There are some politicians who have floated (sorry about that) the idea of removing boats from the sea. Republican Delegate Candidate for Virginia Scott Pio wondered whether taking all the boats out of the sea in order to help lower rising sea levels. In a since deleted tweet, he brought up the idea. But would something like that actually work?
We’re guessing that the idea comes from the same concept of stepping into a bathtub and watching the water overflow from the tub right onto the floor. If the world’s oceans are similar to baths, which are definitely at risk of becoming overheated, then perhaps removing boats could help with the rising sea levels as well.
We want to believe that his suggestion was not as literal as the Internet memes have decided it is, we think it would be interesting to actually see if this could work.
Here’s how to think about it: if you take into account all of Earth’s vast five oceans, all of the hundreds of thousands of boats in said oceans, Randall Munroe, of XKCD comics, calculated that removing them would take off about 6 microns the sea level.
What does 6 microns look like? Well, it is about the width of a thread of a spider’s silk, and certainly not enough to make a difference in rising sea levels. Munroe figured out that this volume would be replaced in 16 hours, so removing ships would do absolutely nothing.
Munroe wrote: “Current fish wet biomass is about 2 billion tons, so removing them won’t make a dent either.” Well, there goes the idea.
To be fair, Pio’s Tweet ended withL “just a thought, not a statement.” So while the rest of the Twitterverse still chose to give him a hard time, it’s interesting to see that the numbers show that it won’t actually make a difference.