Monthly Archive: April 2021

Why Water Retains Heat For Longer Periods

Water is a naturally occurring substance that occurs freely in our environment. The most distinguishing feature is the ability to retain heat over prolonged periods of time than most other naturally occurring substances. Every substance, be it air, water, or minerals, has a particular heat capacity which is the amount of heat it can absorb for it to be raised by one degree Celsius. A substance’s heat capacity is determined by its chemical composition, and water, besides it being a liquid, has the highest heat retention above all others.

Each compound has its heat specificity: the quantity of heat needed to raise one gram of a substance by one degree Celsius. Water having a higher heat specificity translates to it requiring an enormous amount of energy for there to be a temperature change. When heating both a piece of iron and water, you will notice that iron will take a shorter time before it’s fully heated. Iron unlike water is a positive molecule with free-floating electrons around its atom that makes it a good conductor of heat.

The structure of water’s molecule comprises

This is attributed to its minimal amount of heat specificity making iron one of the best conductors of heat. Comparatively, water uses a significant amount of time before its boiling point is reached, or when a significant change of temperature is recorded. The comparison waylays that water is a poor conductor of heat as compared to iron, dictated by the movements of their electrons.

The structure of water’s molecule comprises hydrogen and oxygen atoms, with one molecule of oxygen sandwiched by two hydrogen atoms. This results in an unbalanced compound with a slightly negative charge brought by extra electrons from the oxygen atom. Like charges repel each other while unlike charges attract, resulting to water weaker hydrogen bond that keeps on breaking and forming. Because of this chemical structure, water conforms to being a liquid, which then requires a lot of energy for it to be raised by a degree.

The reason why water takes a

If you ever notice while walking on a beach in the summer, the sand heats up faster than water, and may sometimes require treading on the water to cool off your feet. Sand, on having a lower heat capacity than water, takes up heat quickly, and its temperature quickly raised whenever its heat capacity threshold is reached. Having smaller heat retention equals getting heated up quickly, but those with high capacity take some time. The heat specificity of water per gram is 4.186 joules meaning water consumes that volume of energy to raise one gram of water by one degree Celsius.

The reason why water takes a considerable length of time to boil is that heat is quickly spent on breaking the bonds first before heating commences. Breaking bonds of liquid requires a decent amount of heat as compared to solid elements because of the unstable nature of the liquid. They tend to “evade” heat by swirling around in a cycle, making them a poor conductor of heat. Besides, the fluidity of water itself makes it harder for the uniform distribution of heat.

Why Water Retains Heat For Longer Periods

Assuming the source of heat is from a single source direction, then the first cold layer will be heated first, gets lighter, then give way to a denser cold-water layer. This will then repeat several times before the layers are uniformly heated. The characteristics that make water take a long time to heat also make water a good retainer of heat. After the temperature of the water has been raised significantly, it takes time to disperse the same energy off its electrons. A practical example of this is when swimmers feel colder outside water in the evenings just as the sun is going down.

The heat retention of water has enabled it to hold heat for longer periods by making it harder for water to quickly warm up and disperse heat too. This feature has made water a perfect medium upon which marine life comfortably lives. If water had so much temperature change, then it would have been harder for fish to keep adjusting for the right temperatures. Water in the oceans absorbs most of the heat from the sun that plays a big role in moderating the climate around coastal areas. The causative of water holding heat for a longer period is its high heat retention, which makes water take up a lot of energy, before being raised by one degree Celsius.

Depletion of earth water

If all the water on earth could disappear, life would not be possible. Even imagining this situation is scary, considering that even 60% of the human body is composed of water. Water bodies always have water and this provides comfort that water will always be available. Flexing our imaginations a little, let’s imagine and focus on the possibility of all the water disappearing. This work investigates while providing reasons as to why this idea of earth without water could be a reality.

A quick reference of science about

A quick reference of science about how water disappears and re-appears is a good start, a process known as the water cycle. Most of the water on earth is held in oceans, seas, lakes, dams and other water bodies. If we drained these water bodies completely, the remaining amount of water would not be adequate to support life on earth. Statistically speaking, water bodies harbor 91% of all earth water, this is a clear indication of the importance of the oceans as a storage of earth’s water.

Focusing on how most of earth's

Focusing on how most of earth’s water could disappear, it is important to consider ways in which earth water disappears. Earth is made up of matter; matter is anything that occupies space and has mass. Existence of matter is in three distinct states: gas, liquid, and solid. Each state can be converted to each other, when subjected to changes in temperature. In the case of earth water disappearing, we will first consider the ways in which the liquid state is converted to other states. Heating water converts it into hot air called vapor, this is called evaporation. Cooling water converts it to ice through freezing, the opposite of freezing is melting solid state back to water.

Depletion of earth water

Climatic conditions influence temperature affecting oceanic water through seasonal changes where seasons influence temperature. Winter may lower temperatures to low degrees of about ?89.2 °C, while heat may increase to 56.7 °C. Adverse climates are the major converters of water into the other two states. A brutal cold climate results in freezing that converts most of the water into ice. This is common around the Arctics and polar regions, Himalayas is a good example where extreme freezing occurs.

Due to low temperatures, water is stored in glaciers in countries like Antarctica and Greenland. Seasons like winter create extremely freezing climatic conditions that risk disappearance of earth water into solid state. The opposite is also true, an adverse hot climate leads to evaporation of oceanic water. Disappearance of oceanic water is accelerated by the wide surface area of the ocean as well as sun’s heat that accelerates the conversion of more water molecules into gas. Although one would argue that clouds will still fall back as precipitation in water form, back to the ocean, a part of it falls on dry land. Out of this, only a little percentage finds it way back into the ocean again. Very hot conditions too melt glaciers reducing the amount of water stored in frozen state.

Apart from the water cycle processes, flora and fauna also contribute in the disappearance of earth water. Every living thing requires water for existence, and this water is provided by earth. Without water, life would be impossible, animals and plants would equally cease existing. Living things do not give earth back the water used to support life, instead, they produce waste. Apart from drinking water to support life, human beings use water in factories, for irrigation purposes in agriculture, and other human activities that reduce the amount of the water in earth. Factories pollute the environment with harmful chemicals that contribute to the depletion of the Ozone layer. Depletion of the Ozone layer means all the sun’s heat will reach the oceans, increasing the amount of water evaporation.

Having analysed the means in which earth water disappears, it is possible to tell under what circumstances all the water in the earth could disappear. Adverse climatic conditions seem a heavier means of depleting earth water compared to human factors. Practicing sustainable development is among efforts of averting the disappearance of all water on earth. People are encouraged to support afforestation efforts that seek to plant more trees so that we do not lodge ourselves into the effects of adverse climatic conditions. Caring for the environment should be a basic priority for every human being.