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Is the Earth putting on weight....?

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ColinM
601469.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:24 pm Reply with quote

On which note:
OUP's Edpress News wrote:
It's is not, it isn't ain't, and it's it's, not its, if you mean it is. If you don't, it's its. Then too, it's hers. It isn't her's. It isn't our's either. It's ours, and likewise yours and theirs.

 
Susannah Dingley
601471.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:40 pm Reply with quote

ColinM wrote:
On which note:
OUP's Edpress News wrote:
Then too, it's hers. It isn't her's. It isn't our's either. It's ours, and likewise yours and theirs.

Thats the point Im trying to make to Moosh about nouns and pronouns.

 
bobwilson
601480.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:47 pm Reply with quote

Ah good idea. When a difficult to answer question is raised (such as whether the Earth is gaining mass due to the impact of sunlight) just change the subject to a discussion of apostrophes.

 
Davini994
601499.  Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:37 pm Reply with quote

Me wrote:
As was my first point, that the mass difference of a complex chemical structure to it's components is an extremely small amount. That's the important point to grasp with the question.

This was a typo which I've now corrected, just for you Susannah. We might have a case of Muphry's Law with this though:

Susannah Dingley wrote:
Because you only use an apostrophe with a noun. It is not a noun; it is a pronoun.

Wiki wrote:
Possessive pronouns and adjectives

No apostrophe is used in the following possessive pronouns and adjectives: yours, his, hers, ours, its, theirs, and whose.

All other possessive pronouns ending in s do take an apostrophe: one's; everyone's; somebody's, nobody else's, etc. With plural forms, the apostrophe follows the s, as with nouns: the others' husbands (but compare They all looked at each other's husbands, in which both each and other are singular).

(my bold).

Hopefully there will shortly be someone with authority (either Canadian, Polish or even both), along to confirm...

International Write Like a Moron Day

 
Posital
601508.  Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:56 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
Ah good idea. When a difficult to answer question is raised (such as whether the Earth is gaining mass due to the impact of sunlight) just change the subject to a discussion of apostrophes.
Yey - I'm with you - Kitten pictures are better...

 
Susannah Dingley
601530.  Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:19 am Reply with quote

Davini994 wrote:
Me wrote:
As was my first point, that the mass difference of a complex chemical structure to it's components is an extremely small amount. That's the important point to grasp with the question.

This was a typo which I've now corrected, just for you Susannah.

Thanks!

 
ColinM
601551.  Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:04 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
Ah good idea. When a difficult to answer question is raised (such as whether the Earth is gaining mass due to the impact of sunlight) just change the subject to a discussion of apostrophes.

Haven't we already pretty much covered that question? Sunlight will have added a tiny amount of mass to the Earth which will have been swamped by various other effects. Not a very conclusive answer perhaps, but I doubt we'll get better.

Oh, and I've thought of another rather obvious factor: Over the last sixty-odd years a group of apes have been chucking stuff off the Earth, usually into orbit.

 
gruff5
601577.  Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:53 am Reply with quote

....and brought hundreds of kilograms of stuff back from the Moon.

Radioactive decay in the earth and then the radiation of that lost mass away from the Earth as heat needs to be figured in as well.

I think the addition of micrometeorites (dust) to the Earth every day is in the order of thousands of tonnes - so, I guess that will swamp all of these other considerations.

Next question, please.

 
suze
601629.  Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:43 am Reply with quote

Davini994 wrote:
Hopefully there will shortly be someone with authority (either Canadian, Polish or even both), along to confirm...


And British as well, these days!

Susannah is ultimately quite right of course, and she's by no means the only person who gets upset when its and it's are used incorrectly. An awful lot of people do get them wrong though; indeed some studies which have been done suggest that it's gotten wrong more often than right.

What's more, I know that I stick the unwanted apostrophe in once in a while, as does just about everyone (I won't name names here, but I've spotted it on these forums from a number of users from whom one mightn't expect it). Personally, I've never really seen the point of calling people on such things though. First of all it's a little undignified, and secondly, I just know that if I call you on some feature of grammar, then I'll make exactly the same mistake in my very next post.

Given that so many people do it, perhaps the use of it's to mean "pertaining to it" will ultimately come to be regarded as correct - and maybe even the use of an apostrophe before the -s to mark the plural. I dare say that some here are horrified by that thought, but they needn't worry too much - it won't be in any of our lifetimes.

One's (pertaining to one) is sort of an exception - it "ought" to be ones by analogy with his, yours, and so on. But it isn't.

 
Eric the Underwriter
602137.  Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:25 pm Reply with quote

Yes. Way to many fat b*stards.

 
bobwilson
602487.  Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:24 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
What's more, I know that I stick the unwanted apostrophe in once in a while


Quote:
some studies which have been done suggest that it's gotten wrong more often than right


and far too many "gotten's" imho.

Quote:
Sunlight will have added a tiny amount of mass to the Earth which will have been swamped by various other effects.


The question was "does sunlight add mass to the Earth" - whether other effects make this negligible is irrelevant.

So, does sunlight add mass to the Earth?

 
Posital
602517.  Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:28 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
and far too many "gotten's" imho.

"gotten"s, şurely. :-P

But yes, I counted the number of "gotten"s, and there were far too many.

For those without a browser, the initial question was:
Quote:
As I understand it (which is hardly at all) sunlight is the transfer of energy from the burning sun to the Earth. Various biological mechanisms on Earth synthesise that energy in order to increase their mass. Does this mean that the overall body of matter of which the Earth is composed constantly increases, and if so, by how much? How much more mass does the Earth have now than it had, say, a million years ago?

 
gruff5
602737.  Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:46 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
The question was "does sunlight add mass to the Earth" - whether other effects make this negligible is irrelevant.

So, does sunlight add mass to the Earth?

Well done. A perfectly interesting scientific question was diverted into the tedium of a grammer discusssion :-(

Well, I would say that sunlight does add mass, along the E=mc^2 lines, and this energy/mass is found in the photosynthetically re-arranged organic molecules (essentially CO2 + H2O -> cellulose/starch etc).

Since the organic matter of the Earth is theoretically* in equilibrium, coming together and being broken down again, this temporarily sequestered energy will find its way back out and be radiated away out into outer space as heat (infra-red radiation). So, overall, the mass of the Earth is not being gradually increased over time by this effect.

Howzat?

*keeping things simple and ignoring changes to the gross organic matter balance over time; such as the actions of industrialised mankind or the laying down of petroleum etc.

 
travelingdr
607966.  Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:22 am Reply with quote

The explanation offered sounds very scientific and well thought out...except that it is pretty much incorrect on all the technical points.

Sunlight comes to the Earth in the form of radiation/light ways. These light waves are used to excite electrons THAT ALREADY EXIST in a plant or other photosynthetic organisms. The resulting high energy electrons are then able to transfer that energy to biological molecules which store the energy as reducing power or as ATP. Using these biological molecules, the plants/photosynthetic organisms pull carbon dioxide and water out of the atmosphere (or out of the ground) and combine them to form glucose (sugar) which adds to the mass of the plants. However, it decreases the mass of the atmosphere by the same amount. There is no net addition or subtraction of mass to the Earth from this process. Eventually, the same amount of energy that came into the Earth as high energy sunlight will leave as weaker forms of radiation (infrared, microwaves, radio waves). These lower intensity waves are not sufficient to drive photosynthesis or other biological processes. However, they are sufficient to cause heating.

 
Posital
607971.  Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:37 am Reply with quote

Welcome to the forums travelingdr.

Yes, we counted the electrons, protons and neutons in and out. And you are correct, they all tally.

But we're suggesting that due to the changes in chemical bonding, the actual energy in the system changes. And this change in energy would correspond with a tiny change in mass (due to E=mc2).

I don't think we've suggested how this increase in apparent mass could be described in rutherfordian terms.

 

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