Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Earth's circular and drippy Rain Cycle

Rain cycle, geo by trudeau
Rain cycle, geo, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

In the hydrologic cycle the water moves from one reservoir to another, says Wikipedia, such as from river to ocean, or from the ocean to the atmosphere, by the physical processes of

- evaporation
- condensation
- precipitation
- infiltration
- runoff, and
- subsurface flow.

In so doing, the water goes through different phases: liquid, solid (ice), and gas (vapor).

The water cycle involves the exchange of heat, which leads to temperature changes. For instance, when water evaporates, it takes up energy from its surroundings and cools the environment. When it condenses, it releases energy and warms the environment.

These heat exchanges influence climate. By transferring water from one reservoir to another, the water cycle purifies water, replenishes the land with freshwater, and transports minerals to different parts of the globe.

It is also involved in reshaping the geological features of the Earth, through such processes as erosion and sedimentation.

Finally, the water cycle figures significantly in the maintenance of life and ecosystems on Earth.

Also: please do not your cycle in the rain.