Of course, none of this would be possible if the vast majority of water on the Earth was not in a liquid state. Only two per cent of Earth’s water is locked up in glaciers and the icecaps, with ninety-seven per cent being the water of our seas and oceans and just one per cent available for human consumption as fresh water. With only a small change in the overall temperature of the Earth, or an alteration in the seasonal patterns, the nature of the water on our planet would change. As we have seen, a more pronounced planetary tilt could well lead to a freezing of the oceans. This would result in an overall loss of temperature at the surface of the planet, with even greater freezing.
He suggested that this supercontinent had broken up and had begun to drift apart 300 million years ago. He called the process ‘Continental Drift’ and although he wasn’t the first to suggest that there had originally been a single continent, he was able to provide substantial evidence to back up the claim. Wegener first published his findings and his hypothesis in his book The Origin of Continents and Oceans.20 Although it was brilliantly argued, his ideas were not widely accepted at the time. A flood of scientific indignation broke over Alfred Wegener. This happened for a couple of reasons: firstly, his theory was revolutionary, which inevitably clashed with the conservative tendencies of other experts; and in addition, although Wegener was certain that continental drift must have taken place, he had no theory as to how or why this might have happened.
The best he could suggest was that the continents, influenced by centrifugal and tidal forces as the Earth spun on its axis, were simply ploughing their way across the surface of the planet. Dissenters pointed out that, if this was the case, the coastlines of the continents could hardly be expected to have remained so similar to the original ‘fit’ that it could still be observed. On the contrary, they would have been distorted beyond recognition. It was also suggested that tidal and centrifugal forces would be far too weak to move entire continents.