Where is Earth’s Water?

Water on Earth exists in different states. 

  • Solid – Glaciers and polar ice caps
  • Liquid – Oceans, rivers, streams, and soil
  • Gas – Water Vapor in the atmosphere

Water moves through these different states in a repeating cycle.

Let’s dig in and learn more about this journey of water.

What is the Water Cycle?

The water cycle is the path that water follows as it moves around the Earth in different states.

  • Evaporation: Energy from the sun heats the water in the rivers and oceans, causing some of it to evaporate into water vapor.
  • Condensation: The warm water vapor rises up in the atmosphere and cools and turns back into liquid state to forms clouds. 
  • Precipitation: When the water droplets in the cloud become too heavy, they fall back down to Earth in various forms like rain, snow, hail, and sleet.
  • Collection: The falling precipitation is collected in oceans, rivers, lakes, soil, or glaciers.


Let’s do a quick recap of what we learned about water and its journey

  • What are the three states in which water exists? Solid, Liquid, Gas
  • What is the process by which clouds are formed? Condensation
  • What is the process in the water cycle that causes rain? Precipitation
  • What causes water from the oceans to evaporate into water vapor? Energy from the Sun


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