• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The importance of water as a medium for life.

Extracts from this document...


Biology Essay: 12th September 2003 The importance of water as a medium for life: Water is a very important liquid found on the Earth's surface and makes up 60 to 90 % of the fresh mass of all living things and is very important for cells. It is also an important habitat for animals such as fish and other aquatic organisms. It consists of 2 hydrogen atoms, covalently bonded to an oxygen atom. When discussing what makes water such an important medium for life, I must consider properties, such as its dipolar charge, its ability as a solvent, its thermal properties, its density, its high surface tension and its cohesion. An important feature of water is that it has a dipolar (uneven) charge. This occurs because of the covalent bonds shared between the 2 hydrogens and the oxygen atoms. When these covalent bonds are formed, the oxygen nucleus attracts electrons more then the hydrogen nuclei do, due to oxygen having 8 protons opposed to hydrogen's 1 proton. ...read more.


Another benefit of water's thermal properties is that it needs a very high amount of energy to evaporate it into a gas (100� c boiling point). This makes sweating very effective for cooling the body. In contrast to this, water also needs a high amount of energy to be transferred away from it to make it freeze. This is important in making sure that living organisms, particularly aquatic creatures don't freeze up. An unusual property of water compared with many other liquids is that its solid form (ice) is a lot less dense than its liquid form. We know this because ice tends to float on top of water. As this occurs in ponds and streams, the ice that forms on top of water insulates the liquid below it, ensuring that life beneath the ice survives. This is an important property of water, which ensures that aquatic animals don't have their environment constantly fluctuating at different temperatures. ...read more.


This is due to many important properties that it holds. One of these properties is a dipolar charge, which causes hydrogen bonds to attract to each other and cause cohesion, which is important for transport. Another important property is the fact that it is an excellent solvent. This means that many biochemical reactions are able to take place in water, which is why 60 to 90% of the fresh mass of living things are made up of H2O. Water is also good for its thermal properties which insulate the bodies of living organisms, making it easy for them to keep a constant temperature. Another unusual property is that the density of water decreases when it's a solid, which protects the organisms in lakes and ponds in extreme weather conditions. Each of these properties make water a very important substance for living in, whether we need it as an environment, to whether we need it for biochemical reactions in or bodies to take place. In conclusion, without water, the earth would be a very inhabitable place to live in for living organisms. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Green Plants as Organisms section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Green Plants as Organisms essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The roles water in living organisms and water as a habitat for organisms

    5 star(s)

    of a high percentage of water because once frozen the cell would be irreparably damaged. The freezing point of water is also lowered by solutes because the soluble molecules disrupt the hydrogen bonds making the water freeze at a lower temperature and it easier to melt ice.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    An investigation into the abundance of fresh water black fly larvae, Simuliidae, between pools ...

    4 star(s)

    They tend to form at regular intervals spaced between five and seven times the width of the channel. They are better developed in streams where the slope is not very steep. In riffles, the increased surface area caused by the shallow flow, splashing, and bubbles improves air-water mixing.

  1. Biology revision notes - maintenance of life

    Electrical impulses transmit information from receptor cells along sensory neurones to the central nervous system that includes the brain and the spinal cord. Reflex actions often involve three neurones called sensory, relay and motor neurone. In such a reflex action: * Impulses from a receptor pass along a sensory neurone to the central nervous system * At a junction (synapse)

  2. Explain The Significance To Organisms of Water As a Transport Medium and Habitat, In ...

    clusters around the positive sodium ions, while the positive hydrogen atoms cluster around the negative chloride ions. The attraction between the Sodium and Chloride is weakened as the ions are separated. Water's properties as a solvent are vital to life as most biochemical reactions such as respiration occur in solution.

  1. To investigate how motion of a dye droplet is affected by the temperature of ...

    19 4 46 45 37 5 65 69 53 6 91 92 70 7 121 110 92 8 - 136 116 9 185 163 144 10 225 198 173 11 263 233 203 12 310 274 241 13 360 317 279 14 410 365 319 15 471 418 365 16

  2. Investigation into the relationship between the density of fresh water shrimps in fleet brook ...

    5 Where Cs is the solubility of O2 in water in mg/l and t is the temperature. It is obvious that if more oxygen is dissolved in the water, there will be more of it available for the respiration of fresh water fauna living in the stream.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work