> Ocean salt primarily comes from rocks on land
Not many articles do that, but it only made reading the rest of the article more appealing to me, not less.
1. Clickbait headline that tells you nothing. (Unfortunately this article retains that flaw)
2. Introduction by the author of --- the author! He had been thinking about this topic for a long time. He had this conversation with his colleagues about it (reproduced here). Then his editor finally challenged him to have a go at it. So here it is!
3. Encyclopedic history of the topic (question still unanswered).
4. Compendium of assorted controversy and minority opinion (majority opinion still left to be stated).
5. The information.
6. Return to the author, his life, what he's doing afterwards, what he has eaten for breakfast, his favorite color, etc.
7. Request for comments, subscribe, like, share, etc.
It's how traditional straight news articles have historically been written in large part for practical reasons. Those reasons were particularly evident for wire service copy where the newspaper using the copy could pretty much cut off the article at any arbitrary point to fit it into whatever hole they had in their layout.
For feature articles and many magazine articles, there's no hard and fast journalism rule to use inverted pyramid and never has been.
You may prefer that everything be written with inverted pyramid and that is certainly your right--and there are often good reasons--but it's not the "right" way to do things.
You really think there is no benefit to the reader?
I agree that the Inverted Pyramid is the mainstay of news and would be unfit for a novel and even some long features like you find in New Yorker magazine.
But the problem isn't that there are too many articles written in the Inverse Pyramid that should have been written some other way. The problem is that too many articles that should have been written in the Inverted Pyramid aren't. If you have problems with making judgments and using the word "should," I'm talking about writing in the practical interests of the reader. If the reader comes to the article for information, then the article should get to the point as soon as possible. If the reader comes for entertainment (like a novel) then the writing can follow some other path.
To say that the reason for the Inverted Pyramid was mainly so that syndicates could cut the article at any point to fit the space they had is to ignore all the benefits to the reader. The reader is presented with a large newspaper of various articles, and he is trying to decide which ones to read and which to skip, because he doesn't have time to read a whole newspaper from start to finish every day. Some stories, he just wants the gist, which is why even the headlines are supposed to present the whole story, obviously in outline. A hurried reader can browse just the headlines and know the overall news of the day. A less-hurried reader can read the first paragraph of some of the more interesting stories. And so on.
Even though we don't have paper newspapers as much, we still have readers with short attentions spans. In fact, more so.
It's clear why rivers and lakes that eventually empty into the ocean are fresh. Rainwater washes the salt downstream to its ultimate destination.
But many lakes do not have an outlet that leads to the sea. Water flows in and evaporates. Where does the salt go in that case?
Or is it possible that the article doesn't tell the full story, and that salty rocks are confined to a limited number of areas?
But more generally yes, timescale.
I've always wondered. Were the rocks really there for 4.7 billion years, or did God create the rocks in such a way to trick scientists into believing they've been there for 4.7 billion years?
If God really made it so that it's impossible to tell that they are not 4.7 billion years old, then it is simply impossible to tell so, hence there can be no answer.
And there does not need to be an answer, because if there really is no way to tell that they are not 4.7 billion years old, then by definition there cannot be any situation where it would make a difference. So, it's perfectly valid to just state that they are 4.7 billion years old.
I am in fact atheist, this is the viewpoint that I have from the discussion whether maybe our entire universe is just a computer simulation ran by some alien race or such.
If we talk about it with the religious tangent, there's of course further questions: Some people interpret the Bible to contain an age of the universe. So, is that interpretation of the Bible wrong or not? And if it's not, why would God want to trick us with those rocks? Did he create the universe some few thousand years ago, but thought it'd be a more interesting world, if there was some backstory to it? So, does he want us to explore this backstory? Or is it a test of your faith in the Bible? ...which to my knowledge really doesn't state a concrete date for creation, so at least to me that'd be strange.
It sticks around. The terminal lakes which aren't salty are generally ones which only formed recently (e.g., after the most recent glaciation) or ones which are not fed by rivers (e.g., Oregon's Crater Lake).
One is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mono_Lake , which did not begin with ocean water.
Another one is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Juan_Pond , which is a shallow Antarctic hypersaline lake that almost never freezes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Manitou_Lake_(Saskatche... is a terminal lake which formed after the Ice Age.
I'll also add a non-endorheic salt lake, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Salt_Plains_State_Park , made salty from the dried salts from an ancient inland sea. (I think it's the Western Interior Seaway, but I could be wrong.) In any case, it began with ocean water, which dried up, and that salt is dissolving again.
It turns out that they are salty. They are often not as salty as the ocean though because oceans have been getting saltier for millions of years.
On top of that, some lakes do get salty. Such as the 'salt lake' near Salt Lake City.
Plus, as another commenter says, it takes time and lakes are typically transient structures on a geological timescale.
Because they normally fill up whatever basin they're in and pour over some edge.
That's a lot of salt, though: "if the salt in the ocean could be removed and spread evenly over the Earth’s land surface it would form a layer more than 500 feet thick."
If 3.5% of the water is salt and that would create 500 feet of salt if staked on land, then the remaining 96.5% would make 13785.7 feet of water assuming salt and water has the same density.
So it could be greater than you’ve estimated.
The presence of water bodies itself is what defines the current borders of "the land". If you take the water out, aren't you just creating more land surface?
Which you then have to cover with the water you're taking out. Until it all evens out.
Simple writing isn't easy. It doesn't just flow out. Garbage flows out. Well-chosen words in just the right order lie in the tenth rewrite, by the person who has studied writing for ten years.
It turns out that in addition to the "standard" explanation that the oceans' salt comes from rain dissolving rocks on land, another quite important contributing factor is the activity of hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. As I understand it, the high temperature of the water emerging there helps it to carry very large amounts of dissolved minerals from deep in the crust back into the sea (and that our models of ocean salinity wouldn't work without this contribution).
Yet still, if dominating salt were Lithium or Potassium, we'd still probably happen to evolve, yet with slightly different cellular features.
> In C4 plants, sodium is a micronutrient that aids in metabolism, specifically in regeneration of phosphoenolpyruvate (...) and synthesis of chlorophyll. In others, it substitutes for potassium in several roles, such as maintaining turgor pressure and aiding in the opening and closing of stomata. [Note: most plants are C3] [...]
> Since only some plants need sodium and those in small quantities, a completely plant-based diet will generally be very low in sodium. This requires some herbivores to obtain their sodium from salt licks and other mineral sources.
It is Kalium here too, but I did heard Potash before when referring to a mineral or fertiliser.
Possibly when the tectonic processes stop on Earth, the oceans will continue to get salty from weathering of rocks. And you won't have much addition of water from volcanism, only a little bit from space. But life gets generally hard without active tectonics anyway.
The current (meaning billion+ years) homeostasis goes like this: https://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/oceanography/physical...
It would almost certainly be molten at the surface with no water no matter the distance from the star due to radioactive decay.
> Majipoor is a planet much larger, though far less dense, than the Earth. It has been settled by humans, Ghayrogs, Skandars, Vroons, Liimen, Hjorts and other alien races for many thousands of years. These races live in an unstable truce with the shape-changing aboriginal inhabitants of the planet, the Piurivar.
I don't remember the size but TVTropes says it's "ten times the size of Earth". http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/MajipoorSer...
Or maybe not, and there actually is every imaginable wonder out there, including a planet where mattresses naturally occur, but my money would be on earth being pretty much as amazing as it gets.
If there is one thing we have learned through the history of science, it's to be careful about statements like "X contains nothing".
Also, the Earth is slowly losing its atmosphere, and with it -presumably- some water.
Of course, there's still a lot of water in rocks, so it's possible that the oceans could gain water and thus less salty.
But my guess is it's getting saltier.
> "Salt ions themselves aren't added or removed from the ocean, but water molecules are freely gained or lost through the processes of evaporation and precipitation, or freezing and melting of ice," said Ruth Curry, a senior research specialist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
"Salt ions aren't added". That doesn't seem right...
And I think they are trying to not get into all the complexities (yes, Na+ and Cl- ions are added/removed in some natural processes, but many times less readily than water). One could easily point tectonic processes and salt loss via evaporite layer deposition, but you don't lose a lot by not going into the weeds.
Earth loses few kilograms of hydrogen and tens of grams helium per second to space.
Earth's magnetic field protects it from solar winds so Earth is not losing significant amount of any heavier atoms or molecules.
Needless to say [almost] every land plant and creature on Earth would die in such an event. I just wonder (out of pure bizarre curiosity) what would happen if the salt in the ocean could be removed and put somewhere in the outer space - what part of the ocean life would survive and how much impact would it have on the land life.
Sounds like oceans would be significantly lower, for one!
So even though much of the planet is covered with sea water very few mammals have developed the ability to use sea water for hydration. I just find that surprising.
The thing is that we need a fairly careful balance between salt and fluid in our bodies, too much salt and our nervous system gets upset.
True, but we ingest all sorts of substances in amounts that we don't need. The rest is usually excreted unless having a store of it is useful (like with fat).
Apparently there was not enough evolutionary pressure and that is what I find very surprising.
There is this bit:
"The kidneys are long and flattened. The salt concentration in cetacean blood is lower than that in seawater, requiring kidneys to excrete salt. This allows the animals to drink seawater."
So for those animals that returned to the sea from the land that pressure was there and they seem to have adapted in that sense.
Humans - and most other mammals - being land dwellers we always had access to rivers and rainfall both of which are fresh.