What is the hydrosphere?

Many people know what the hydrosphere is, but some hear this word for the first time, so in this article we will tell you in detail about the hydrosphere of our planet. The hydrosphere is the water shell of the Earth, which is the sum of all the water bodies of the Earth, such as the oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, swamps, glaciers, snow cover, groundwater. The composition of the hydrosphere includes water in the atmosphere, the water of living organisms and soil moisture. The hydrosphere presents the basic states of water — liquid, gaseous, and solid. The water reserves of these species in different parts of the world are very different.

What is included in the hydrosphere

Water vapor in the atmosphere is a necessary participant in the important process of photosynthesis. But the soil moisture - an essential component of the process of creating vegetation of the Earth. Both steam and soil moisture play an important role in the hydrological cycle of the planet. The hydrosphere plays an important role in large processes of energy and matter exchange, therefore everyone needs to know what the hydrosphere is. Water takes part in many different natural processes and, depending on the characteristics of the processes, is very different in mobility.

Water has a high dissolving capacity.But distilled water does not occur in nature, and natural solutions of various concentrations and various contents are found everywhere and play an important role in the biogeochemical and geological circulation of substances. Water properties (physical) are very specific. These properties seriously affect a lot of natural processes. A significant role in these processes is played by the high latent specific heat of condensation-evaporation, because 84% of the Sun’s radiation, which the surface of the planet absorbs, is spent on evaporation. The energy of the Sun, as it were, supports and launches the global water cycle.

Oceans and seas together cover 71% of the total area of ​​the planet, and together with the rest of the water bodies, make up almost 3/4 of the total area of ​​the Earth. This is of great importance for the water and thermal regime of the planet. The world ocean has 96.4% of the total water volume. This mass has two layers:

  1. cold (main), with temperatures of 5 ° C and below;
  2. upper - relatively warm.

The ocean plays a very ambiguous and important role of the temperature regulator of the ecosphere. On land, glaciers contain the bulk of the water - 70.3% of freshwater reserves and 1.86% of total reserves.The entire volume of groundwater hydrosphere is 1.68% of the total. About half of it is fresh water. Of the total water of the hydrosphere (1338000000km3), fresh water is only 2.64%, which gives a water layer on land equal to approximately 240,000 mm. Glaciers, groundwaters and the world's oceans are objects of slow-motion water, containing 99.94% of all water on Earth.

Rivers are a very important component of the hydrosphere, which is characterized by a high rate of exchange of water. The entire volume of water in the rivers of the Earth is 0.005% of the fresh water reserves and only 0.0002% of the total water reserves. If you distribute the river moisture, which is simultaneously located in the rivers of the world, evenly over the entire land surface (except glaciers), then the layer will be only 13 mm. However, the role of this particular moisture in the functioning of individual parts and the entire ecosphere is very large. And it is this water that is the main natural resource used by people.

The global water cycle is also an important process. When exposed to solar energy, water evaporates from land and the surface of the oceans. This steam is involved in the process of atmospheric moisture transfer. Part of the flow of atmospheric moisture falls in the form of precipitation, then evaporates again and falls out again in the form of precipitation and so on.This is how the moisture turns within the oceans and continents.

The state of the Earth's hydrosphere is characterized by its water balance. After all, changes in the Earth’s aquatic state are associated with the spatial distribution of water, in particular, with changes in the ratio of water reserves in ice caps and oceans, and not with changes in the world's total water volume. We hope that now you understand what the hydrosphere is. The definition of the word need to know every student.

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