Water is among the most important things on our planet; everything living on it depends on water for survival and growth. From small water droplets you see on the windows on a chilly night to the vast oceans, water is constantly moving and transforming.
But have you ever wondered how the movement and transformation of water works? Enter the water cycle! The process of the water cycle operates by harnessing the sun’s energy to transfer water from lakes and oceans into the atmosphere and subsequently returning it back to the oceans. This cyclical movement occurs repeatedly in an uninterrupted manner. Though you will learn more about the water cycle in depth in the Primary 5 science syllabus (such as recognising that water can exist in three interchangeable states of matter, understanding the roles of evaporation as well as condensation in the water cycle, and recognising the importance of the water cycle), it pays to start learning in early childhood, to familiarise yourself with the topic beforehand. In this article, we look closely at the water cycle process.
The water cycle begins with evaporation – where water molecules escape bodies of water and rise into the atmosphere. At this stage, the heat from the sun warms the water up and converts it from rivers, plants, oceans, and the like, into water vapour.
The water vapour then rises into the cooler regions of the atmosphere. Here, it begins to condense as it meets cooler temperatures. The molecules of the water vapour cling together and begin to form tiny water droplets – or ice crystals – around microscopic particles such as salt or dust. Known as condensation, this essentially creates the clouds you see in the sky and sets the stage for the following process in the water cycle.
Precipitation occurs when the clouds become saturated with the condensed water. Some of the forms that develop as a result of precipitation are hail, snow, and rain – which return the water to the Earth’s surface.
Following the drops of water reaching the planet’s surface, they then embark on different courses. Some flow into rivers, lakes, and streams, while others permeate into the soil, nourishing plants and recharging subterranean water reserves. The water gathers in a variety of bodies and is then ready to resume its cycle anew. These reservoirs play an essential role as crucial water sources for both the communities as well as ecosystems.
The water cycle consists of a journey that allows us to understand how interconnected all living things are. From the beginning stages of evaporation to the final stage of collection, we can learn that water is indeed a true marvel of nature. To understand more about the science behind the water cycle, sign up at our science tuition centre in Singapore today! Our targeted classes cater to primary and secondary students and are taught using our innovative TCR method that allows for sound judgements and quick problem-solving. Contact us today for more details about our proven workshops, programmes, and science revision guide.