Take our snow! Please?

LiveScience.com considers the possibility of something that a look out the window suggests shouldn’t be too hard: What are the chances that all of earth would be covered in snow?


Is it possible that snowfall can occur across the entire Earth? If the temperatures are low enough and if there is an excess of humidity present, then it can,” said Caspar Ammann, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo. “Is it likely? No.”

What a buzzkill, Caspar.

It likely did happen more than 600 million years ago, he acknowledges.

But what if we were able to give the world some of our snow? Could we give a “white Christmas” to the rest of the world? Heck, we’ve got plenty to share, and you know you’ve asked the question “where are we going to put it?” at least once today.

Let’s do the math and make some ridiculous assumptions to figure out an answer.

At the Woodbury bureau of News Cut at the moment, there is about 24 25 26 27 inches of snow on the ground. We’ll assume that’s true for the entire state (yes, I know, it’s not. And if you’re in one of those areas, give me a call. We’ve got something for you),

There are 57 million square miles of land on earth. There are about 84,000 square miles in Minnesota. The earth, then, is made up of 678 Minnesotas. Assuming (there’s that word, again!) it takes a half inch of snow on the ground to unofficially make a “white Christmas,” we have enough to provide one for only 7 percent of the world. We’d need another 28 feet of snow to pull this off.

It’s true, of course, that parts of the world are already covered by snow, but still half the world’s population hasn’t seen a snowstorm. We’re not going to be able to provide it. Sorry, world.

Do we have enough to cover the U.S. only? There are 3.7 million square miles (44 Minnesotas). With our mythical amount of snow on the ground, we could spread it to a depth of more than an inch throughout the rest of the country.

Here’s the current snow cover in the U.S.:

nsm_depth_2010122005_National.jpg

We really only need to cover about half the country.

Let’s get started! Arizona, come get your snow!

  • GregS

    Overheard at a retirement party:

    “So what are going to do now?”

    “Well, I gonna head south until someone looks at the snow in the bed of my truck and asks, ‘what’s that?'”

    ***

    So this is what I’m thinking, instead of brushing the snow off our cars, we should all just drive south…

    It works on so many levels.

  • http://twitter.com/emipow Emily

    This made me smile.