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

What is the biological significance of water?

Extracts from this document...


What is the biological significance of water Water is the only substance that occurs as a gas, liquid, and solid within the temperature range found at the earth's surface. Bio. Significance: As a gaseous component of the atmosphere, water helps transfer heat from warm low latitudes to cold high latitudes. As a liquid, water runs across the continents dissolving minerals from the rocks and carrying them to the oceans. It is this form of water that accounts for over 85% of the mass of most marine organisms and serves as the medium in which the chemical reactions that support life occur. Liquid water also contributes to heat transfer through ocean currents. Solid water (Ice), during the winter season at the higher latitudes increases surface salinity and makes possible the sinking of dense surface water. ...read more.


Water has the highest heat capacity of all common liquids. Bio. Significance. It is this property that makes water an important moderator of climate. It accounts for the narrow range of temperature found at any location in the ocean. Because water can gain or lose a tremendous amount of heat without changing its temperature it acts as an insulator for marine life. LATENT HEAT OF MELTING. The quantity of heat gained or lost per gram by a substance changing from a solid to a liquid or from a liquid to a solid without a change in temperature. The latent heat of melting for water is 80 cal, the highest of all common substances. Bio. ...read more.


This property contributes greatly to the fact that the polar regions do not get increasingly colder and the equatorial region does not get increasingly hotter. SURFACE TENSION. Highest of all common liquids. Cohesive attraction of hydrogen bonds causes a "skin" one molecule thick to form on a water surface and helps to make capillarity possible. Bio. Significance. Some organisms use this "skin" as a walking surface. Others hang from its undersurface. DENSITY. Mass per unit of volume. Density is increased by increasing salinity and pressure and decreasing temperature. Bio. Significance. Plankton that stays near the surface through buoyancy and frictional resistance to sinking are greatly influenced by the effect of temperature on density. In low-density warm water, plankton must be smaller or more ornate, thereby increasing the ratio of surface area to unit of body mass, in order to reduce their rate of sinking. ...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. Investigation into the relationship between the density of fresh water shrimps in fleet brook ...

    if the thermometer is always left in the water when the temperature reading is taken. The level of the stream is on a very low level, making the accurate reading of the mercury thermometer very difficult. Furthermore, the digital thermometer will record the temperature to the nearest 0.1oC, whereas the accuracy of the spirit thermometer is at best �0.25oC.

  2. Water and Marine Resources

    Unfortunately by the early 1980s the water table had dropped alarmingly because more underground water was being extracted than was being replaced by precipitation. Salt water began to seep into the underground storage areas. One solution to this problem would have been to restrict pumping to allow the water resources

  1. The chemical nature and biological significance of the water molecule

    The specific heat capacity of water is very relevant to life on Earth today. By warming up by only a few degrees, a large body of water can absorb and store a huge amount of heat from the sun in the daytime and during summer.

  2. What is the biological significance of water?

    Some of these compounds have water as such an important part of their structure that they will even extract all available moisture from the air. These compounds are natural dehumidifiers, dependent on water to complete their structure. Water also reacts chemically with many substances, creating new substances or compounds.

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