xkcd Figures Out What Would Happen to the Earth If All of the Bodies of Water Were to Suddenly Vanish

No More Water

In the latest edition of “What If” by xkcd, Randall Munroe answers a reader who asks what would happen to the Earth if all of the bodies of water were to suddenly vanish. The simple answer is that everyone dies, but the impact is much further reaching than that — from grounded boats to planet-wide forest fires.

Huge amounts of dry, dead vegetation lead inevitably to fire, and within a few years, most of the world’s forests would have burned. Forests store huge amounts of CO2, and this burning would roughly double the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, accelerating global warming.

image via xkcd

Brian Heater
Brian Heater