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Why is Water Essential to Life.

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Why is Water Essential to Life A water molecule contains an oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms. The two Hydrogen atoms are attached at an angle of 105� (shown in picture below). On the bottom there are two pairs of electrons that form a 90 degree angle. On earth, water is found as a liquid, as a solid (ice) or as a gas (water vapour). Water molecules are attracted to each other, creating hydrogen bonds. These strong bonds determine almost every physical property of water and many of its chemical properties too. The main properties of water are: Weight: 62.416 pounds per cubic foot at 32�F, Weight: 61.998 pounds per cubic foot at 100�F, Weight: 8.33 pounds/gallon, 0.036 pounds/cubic inch, Density: 1 gram per cubic centimetre (cc) at 39.2�F, 0.95865 gram per cc at 212�F Water is a polar molecule and because electrons are more attracted to the positively charged oxygen atom, the two hydrogen's become slightly positively charged (they give away their negative charge) and the oxygen atom becomes negatively charged. This separation between negative and positive charges creates what is known as a polar molecule, meaning a molecule that has an electrical charge on its surface somewhere. ...read more.


Water has the highest heat capacity of any liquid or solid, except ammonia. The heat capacity of a substance is defined as the amount of heat that is required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of a substance by 1 degree. The amount of heat for water is defined as 1 calorie. This means that the heat capacity of all other substances is lower, i.e. that it takes less than 1 calorie to raise the temperature of 1 gram of the substance by 1 degree. Water is essential to life as it is used everywhere constantly. Water is used for transport. Plants uptake minerals which are found in water through their roots. Transpiration stream and water based movement of sugars and amino acids, hormones etc. in phloem occurs in solution. All transport fluids used in animals such as cytoplasm, blood, plasma and tissue fluid are water-based. Many essential metabolites dissolve completely into water such as glucose, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. The transpiration stream is held together by cohesion (the process by which water molecules hydrogen bond to other water molecules) ...read more.


In plants cells water confers turgidity. This is essential for maintaining maximum leaf surface area allowing light absorption and photosynthesis. As well as maintaining aerial parts of the plant to maximise speed dispersal or pollination. In animals, water- filled tissues also contribute to skeletal support. In organisms which possess a hydrostatic skeleton, water is the major component of the fluid in the coelom against which muscles can act. For aquatic organisms water provides support through buoyancy. Water is used for movement. Nastic movements which depend upon the osmotic flow of water in the tissues. A good example of this movement is the opening and closing of the carnivorous flower the Venus Fly Trap. Also organisms such as the earthworm and leeches use their hydrostatic skeletons to move around. Lastly water is used in reproduction. Organism which employ sexual reproduction use water to bring the male and female gametes together in the process of fertilisation. In mammals the foetus develops in a water filled sac which provides physical and thermal stability. Many mammals reproduce using sperm. Sperm swims and needs a solution to swim in. Without water the sperm would be unable to reach the ovaries and fertilise the egg. Water is used in many ways and without it their would be no life. Jack Bradley ...read more.

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