By The Associated PressAUGUSTA, Ga.
— NASA said Tuesday that about 60 percent (or about 3.5 trillion gallons) of water vapor was found on the surface of Earth, with the remaining moisture mostly in the atmosphere.NASA said the scientists analyzed data from its Earth Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution satellite, which collected data from December 1, 2012 to February 7, 2013, and has been tracking the atmosphere since 1988.
It said the water vapor is a product of the interaction of atmospheric and oceanic water vapor with other gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Scientists say that even the oceans contain enough water vapor to fill a lake.
They say the water is mostly carbon dioxide and water vapor.
They said the amount of water on Earth is greater than the amount in the oceans, which have about 4 billion gallons of water in them.NASA scientists have long thought the oceans were more abundant than the atmosphere because they contain so much carbon dioxide.
It has been a problem for scientists trying to find answers about the formation of life on Earth.
NASA said it has found carbon dioxide in the water on Mars, in the ocean on Jupiter’s moon Europa and in the upper atmosphere of the sun.