Does the earth's weight change?

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Thread: Does the earth's weight change?

  1. #1

    Question Does the earth's weight change?

    Warning: This may or may not be a really stupid question.

    Does the weight of the earh change? Has the population increase over the history of man and before caused the earth to get "heavier"? Or does it balance itself out by the amount of food we eat? What about construction? We build all these huge buildings which obviously we consume natural resources to make them, but does that really matter?

    Just something thats been on my weird mind as of late and I thought I would offer it up for comment.

  2. #2
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    Just because there is more people doesn't equate to weight change. The same molecules were already here. Something isn't made from nothing, in other words. It's curious because as I think of it, gravitational effects on the earth change. If you take a bowling ball and move it around the earth, you will notices slight differences in the gravitational pull on the object. So the "weight" of the earth should be constantly shifting. Then you could get into the argument off mass vs. weight vs. gravity vs. acceleration etc. Short answer, yes? The earths mass is constantly being redistributed effecting weight, depending on how it's measured. What does happen for sure though; is space debris is constantly hitting earth and that adds to weight.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    The old girl gains weight as well. The amount of space dust and other materials that drop into the atmosphere and are added to the planetary mass amounts to several (hundreds? thousands?) tons per year, IIRC.

    My guess is that it would only be significant, in comparison to the total planetary mass, if measured over hundreds or thousands of years.

  4. #4
    Disgruntled Postal Worker fourdc's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
    Vermont, USA
    By the same token...

    If I burn or consume combustibles, such as wood and oil, I have a small amount of residue and smoke. Do the byproducts add up to the whole? (I don't know myself, I'm just offering the thought)

    I got into one of these discussions about HEAT , it's never lost, its just transferred somewhere else. When you refrigerate you don't cool anything , you remove the heat from it

    "Somehow saying I told you so just doesn't cover it" Will Smith in I, Robot

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    matter can't be destroyed ...if you smoke a joint and collect all the smoke and ash and everything that burned up you'll have the same mass. Also if you build something matter doesnt dissapear it just goes into another form.

    Just because there is more people doesn't equate to weight change. The same molecules were already here.
    I think people do matter, first you were a sperm so you didnt do much to the weight but later you becoma a baby and a man and then old and die. So the molecules weren't there, at least not that many in the start as in the end. So the wight does change but not in such large numbers. If a man is born the earth wights more. When somebody dies it doesnt matter because matter can't be destroyed even if you burn the man it doesnt matter. Hope i make sense to someone. And also if you think it looses weight because the smoke goes into the atmospehere and it is not on Earth anymore you are wrong because they form clouds and then it's raining, even chemicals come down because there is Acid Rain.

    When you refrigerate you don't cool anything , you remove the heat from it
    Ok let's say you remove all the heat from the let's say some "meat" and the temperature is 0 Celcius, but the refrigirator aint gonna stop cooling it just because there aint heat anymore.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    MemorY: I beg to differ on both of your "that's not true"-statements...

    People being born does not matter to the weight of the earth (although the term "weight" should not be used in this discussion, imo... "mass" would be better"... the weight of the earth depends on the circumstances it's in (literally). Every second, the weight of the earth changes, simply because of the surrounding environment. Compare it to going to the moon: your weight will change (you'll weigh less), but your mass won't...).
    People growing up get their energy from the earth's resources. You eat something (taking away from the weight of the earth itself, but making up for it by putting it in your tummy), you digest it (taking away some of the stuff in your tummy, making up for it by putting it in your muscles/whatever - the rest of the stuff, well, we all know what happens to that). The weight of the earth never changes.

    Fourdc is right when he says that cooling something is taking away from its heat:
    Everything on this earth is energy, for everything is build from molecules. Molecules move, therefore they are "in heat"...heh. Try using the Kelvin scale in stead of Celsius/Fahrenheit:
    the absolute zero in Kelvin is -273 Celsius. The absolute zero is the point where all molecules stop moving. Cooling something is simply reducing the speed of the molecules, or taking away the heat from it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Hrm, good points there. I love it when i'm wrong because i learn something .

  8. #8
    Elite Hacker
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    Mar 2003
    In physics we learn all this conservation of this and conservation of that. This has lead me to believe that everything on earth is conserved and that the weight is also conserved.

  9. #9
    Macht Nicht Aus moxnix's Avatar
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    May 2002
    Huson Mt.
    The only mass the earth loses is what little we send into space, that goes beond earth orbit. We gain much more from the constant bombardment of metorites impacting the earth.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Memphis, TN
    Heres a thought: Since your weightless when you go into space, would this mean that the earth doesnt' actually weigh anything? I mean theres nothing holding it. I t just sits in space held in place by the gravity of the plancets.

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