Have you ever thought what is the quantity of water on Earth? When the earth is viewed from outer space, it looks blue. According to studies, approximately 71% of earth’s is covered with water. Water is found in oceans, lakes, rivers and streams, and stored underground as groundwater. Some amount is trapped in ice. Water also exists in atmosphere in the form of water vapor.
All of the water that exists on Earth is known as Hydrosphere. Put differently; the hydrosphere is the water component of the Earth.
The hydrosphere is always in motion. The motion of rivers and streams can be seen, but the motion of water in ponds and lakes is less obvious. Some of the motion of seas and ocean can be seen easily with large scale motions that travel water with great distances like poles and tropics or between continents. These kinds of motions are in the form of currents that move warm water in tropics towards poles and cool water from poles towards the tropics. These currents are present on the surface of the ocean and at depths in the ocean.
We rarely think about the role of the planet that keep us alive and take hydrosphere for granted.
The major functions of hydrosphere which are listed below.
The major importance of hydrosphere is that water sustains various life forms and plays an important role in ecosystems and regulating atmosphere. Hydrosphere covers all water present on the Earth surface. It involves saltwater, freshwater and frozen water along with groundwater and water in the lower levels of atmosphere.
- Water is the most important part of living cells
Every cell in living organism is built up of about 75% of water, hence allows the cell to function appropriately. Cells would not able to carry out normal functions and life cannot exist without water.
- Human needs
Humans use water in many ways. Drinking water is the most obvious use, but it is also used for domestic purpose like washing and cleaning, and in industries. Water is also utilized in generating electricity through hydropower.
- Water provides habitat
Hydrosphere provides place for many plants and animals to live. Many gasses like CO2, O2, nutrients like ammonium and nitrite(NO–2) as well as other ions are dissolved in water. The presence of these substances is essential for life to exist in water.
- Regulate Climate
The water’s specific heat is its unique characteristics. This indicates that water takes a lot of time to heat up and a lot of time cool down. It helps in regulating temperatures on earth as they stay in a range which is acceptable for life on earth to exist.
These are only a few of the functions that water plays on the planet. Many functions relate it to chemistry and methods in which it dissolves substances.
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