Water Cycle Facts
- Definition: A process of condensation, infiltration, run-off, evaporation, precipitation and transpiration
- Other name: The hydrologic cycle
- Composition: 3% of the water in the water cycle isn’t saltwater
- Renewable: No. Water is one of the few resources that can’t be created by man
- Driving Force: Sun is the driving force of the entire water cycle
- Effect: Changes in the state of the water cycle cause changes in energy in the atmosphere
- Aquifers: The name given to underground chambers that store water
- Storage: Water is stored in the earth’s surface or in ice caps or glaciers
- Supply: The water cycle is something that is limited – we don’t have an endless supply
- Composition: Water in the cycle is made up of two elements, hydrogen and oxygen. Its chemical formula is H2O
- Nature: The Water Cycle Helps to Regulate the Earth’s Temperature
- Science: The Chemicals We Use Affect the Water Cycle
- Science: Water Exists in More than One State in the Water Cycle
- Nature: Changes in Climate mean Changes in the Water Cycle
- Experiment: You Can Create Your Own Mini Water Cycle
- Our Cycle of Water can Be Much Older than You Think
- We Could Be Drinking the Same Water Dinosaurs Drank
- The Water Cycle Only Creates 1% Useable Water for Humans
- Plants Sweat, just like Humans!
- Every Loaf of Bread we Eat Takes 570 Gallons of Water from the Water Cycle – Industry Can’t Survive Without It
The Water Cycle Helps to Regulate the Earth’s Temperature
Why is the water cycle important? We all know how important it is that we keep hydrated so we stay well and our organs can function properly. But did you know that it is also the same for the planet? The main reason the water cycle is important is that, without it, Earth would either become too warm or too cold, creating problems at the core of the planet. The Earth needs water to be able to maintain its temperature properly.
The Chemicals We Use Affect the Water Cycle
Water cycle facts show us that everything is connected, though it might not seem so obvious at first. Whatever we, as humans, wash down the drain – whether it be chemicals used in farming or the residues from soaps when we wash our hands, bodies and hair – ends up in the ground and in the water supply. Pollution from the air ends up raining down on us – from aviation or simply from things like gasses used in industry or from cars and trucks. This all ends up in ground water, too. The stages of the water cycle – condensation, infiltration, runoff, evaporation, precipitation and transpiration – are all affected by this. The phenomena of acid rain was, in part, caused by these issues.
Water Exists in More than One State in the Water Cycle
Water actually has three different states. It can obviously exist as a liquid, but can also be classified as a vapor and as ice. The water cycle stages mean that the amount of water on earth is pretty much constant, but to what degree water exists as either a solid, liquid or gas will always vary. Scientists believe that climate change will start to affect this more over the coming years.
Changes in Climate mean Changes in the Water Cycle
Water cycle facts are very much related to the weather. During periods of colder climate conditions (for instance, the last ice age) more glaciers and ice caps form, lessening the amount of water in other parts of the cycle. When we go through warmer climatic periods, the reverse happens and the ice caps melt again. This is happening again now, and in 2007 scientists at the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) suggested that due to global warming, the water cycle would intensify throughout the 21st century. This means that in areas of high rainfall, precipitation will increase, but arid areas of the world may ultimately experience more in the way of drought!
You Can Create Your Own Mini Water Cycle
It’s possible to create your own water cycle experiment to see how the phenomena occurs and watch the transformations in miniature. Take a large bowl and fill it with water. In the center, place a small pot. Cover this with plastic wrap and put a small weight on top of it. If you leave this on a sunny windowsill for a few days, you should see the processes of the water cycle occurring, in that the water will start to evaporate, it will condense and cool on the cling wrap, and then fall into the pot as “rain”.
Our Cycle of Water can Be Much Older than You Think
When you turn on the faucet, the water that comes through is fresh, clean and purified. However, one of the really astonishing water cycle facts we know is that the groundwater beneath the earth’s surface that occurs from run-off can be very old indeed. In fact, it can be thousands of years old before it shifts and moves to the surface. This water even has a special name – fossil water . It’s totally safe by the time it gets to you to drink though!
We Could Be Drinking the Same Water Dinosaurs Drank
As you might expect, water cycle facts reveal that the water cycle is something that is in perpetual motion and, as such, the water cycle steps mean that water is constantly being recycled. Next time you pour yourself a glass or stand under the shower, bear in mind the water you drink or clean yourself with might well be the same water than dinosaurs drank millions of years ago. That’s quite an astonishing thought!
The Water Cycle only Creates 1% Useable Water for Humans
Geographical water cycle facts show that planet earth is about 70% water, 97% of which is salt water and therefore not safe for humans to consume or use in farming to grow crops. Of the 3% that remains, 2% is actively stored in glaciers or ice caps. This just leaves a tiny 1% which is safe for us to consume and must therefore meet all our needs and requirements. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you consider we’ve the same amount of water on the planet now as when it was first formed, we seem to be managing OK!
Plants Sweat, just like Humans!
We, as humans, sweat when we get warm, or do exercise. It’s our body’s way of cooling us down. One of the elements of the water cycle is called transpiration and, when it is broken down to its simplest level, it is basically the act of plants “sweating”, too. Its nature’s way, particularly in times of drought and very dry, arid weather, of getting more moisture back into the air.
Every Loaf of Bread we Eat Takes 570 Gallons of Water from the Water Cycle
One of the fascinating statistical water cycle facts is that industry could not cope without the water cycle. Every ton of steel that is produced in the world needs over 8,000 cubic feet of water. Every new car that is produced requires 5,200 cubic feet of water, including the manufacturing of its tires. Within agriculture, it takes over 2.5 gallons of water to grow one tomato, and over 11 gallons to grow one orange. Probably the most surprising statistic is that for every loaf of bread produced there will be 570 gallons of water from the water cycle used.
Water Cycle Facts – Facts about the Water Cycle Summary
Water cycle facts tell us all our water is recycled and some of it can be very old! In fact, we could be washing in and drinking, the water that dinosaurs used millions of years ago. Of all the water on earth, only 1% of it is suitable for human use. Water evaporates from the ground, turns into clouds, falls as rain, sleet or snow, and the whole process continues endlessly in a cycle. Plants can sweat, and the process is called transpiration – an essential part of the water cycle. Industry and agriculture rely heavily on the water cycle to keep going.