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Water Cycle Definition

The water cycle is the process of water evaporating and condensing on earth. For example, surface water evaporates, condenses into clouds, then rains down.

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Water Cycle (3-5 Version)

Fun Facts

  • Water on Earth is millions of years old, constantly recycled.
  • The water cycle is the continuous process of water moving around between air and land, driven by heat from the sun.
  • Without the water cycle, there would be no life on Earth!

Why Do We Need To Know About Water Cycle

Learning about the water cycle helps you see why things like drying clothes outside and guessing the weather happen. When water turns from liquid to gas, called evaporation, it’s a big part of why we can dry clothes outside. This shows how the water cycle affects our everyday life.

The water cycle is also important for jobs like weather forecasting. Knowing how water moves in the air helps forecasters predict the weather. This knowledge is useful for planning our days and getting ready for things like snow. This shows the water cycle is important for both home and work.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we know there is water vapor in the air?
Some evidence that there is water vapor in the air include clouds, feeling moisture on our skin on a humid day, and seeing droplets form on the outside surface of cold drinks (condensation).
What causes water to change from a vapor to a liquid, or a liquid to a solid?
Water changes form in response to changing temperatures. When the temperature becomes colder, water vapor becomes liquid water. When the temperature becomes warmer, liquid water becomes water vapor.
Does water become cleaner when it evaporates into a water vapor? Why or Why not?
Yes, generally, water becomes cleaner when it evaporates. Particles in water typically do not evaporate into vapor when water does, so particles are left behind when water vapor rises.
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