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The Biological Importance of Water as a Solvent and as a Medium for Living Organisms, including Change of State and Specific Heat Capacity

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Introduction

The Biological Importance of Water as a Solvent and as a Medium for Living Organisms, including Change of State and Specific Heat Capacity Water is essential for all forms of life. Without water, simply nothing would live, not even the tiniest forms such as bacteria which need oxygen, warmth and water to survive and grow. But not to mention that our bodies mass contains a massive 80% of water. Water is not only the bare essentials for life but it also plays a vital role as a medium for living organisms. The ocean:- life originally evolved in an aqueous habitat and although there is life on land not all forms can live on it and therefore the ocean provides a good habitat for many varieties of life. ...read more.

Middle

Plants also use water for keeping a constant temperature by a process called transpiration. Water has properties which allows plants to pull up water through xylem vessels from the roots to the leaves. Also plants need water for photosynthesis (carbon dioxide + water = glucose + oxygen) for it's source of hydrogen atoms needed to produce glucose. This demonstrates the fact that all life is dependant on water as photosynthesis produces glucose (food) which is consumed by all plants and animals releasing energy allowing them to move and live and this energy moves down the food chain to every other organism. Water is also vital in condensation reactions where water is removed from molecules to bond them together which usually happens with sugars such as glucose and carbohydrates. ...read more.

Conclusion

Furthermore water needs 300Joules per gram of ice to melt it. However it's freezing point is lowered by solutes because the soluble molecules disrupt the hydrogen making the water freeze at a lower temperature hence it's easier to melt the ice. Ice is less dense than water and this is proven as ice floats on the surface of the water. The particle arranged in ice are slightly further apart than particles in water as energy is required to freeze it making the particles move slightly hence ice expands. The specific heat capacity of water is high, this results in 4.2J of energy needed to raise one gram of water by 1degree, therefore a lot of heat energy is required to raise the temperature of water significantly, but once warm it cools down slowly. ?? ?? ?? ?? Zoe Thorpe ...read more.

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