Water evaporates from oceans and lakes and rises into the air. The evaporated water forms clouds, which float in the sky. The clouds release water as rain, snow, or hail, which falls back to the ground.
The Water Cycle
Evaporation: The process by which water changes from a liquid to a gas or vapor. Condensation: The process by which water vapor in the air is changed into liquid water. Precipitation: The process by which water falls from the atmosphere to the Earth's surface, including rain, snow, hail, and sleet.
Evaporation: The process by which water changes from a liquid to a gas or vapor.
Condensation: The process by which water changes from a liquid to a gas or vapor.
What part of the water cycle do you think is the most important?
- The evaporation of water from the ocean and other bodies of water into the atmosphere
- The condensation of water vapor in the atmosphere into clouds
- The precipitation of water from the clouds to the Earth's surface
- The collection of water on the Earth's surface and in underground aquifers
The water cycle is driven by the sun's energy - it's called the hydrologic cycle. It takes an average of 9 days for a water molecule to travel through the entire water cycle. The water that falls during a rainstorm has been around for millions of years!
Did you know?
What are the different stages of the water cycle?
What is the importance of the water cycle?
What have you learned about the water cycle?
How can you apply what you have learned about the water cycle to everyday life?