Where does all the water go when it rains?
Water Cycle Quiz
What is the Water Cycle?
This Water Cycle Quiz aims to help you remember the most important parts of the water cycle.
The water cycle is the process by which water moves through the three states of matter and around the Earth. The water cycle is truly essential for life since it moves water from areas of abundance to areas of little availability.
The energy for the water cycle comes primarily from the sun as it drives evaporation and melting of ice. Once surface waters evaporate they join the atmosphere and eventually condense into clouds. When clouds reach a critical depth and density, they release their water in the form of precipitation which falls upon the land.
The rainwater then begins to seek the lowest possible point due to the force of its own weight. Water gathers across catchment areas into rivers and tributaries which flow into lakes and eventually into the oceans where the cycle began. Some water will sink into the soil and rock before flowing into the oceans, but it all heads to the same place in the end.
How does Deforestation affect the Water Cycle?
Trees play an important role in the water cycle since through their roots they absorb a large amount of the precipitation that falls on Earth. This water is then released gradually into the atmosphere via transpiration, creating clouds and weather of their own. These clouds are important for maintaining ecosystems since the water is recycled and would become a limiting factor for growth if less water were available.
When deforestation occurs, these trees are no longer able to absorb water and later introduce this water into the atmosphere. Trees can be thought of as a shortcut from the water cycle which speeds up the process and increases the frequency and intensity of the precipitation. If rainwater flows all the way to the oceans, it takes much longer to return to the same area as clouds.
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