Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Light And Fluffy As a Cloud

Ever Wonder How Much A Cloud Weighs?

"Let's start with a very simple white puffy cloud - a cumulus cloud. How much does the water in a cumulus cloud weigh?

"Peggy LeMone, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, did the numbers. "The water in the little cloud weighs about 550 tons," she calculates. "Or if you want to convert it to something that might be a little more meaningful … think of elephants."

"Floating Masses

"Assume an elephant weighs about six tons, she says, that would mean that water inside a typical cumulous cloud would weigh about one hundred elephants. The thought of a hundred elephants-worth of water suspended in the sky begs another question - what keeps it up there?

"First of all, the water isn't in elephant sized particles, it's in tiny tiny tiny particles," explains LeMone. And those particles float on the warmer air that's rising below. But still, the concept of so much water floating in the sky was surprising even to a meteorologist like LeMone. "I had no idea how much a cloud would weigh, actually, when I started the calculations," she says.

"Outweighing Elephant Populations

"So how many elephant units of water are inside a big storm cloud … 10 times bigger all the way around than the "puffy" cumulus cloud? Again, LeMone did the numbers: About 200,000 elephants.

"Now, ratchet up the calculations for a hurricane about the size of Missouri and the figures get really massive. "What we're doing is weighing the water in one cubic meter theoretically pulled from a cloud and then multiplying by the number of meters in a whole hurricane," she explains.

"The result? Forty million elephants. That means the water in one hurricane weighs more than all the elephants on the planet. Perhaps even more than all the elephants that have ever lived on the planet. And that is a lot of water."

Bhagavad-gita 6.46-47 -- Los Angeles, February 21, 1969:

“The sunlight is acting, evaporating the water and it is turned into ocean. Then it is overcast all over the land and there is production. And there is river flowing down. You stock your water tank high, and there are mountain heads, there is stock of water and all year the river is flowing, supply water. Don't you see how nice brain it is? Can you pour water? If you want to evaporate hundred gallons of water you have got to make so many necessary arrangements. And here, millions of tons water is taken away immediately from the ocean and sea and turned into cloud, light cloud so that it may not fall down immediately. You see? Not like a tank. And it is reserved on the head of the mountain and it is sprayed all over the land so everything is there. You require water to produce grains, vegetables. So everything is there.”


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