Water is a basic necessity. This means that without water, man’s life will be in danger. Water is a powerful solvent that can easily dissolve matter such as sugar, salt, powder milk and coffee into liquid. The amount of water covering the earth is about 1.36 billion cubic kilometer. About 0.65% of water is found in lakes, streams, and atmosphere, while 90% is found in the world ocean.
This is the continuous movement of water from one part of the hydrosphere to another. It involves the changes undergone by water before if goes down to earth. The process involved in the water cycle are as follows:
1. Evaporation – it is the process of drying up all wet surfaces by the heat of the sun. Water is changed to water vapor which rises to form clouds. The water
vapor comes from the ocean, the soil and other living things such as plants and humans.
2. Condensation- the cold air in the sky changes the water vapor back to liquid water. Clouds and droplets of moisture are formed. This process is called condensation. In condensation, gas is converted to liquid. When the clouds are formed in the air, a cold temperature can be felt. This is because the clouds trap the heat of the sun.
Kinds of Clouds:
a. Nimbus Clouds – they are the familiar rain or snow clouds. Their color is dull gray. They extend unbroken over a wide area.
b. Cumulus Clouds – Cumulus Clouds indicate a good weather. They are white and fluffy clouds.
c. Cirrus Clouds- they are the highest of all clouds. They are composed of minute crystals. These tiny crystals sometimes form a thin ring around the sun or moon. This signals the start of the rainy season. Cirrus clouds are thin , feathery-like formation.
d. Stratus clouds- they are dull and gray clouds. When they appear, the weather is cool and cloudy.
The droplets of water condense. They condense more and make the clouds heavy. When the clouds become heavy, the droplets fall as rain or snow. This process is called precipitation.
When water falls as rain:
a. A certain amount of it is taken up by plants and then given off during transpiration, which may change into water vapor due to the heat of the sun.
b. Some water wet the land and turn again into water vapor.
c. Some water go under the ground and return to the rivers, seas and lakes.
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