!! Just think, it sank beneath the ocean, and then under the crust! There's probably people down there right now protected by a force field! :-P Honestly guys, it's so obvious.

Re:Maybe it's (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190930)

IANA Geologist, but I always found mudslide type stories on the news quite fascinating; you know, the videos showing entire sections of land just dropping straight down. Is it possible some of this evaporation is in part responsible for these slump landslides [about.com] ?

It's funny you mention Atlantis. I saw a PBS special just last nite, and several archaeologists were using Plato's story of Atlantis as their guide (since it was told in great detail by him). Currently, the best guess is if Atlantis truly existed, it was located somewhere along the western coastal sections of South America (near Chile and Peru along the Andes mountain range). I found one such article [agu.org] related to this one, and it states seismic waves sent to the "[...] transition zone beneath the Andes could be either saturated with water or dry as a desert". I think it's the first guess. I got my shovel and plane ticket ready.

difference between oil & water on seismograms? (2, Interesting)

nido (102070) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190680)

The discovery fits neatly ... with the idea that the planet's moving crustal plates are lubricated with water."

I'm a fan of the Abiogenic theory of oil [wikipedia.org] . This theory holds that crude oil does NOT come from 'dinosaurs' and swamps, but from some other source in the Earth system. IANACG (crackpot geologist), but I think crude oil is just a part of the earth's carbon cycle. Carbon gets sequestered in the ocean (coral/etc), said carbon gets submerged into the mantle, and millions/billions of years later gets transformed into oil, through one mechanism or another. See the 'proposed mechanism' section of above-linked page for details.

Could this story's 'water' patch also be a patch of oil? Oil would lubricate the crust much better than water, I think.

In light of this overview, hydrocarbon economies are bad not because of Carbon Dioxide, but because we're draining our planet of its lubrication. This is probably a Bad Thing - I expect some major seismic activity in the next 50-1000 years.

Re:difference between oil & water on seismogra (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190804)

Since we know that our hydrocarbon economy is bad because of Carbon Dioxide, does that then disprove the abiogenic oil theory?

Also coral can't be a mechanism in the abiogenic theory for sequestering carbon in the ocean because that coral is biological and hence any theory using it would be biogenic.

Re:difference between oil & water on seismogra (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190862)

the biggest thing in favor of aboitic oil generation is that the likelyhood of useful energy containing material being allowed to sink that far into the earth is juist silly, something would have found a way to eat it on it's way down.

the energy coming from the heat of the planet is more reasonable, though it doesn't give us an out on conserving oil, since even with abiotic production there is no way to know how much to expect to be produced at a given time.

Re:difference between oil & water on seismogra (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190996)

"IANACG (crackpot geologist), but I think crude oil is just a part of the earth's carbon cycle."

This comment isn't aimed directly at you; but...

1) No crackpot geologist ever thinks that he is "one of those crackpot geologists".
2) Even crackpot theories tend to have at least a few adherents, and they tend to be very vocal and argumentative. It can make it seem at first glance as if the theory has wider support than is actually true.

Re:difference between oil & water on seismogra (1)

nido (102070) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191066)

All truly revolutionary ideas start as 'crackpot' theories. After years & decades of lonesome, dedicated research, some of these theories become widely accepted. ... Wouldn't have replied, but I have a '93 Escort Wagon too. Be sure to change your timing belt at the regularly scheduled intervals for more reliable transportation. Manual or Automatic? :)

Re:difference between oil & water on seismogra (1)

shess (31691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191286)

I'm a fan of the Abiogenic theory of oil. ... I think crude oil is just a part of the earth's carbon cycle.

Does it matter? Under one set of theories, we have to bury a bunch of biomass, wait a couple hundred million years, and we have more oil. Under the other theory, the oil is a natural part of planetary development, so we have to wait ... a couple billion years? It's a little like arguing about the cosmic microwave background radiation, it's an interesting argument, but not terribly practical.

or'yleh? (1)

darkhitman (939662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190698)

For the sake of correctness, it's "R'yleh", not "R'lyeh." Granted, it doesn't make a difference -- because Lovecraftian names are just random letters pulled out of a hat.

Anyway, enjoy the last few days of freedom, fellow mortals -- I imagine Cthulhu will soon be making his appearance. Just in time for the 2008 Elections [cafepress.com] , too.

Cthulhu Fthagn! (1)

merikari (205531) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191342)

For the sake of correctness, it's "R'yleh", not "R'lyeh."

Umm, say what now again? Everyne of our cultists knows it's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R'lyeh [wikipedia.org] you insensitive...

Just found that out on the Internet. They are just random ketters. There is no "Katoloo". Move along. Please?

Center of the Earth (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190846)

Okay, Jules Verne is now officially creeping me out again.

Artic Ocean used as a size comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190858)

Just FYI according to wikipedia the Artic Ocean is 1.5 times the size of the United States.

Washington University, not Washington State U (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18190870)

Minor correction to the article: Washington University [wustl.edu] is in St. Louis, Missouri. Washington State University [wsu.edu] is in Pullman, Washington.

since it wasn't mentioned (1)

hdd (772289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190872)

should we just assume it's not freash water?

huge reservoir discovered beneath asia (1)

zen-theorist (930637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18190946)

did anyone else read the subject and infer - oil reservoir, axis of evil, lets-get-rich, WMD, and so on and so forth? SOB W, he's got me all worked up.

Pool of water? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191116)

Too bad its not oil. We'd have the government rushing to develop a Journey-to-the-Center-of-the-Earth type project to investigate.

Power generation? (1)

rasqual (725451) | more than 7 years ago | (#18191330)

Geez, if it's heated and under pressure, this could make the geothermal stuff in iceland (greenland? I can never tell 'em apart) look like child's play. Nuclear reactors are used to heat water to drive steam turbines. Um . . . an ocean of water that deep, that hot? Who needs nuclear energy.

So China won't need the middle eastern oil, we in the U.S. can have it all, Chavez can suck it up, and the Arabs can get nervous.

What a world.
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