The water cycle describe “how water evaporates from the surface of the earth, rises into the atmosphere, cools and condenses into rain or snow in clouds, and falls again to the surface as precipitation” (Pelvein, 2012). The water occupies almost three quarters of the surface area in the earth. “The water cycle, also known as the hydrological cycle or the hydrologic cycle, describes the continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth” (Pelvein, 2012). Being a closed system, the solar energy empowered the water cycle in continual circulation via land, ocean, and atmosphere. The state of water is changed between solid, liquid, and gas phases along the cycle. There are 4 main repeated processes of the water cycle which are evaporation, condensation, precipitation and the collection (refer to Figure 1 in Appendix 1). The first process of water cycle is evaporation. “Evaporation is the process of a liquid’s surface changing to a gas” (Issa, 2002).
The sun drives the water cycle’s evaporation. During first stage of the water cycle, as the solar energy applied on the rivers, lakes, or the ocean by the sunlight, the surface of the rivers, lakes, or the ocean turn into the steam or water vapour (Bendrick, 2003). The temperature of the weather and the wind also trigger the evaporation process in the water cycle. After that, the kinetic energy among the water molecule increase. The water molecules move and vibrate quickly. The chemical bond or so-called hydrogen bond between the water molecules becomes longer and weaker.
As the hydrogen bond between the water molecules broken, the water molecules escape into the atmosphere as molecular of water vapour. The phase of the water in liquid stage changes into the gaseous phase.Transpiration is the alternative way of transferring the water to the sky. Transpiration is the “process of transpiring; specif., the giving off of moisture, etc. through the pores of the skin or through the surface of leaves and other parts of plants” (Harcourt, 2016). The water on the soil is absorbed by the roots of the plant. Then the water is transported by the transpiration force along the xylem up to the leaves.
The part of the leaf that is facing down has a lot of microscopic pores called stomata. Plants release water vapour through microscopic pores. The light affecting the opening of the stomata. When the light intensity of the light is high, the microscopic pores are bigger resulting more water to be evaporated. The second stage in water cycle is condensation.
In water cycle, the condensation process is defined as “change of the physical state of matter from gas phase into liquid phase, and is the reverse of evaporation” (Denmark & Sareal, 2011). After the water change from liquid to gaseous phase, the mass of the molecules become extremely small causing the water vapour molecules escape to the sky. As the time passed by, the water vapour molecules are condensed together due to the lower atmospheric pressure and temperature. After that, the bond energy between the water vapour molecules becomes stronger. The kinetic energy is lower and the movement between the water vapour molecules becomes slower. The charge of the oxygen is negative two while the charge of the hydrogen is positive one.
Under the ideally condition of low temperature, atmospheric pressure and kinetic energy, the negative charge of oxygen molecules bond with the positive charge of hydrogen molecules forming the water molecule slowly. As more and more water molecules are generated, those water molecules are stick together with the tiny molecules called aerosols forming the fog and water droplets. This process is known as coalescence. Coalescence is the process which known as cloud formation (Imzra & Lo, 2012). Next, the precipitation is the third main process in the water cycle. The precipitation portrays any liquid or solid water that falls to Earth as a product of condensation in the atmosphere. Precipitation includes rain, snow, sleet and hail (Tulving as cited in Bendrick & Gavin, 1997, p. 287).
In general, the precipitation has two alternative processes transferring the water from the sky to the ground. This process is divided by two parts which are the formation of rain and the formation of snow depending on the condition of the environment. After the coalescence, the water molecules bump with other aerosols until producing water droplets. The water droplets remain at the clouds until reaching a certain weight. As the mass of the water droplets over a certain maximum point, it falls back to the ground by the fall velocity or the force of gravity.
The rain is falling down. The rain formation is occurred under the standard temperature which is 27 degrees Celsius. The process will be another type which is snow formation if the temperature is at or below 2 degrees Celsius and there is a minimum amount of moisture in the air. In the stage of snow formation, the water molecules condense and become the ice crystals. The ice crystals increase in size by millimeter size, precipitate and accumulate in the surface of clouds. When the ice crystals accumulate and over the maximum weight that the clouds can afford, they fall back to the ground.
That process is known as snowing. Moreover, the ice crystals that fall to the ground is melted and become part of the groundwater. Last but not least, the process in the water cycle is collection. The definition of collection in water cycle is “when water that falls from the clouds as rain, snow, hail or sleet, collects in the oceans, rivers, lakes, streams.
Most will infiltrate the ground and will collect as underground water”. The water also infiltrates into soils will remain in the shallow soil layer by infiltration. The water then gradually moves through the soils vertically and horizontally. After all, the water travel long distances then flows into the oceans, rivers, or streams. Some water infiltrate deeper into the aquifers. Besides that, ‘run-off’ is the term used to explain the movement of water that does not get absorbed into the soil. To become ground water, it consists of precipitation that neither evaporates, transpires nor penetrates the surface. The water is collected in the form of ground water.
The process is then started all over again from evaporation to condensation, precipitation and collection repeatedly. In conclusion, the water cycle has 4 main repeated processes which are evaporation, condensation, precipitation and collection. The water cycle illustrates the completed process of the water movement in the earth showing that the water does not lose into the surrounding and disappear. It is either existed in the form of liquid, solid, or gaseous stages. However, if the water is polluted by the human beings, the scientists assume that the polluted or contaminated water as a lost. This is because the polluted water consists of chemical substances that will cause harmful to the living things.
Lastly, Francis and Helly hope that human can appreciate the water given by the god. Precipitation Collection ReferencesBendrick, Y. A. B., & Gavin, H. T. (1997).
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accountingformanagement.org/gross-profit-ratio/Harcourt, H.M. (2016). Origin of transpiration. Webster’s new world college dictionary (5th ed.).
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