Explore Earth’s continuous cycle of water movement with these books, activities and classroom lessons on the water cycle.
Readers of this straightforward book discover that water evaporates into clouds, then condenses to form rain and snowfall, with this precipitation coming from oceans, seas, lakes, ponds and rivers as their source.
Cloud formation is an integral component of the water cycle. Evaporated water rises into the atmosphere, cools down, condenses out as fog or clouds (condensation), then eventually falls back down as rain or snow as precipitation; eventually this moisture feeds rivers and lakes which supply most river water sources like rivers and lakes. Howard pioneered an universal system for naming cloud forms which helped popularize the idea that the water cycle is an ongoing, continuous process.
Sunlight can turn liquid water into gaseous form through the process known as evaporation – one of four stages in Earth’s water cycle alongside condensation, precipitation and transpiration.
When the sun heats a body of water, its molecules move faster and faster until they have enough energy to escape gravity and become visible as water vapor – this occurs naturally in lakes, rivers and oceans but can also happen in an everyday scenario such as boiling pot or steam train.
As water vapor rises into the atmosphere, it cools down rapidly. Once cool enough, its molecules cluster back together into tiny water droplets, which then collect into clouds that drift across land surface before discharging as rain or snow that returns back down river systems, lakes, or oceans for reuse.
Evaporation is an integral component of the water cycle as it provides humans and other animals with freshwater to drink, transports minerals around the planet, contributes to geological changes on Earth and alters climate change by taking in energy from air while dissipating it through condensation.
The water cycle is an ongoing process that recycles water between the atmosphere, ocean and land. Understanding its role is important as it plays such an integral part in our daily lives; keeping our environment clean while providing vital nourishment for plants and animals as well as transporting minerals around our planet while impacting climate change.
The water cycle demonstrates how matter changes from solid to liquid to gas and back again, showing its essential nature as part of life itself. Most forms of matter go through these stages in sequence; some such as ice can skip ahead to sublimation for instance; this process is slower than evaporation but essential nonetheless!
Precipitation, one of the three major components of the global water cycle, refers to any form of liquid or solid water falling to Earth from above in various forms – rain, sleet, snow or hail – whether liquid or solid form. Precipitation encompasses raindrops, sleet, snowflakes or hail as well as any form of moisture falling out of the atmosphere including fog or mist; its name stems from Latin precpio, meaning “to fall down”. Alongside evaporation and condensation it forms part of three main global water cycle components.
Water in the atmosphere condenses into clouds, which contain both liquid and solid water droplets that grow larger as they cool, eventually becoming large enough to fall from clouds as rain or snow, sometimes mixed with other particles such as ice crystals to produce sleet or hail, before returning back into oceans or lakes, where this cycle continues.
The water cycle is an invaluable way of understanding our weather and climate. By cycling between liquid, solid, and gaseous states it re-distributes energy around our planet redistributing energy throughout various ecosystems on Earth. Unfortunately, several factors, such as warming climate, can disrupt this delicate balance which ultimately can have profound ramifications on its functioning resulting in abrupt shifts of the water cycle as well as other Earth systems.
Future success hinges upon understanding how changes to the water cycle impact ecosystems and human societies alike. Use these standards-aligned resources to help students explore how a shifting water cycle influences both nature and ourselves.
Water is essential to life on Earth. It travels freely between oceans, surface areas, atmosphere and atmosphere through the water cycle – an intricate network that encompasses evaporation, transpiration condensation precipitation runoff infiltration and groundwater flow – in a continuous cycle that connects oceans, surface areas and atmosphere.
As water evaporates into the atmosphere as vapor, it rises up into the atmosphere as gas. Over time this vapor cools and condenses to become rain or snow which eventually falls on land as rain, collecting in rivers lakes or porous layers of rock before returning back into oceans and starting the cycle all over again. Precipitation is essential in this cycle and without it our waterways would quickly dry up.
Accumulation refers to the gradual accumulation of something over time, typically through repeated activities such as saving. If you deposit money every month into an account, and save all the earnings into it over a certain time frame, that amount you end up with at the end is your accumulation. Accumulation also applies to large accumulations such as piles of things or total growth from regular deposits like interest on savings accounts.
The water cycle, also referred to as the hydrologic cycle, refers to Earth’s continuous circulation of water between land, oceans and atmosphere. Water vapor rises from oceans, lakes and rivers before cooling in the air and condensing as visible moisture such as clouds or fog before falling back down as precipitation as rain or snowfall (precipitation).
Once on land, water can be collected in lakes, streams, groundwater sources and glacial ice; stored in soil; carried away via rivers as runoff; soaked into plant tissues through stomata; and stored underground via aquifers – with such water eventually being released back into its original source again and beginning the cycle once more. Climate change such as warmer temperatures or decreased solar radiation may even speed this process along. This standards-aligned lesson introduces students to how the water cycle influences evaporation, condensation precipitation patterns affecting weather patterns as part of its operation – while also being affected by and being part of it!