Here is a link to the water canopy theory.

My question is: how this water could end up there, high above the surface?

I was thinking about two possibilities: a comet spreading ice/water as it passes near the Earth, or an asteroid hitting ice age glaciers that sends ice/water high into the sky on impact.

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    $\begingroup$ You're looking for a scientific reason or a fantasy reason? There isn't any valid scientific reason such a thing could exist and you can make up whatever fantasy reason you want, but will need to provide more criteria for selecting a best answer. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Apr 7 '18 at 0:46
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    $\begingroup$ The question is not "how did the water get there"; the question is how come it stays there. Spoiler: even if you got it to the top of the atmosphere, it won't stay there. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Apr 7 '18 at 5:51
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    $\begingroup$ Please ask your questions in a way that is answerable without reading external links. It is ok to use link for more background, it is not ok to make link required. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Apr 7 '18 at 11:40
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    $\begingroup$ The canopy is just water vapor? I don't understand why they used the word canopy for that. And it seems the link already explain how it was formed. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Apr 7 '18 at 14:51
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    $\begingroup$ The only way is to have your deity of choice perform (yet another) miracle to hold it up :-) $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Apr 10 '18 at 4:21


From a science-based perspective, you can't have that much water in the atmosphere as long as both gravity and temperature are roughly the same as modern Earth's. There is a saturation point of water in nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere, we see that saturation point reached when we look at clouds or are surrounded by fog. If clouds accumulate enough water, the water droplets that form have too high of a volume to surface area ratio to remain in suspension in the gaseous atmosphere, so they fall as rain.

A place like a tropical rainforest where it rains literally every day is as 'water canopy' as you can possibly get. I suppose you could make the entire planet a rainforest through some mechanism or another, but that still wouldn't provide a 'water canopy' as described in your link.


The link doesn't really make clear what is different about this water canopy from just regular atmospheric water vapor. The atmosphere already has a lot of water vapor stored in it which stores heat (greenhouse effect) and shields the Earth's surface from some of the sun's radiation. The amount of water vapor is highly variable by region and altitude. Warmer air can hold more water vapor so during warmer periods of the Earth's past, there was more water vapor in the atmosphere. By more though, I mean that it was just a bit more humid. There wasn't a huge amount more water in the air.

That water just came from the surface, though. It all just evaporated and then was transported higher into the atmosphere either by convection, diffusion, or dynamic uplifting as part of the Earth's hydrologic cycle.


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