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The Importance of water to life.

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The Importance of water to life. Water is essential to life itself, without water life on earth would not exist. Water is major component of cells, typically forming between 70-95% of the mass of cell. We are made of approximately 80% water by mass and some soft bodied creatures such as jellyfish are made of up to 95% water. Water also provides an environment for organisms to live in; the earth is covered in 75% water. Water itself is a simple molecule made up of 2 hydrogen atoms and oxygen atom bonded by hydrogen bonds: H2O. The hydrogen and oxygen are bonded covalently at the angle of 104.5? and are polar. Water properties due to its hydrogen bonds allows it to act as a solvent, reactive, molecule with cohesive properties, as an environment and as a temperature stabilizer. ...read more.


H2O has a high specific heat capacity, it takes 4.2 joules of energy to raise 1 gram of water by 1?C, and therefore it takes a lot of heat energy to raise the temp of water significantly, but once warm, it cools slowly. This is essential to life where internal body temperature has to be maintained at a constant temperature as fluctuations can result in the breakdown of essential processes. Due to the large number of H bonds holding water molecules together, it takes 2kj per gram of water to separate the bonds and turn H2O in vapour. Water is therefore described as having a high latent heat of evaporation. Animals use this property of water by using excess body heat to evaporate water from their surfaces, resulting them transferring a lot of energy into the environment but losing only a little water. ...read more.


Water is also used to split molecules in a process called hydrolysis. This is essential to animals and plants because this process allows them to utilise their stored foods. Respiration produces water as a by-product, a large amount of energy is produced by oxidising hydrogen. Photosynthesis uses water as a source of hydrogen atoms, which are needed to produce glucose, which is the stored in the plant cells as starch or used for respiration. Without water these 2 essential reactions would not occur and life would not be able to continue on earth. Water allows cells to become turgid and due to its incompressibility plants can support themselves. In conclusion waters unique properties make it the most biologically important substance on the planet. No other substance share similar properties to water in the way one single molecule can possess such varied and essential characters. 1 Sumaira Shabir ...read more.

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