Trump supporter running for office suggests removing all the world's boats could lower sea levels

A Republican candidate for office has suggested a rather unique, but likely ineffective, way of stopping sea level rises - take out all the boats. 

Scott Pio, a Donald Trump supporter running for the state legislature in Virginia, floated the idea on Twitter earlier this week.

"I'm curious," he wrote. "Do you think the sea level would lower, if we just took all the boats out of the water?"

After being mocked, he deleted the tweet.

"That's unfathomable, incomprehensible stupidity, right up there with Trump nuking hurricanes," one person wrote. 

"Your argument is nonsensical for several reasons that can be elucidated if you crack open a middle school physics textbook," said another.

But Pio soon returned to defend it. 

"When you take things out of bath water, the bath water decreases, does it not? …  Curious when you stopped believing in pure physics? I guess you don’t believe in science experiments?" 

Pio worked as an organiser for Trump, perhaps showing slightly more scientific awareness by at least acknowledging climate change is actually happening. Sea levels are rising because ice is melting, and due to thermal expansion - the warmer water gets, the more room it takes up. 

But would Pio's idea work? Yes, but only incredibly briefly. A few years ago author and engineer Randall Munroe calculated what would happen if all the world's boats were taken out of the ocean, coming up with a drop in sea level of six microns - that's 0.006 mm, or about one 10th the width of a human hair. 

At the time he did the numbers in 2013, it would have taken about 16 hours to wipe that out. At the present rate of increase, it would take about 14.4 hours. 

The problem for Pio is that the ocean is very, very big - there's about 1.4 million cubic kilometres of water on Earth, and 97 percent of it is in the ocean.

Monroe also crunched the numbers on other potential solutions - such as removing all the fish or sponges. Neither made more of a dent than removing all the boats.