What is elevation in the water cycle?
Liquid water under the influence of gravity will move from a higher to a lower elevation when given the chance. Thus, water in high elevation regions makes it way to rivers that carry the water to sea level.
What causes water to rise up in the water cycle?
The sun, which drives the water cycle, heats water in the oceans. Some of it evaporates as vapor into the air. The vapor rises into the air where cooler temperatures cause it to condense into clouds. Air currents move clouds around the globe, cloud particles collide, grow, and fall out of the sky as precipitation.
Does water vapor increase with altitude?
Troposphere. Temperature and water vapor content in the troposphere decrease rapidly with altitude. Water vapor plays a major role in regulating air temperature because it absorbs solar energy and thermal radiation from the planet’s surface.
Why does water vapor condense at higher elevation?
As we said, clouds form in the atmosphere because air containing water vapor rises and cools. At higher altitudes, there is less air above, and, thus, less air pressure pressing down. The barometric pressure is lower, and lower barometric pressure is associated with fewer molecules per unit volume.
How is the movement of water related to the hydrologic cycle?
Water is always changing states between liquid, vapor, and ice, with these processes happening in the blink of an eye and over millions of years. Earth’s water is always in movement, and the natural water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle, describes the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the surface of the Earth.
Which is the most important process in the water cycle?
The water cycle consists of three major processes: evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. Evaporation is the process of a liquid’s surface changing to a gas. In the water cycle, liquid water (in the ocean, lakes, or rivers) evaporates and becomes water vapor. Water vapor surrounds us, as an important part of the air we breathe.
How does the water cycle affect the environment?
Through the water cycle, heat is exchanged and temperatures fluctuate. As water evaporates, for example, it absorbs energy and cools the local environment. As water condenses, it releases energy and warms the local environment. The water cycle also influences the physical geography of the Earth.
How is precipitation related to the water cycle?
1 Type of precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, etc.) 2 Rainfall intensity 3 Rainfall amount 4 Rainfall duration 5 Distribution of rainfall over the drainage basin 6 Direction of storm movement 7 Precipitation that occurred earlier and resulting soil moisture