As seen from space, one of the most unique features of our home planet is the water, in both liquid and frozen forms, that covers approximately 75% of the Earth's surface. Believed to have initially arrived on the surface through the emissions of ancient volcanoes, geologic evidence suggests that large amounts of water have likely flowed on Earth for the past 3.8 billion years, most of its existence. As a vital substance that sets the Earth apart from the rest of the planets in our solar system, water is a necessary ingredient for the development and nourishment of life. Hydrologic History
The notion that water is continually circulating from the ocean to the atmosphere to the land and back again to the ocean has interested scholars through most of recorded history. In Book 21 of the Iliad, Homer (ca. 810 B.C.) wrote of "the deep-flowing Oceanus, from which flow all rivers and every sea and all springs and deep wells." Thales (ca. 640 B.C. - ca. 546 B.C.) and Plato (ca. 427 B.C. - 347 B.C.) also alluded to the water cycle when they wrote that all waters returned by various routes to the sea. But it wasn't until many centuries later that scientific measurements confirmed the existence of a water (or hydrologic) cycle. Seventeenth century French physicists Pierre Perrault (1608-1680) and Edmond Mariotte (1620-1684) separately made crude precipitation measurements in the Seine River basin in France and correlated these measurements with the discharge of the river to demonstrate that quantities of rainfall and snow were adequate to support the river's flow. Water, Water, Everywhere
Water is everywhere on Earth and is the only known substance that can naturally exist as a gas, liquid, and solid within the relatively small range of air temperatures and pressures found at the Earth's surface. In all, the Earth's water content is about 1.39 billion cubic kilometers (331 million cubic miles) and the vast bulk of it, about 96.5%, is in the global oceans. Approximately 1.7% is stored in the polar icecaps, glaciers, and permanent snow, and another 1.7% is stored in groundwater, lakes, rivers, streams, and soil. Finally, a thousandth of 1% exists as water vapor in the Earth's atmosphere.
Estimates of groundwater are particularly difficult and vary widely amongst sources, with the value in this table being near the high end of the range.
Ďaľšie referáty z kategórie
The water cycle
|Referát vhodný pre:||Stredná odborná škola||Počet A4:||1.4|
|Priemerná známka:||2.96||Rýchle čítanie:||2m 20s|
|Pomalé čítanie:||3m 30s|