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Climate: Environmental Geography - Assignment Example

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This essay "Climate: Environmental Geography" discusses climate change in the distribution of (fresh) water. It describes the three states of matter as they apply to ice, water, and water vapor. This essay analyses latent heat and phase changes of water. …
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Climate: Environmental Geography
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Download file to see previous pages The rivers are important for farming, manufacturing, drinking water supplies and as wildlife habitats. The changing water level patterns in the rivers will severely affect the supply of and demand for water. However, the effects on rivers will vary from region to region. Some regions may experience prolonged periods of drought while some others could experience excessive rainfall and flooding. The meltdown of ice caps and glaciers will increase river runoff leading to sea level rise. According to USGS, if all land ice melted the seas would rise about 70 meters (about 230 feet) (http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/waterdistribution.html).
Water is unique because it can exist in gaseous, liquid, and solid phases within the relatively narrow range of temperatures and pressures found on earth which is mainly due to the shape of the water molecule. Whatever the phase, a water molecule consists of an atom of oxygen bound to two atoms of hydrogen. In its solid state as ice, the water molecules are present close together forming a crystal lattice connected by the hydrogen bonds. Ice crystals have a number of open regions and pockets in their structure making them less dense than liquid water and thereby causing the ice to float on water. The freezing point of water is 0°Celsius or 32°Fahrenheit.
In the liquid state, the attractive forces between water molecules weaken and break free from the crystal structure. But the molecules are still attached to each other and the individual molecules attain greater mobility. This allows liquid water to assume the shape of its container.
At its boiling point that is, at 100°C or 212°F, water forms water vapor which is the invisible, gaseous form of water. water vapor is the invisible gas. In this state, the hydrogen bonds binding the water molecules are broken and move freely. In other words, the average speed of molecular motion determines the phase of water.   ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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