What is the first stage of the water cycle?
The water cycle describes how water moves around Earth and through the atmosphere. The cycle begins when water evaporates from the surface of oceans, lakes, and rivers and rises into atmosphere. The water vapor cools and condenses to form clouds, which then return to Earth as rain or snow.
The Water Cycle
Evaporation: The process of liquid water changing into water vapor and rising into the atmosphere. Condensation: The process of water vapor changing back into liquid water and forming clouds. Precipitation: The process of water falling from clouds as rain, snow, sleet, or hail.
What is the most important process in the water cycle?
- Groundwater Flow
The water cycle recycles the same water over and over again. It takes about 3,000 years for a water molecule to complete its cycle. Water vapor in the atmosphere can travel hundreds of miles before condensing back into liquid. The oceans are the Earth's largest reservoir of water, holding 97% of the planet's water supply.
Did you know?
What is evaporation and how does it affect the water cycle?
What is the importance of the water cycle and why is it important to the environment?
How does water get back into the atmosphere during the water cycle?
What would happen if the water cycle was disrupted?
How can we be more conscious of the resources we use that are connected to the water cycle?