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Hydrosphere Definition

The hydrosphere includes all Earth's water in various states and locations. For example, water moves from oceans to atmosphere to land.

View Lesson on Water Cycle (6-8 Version)
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Water Cycle (6-8 Version)

Fun Facts

  • The hydrosphere interacts with Earth's other systems, the atmosphere, biosphere, and geosphere.
  • Earth's hydrosphere includes oceans, rivers, lakes, and groundwater.
  • Due to the water cycle, water in the Earth's hydrosphere is millions of years old.

Why Do We Need To Know About Hydrosphere

Learning about the hydrosphere helps us understand how weather forecasts are made and why it’s important to keep our water clean. Meteorologists study the water cycle to predict weather, helping us get ready for and protect ourselves from big storms and floods. This can save lives by giving people time to move to safer places.

Hydrologists study water sources to check if our drinking water is safe and to keep nature healthy. Their work helps make sure we have clean water, which is necessary for all living things, including us, especially since our bodies lose water that needs to be replaced.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does heat from the Sun turn liquid water into a gas called water vapor?
The energy from the Sun increases the energy of the water molecules when they are heated. This causes the water molecules to vibrate or move faster until some of them escape to become water vapor.
Explain how energy from the Sun drives the water cycle.
The Sun’s energy evaporates water into the atmosphere from all types of sources, including bodies of water, plants, and animals. This water eventually falls back to Earth and moves along Earth’s surface until it is evaporated again by the Sun. The energy from the Sun is a driving force that gets the water cycling in and out of the atmosphere.
How do plants contribute to the water cycle?
Water travels from the soil, through the plant, and then evaporates from the leaves into the atmosphere.
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