Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Boating on Melted Snow?

December 31, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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Did you ever think about where the water under your boat comes from? Could it possibly come from that white stuff that falls from the sky in winter? Yes, it can.

Water’s forms — liquid, solid, and gas — are found on the ground but also above and below it. You’ve likely studied the water cycle in school and know that water changes due to evaporation (like steam), condensation (including clouds), and precipitation (such as snow). Bodies of water, from oceans to snow-covered mountains, become heated and cooled, changing forms as the cycle repeats over and over.

Snow that falls onto land eventually becomes water as the sun shines and the ground heats up. The ground soaks up what it can, like a sponge, but once the ground becomes saturated, excess water needs a place to go. Some evaporates and some runs towards lower ground, ending up in larger bodies of water such as streams, rivers, and oceans.

As more than 95 percent of all of Earth’s water is in the oceans, the water that runs off into smaller moving waterways eventually becomes ocean water (when that water evaporates again, it supplies 90 percent of the water in the atmosphere). Therefore, while the water cycle rarely happens in a straight line or over a short time, today’s snowman will likely be some kid’s boating playground someday!

Learn more:

Snow and ice experiments:


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