Categories: Water

The water cycle, also known as the hydrological cycle or the H2O cycle, describes the continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth. The mass of water on Earth remains fairly constant over time but the partitioning of the water into the major reservoirs of ice, fresh water, saline water and atmospheric water is variable depending on a wide range of climatic variables. The water moves from one reservoir to another, such as from river to ocean, or from the ocean to the atmosphere, by the physical processes of evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration, runoff, and subsurface flow. In doing so, the water goes through different phases: liquid, solid (ice), and gas (vapor).

The water cycle involves the exchange of energy, which leads to temperature changes. For instance, when water evaporates, it takes up energy from its surroundings and cools the environment. When it condenses, it releases energy and warms the environment. These heat exchanges influence climate.

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Water cycle
Definition of "Water cycle" by Chat GPT: The water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle, is the continuous movement of water between the earth's surface, the atmosphere, and underground. It involves processes such as evaporation, precipitation, condensation, and infiltration, and is driven by solar radiation, gravity, and temperature changes. The water cycle plays a crucial role in maintaining the earth's ecosystems, regulating weather patterns, and providing freshwater for human and animal consumption.
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