How Do The Unique Chemical And Physical Properties Of Water Make Life On Earth Possible Essay
A physical property of water that is necessary to life on earth is the fact that ice floats. Ice is held by its hydrogen bonds in a crystal like structure in which each water molecule is bound together by 4 hydrogen bonds to other water molecules.
These bonds are packed less tightly than they are in liquid water, so solid water is less dense than liquid water and therefore floats. This isn’t the case in most other liquids. It’s a good thing that ice floats because if it didn’t then water would freeze from the bottom up.
That would make it impossible for life to exist.
Instead, ice forms a protective layer which keeps the water at least over zero Celsius allowing organisms to survive. A property of water that is necessary to life on earth that is chemical is water’s high heat capacity. Water’s high heat capacity make it a good temperature moderator. Water’s heat capacity makes oceans, ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water relatively constant throughout the seasons.
It also has the effect of minimizing variations of atmospheric temperature.Cohesive strength and surface tension are physical properties of water that make life on earth possible. Liquid water has a dynamic structure which means that hydrogen bonds are continually forming and breaking. In liquid water, each molecule forms around 3.
4 hydrogen bonds which accounts for water’s cohesive strength. The cohesive strength of water is what allows water to stretch from roots of trees to the tips of leaves. As water is evaporated out of the leaves, more water is called up to the top which stretches it.Water also has a high surface tension.
The surface of water that is exposed to air is difficult to penetrate so animals like water striders can walk on water. A chemical property of water which is essential to life on earth is it’s high heat of vaporization. Since water has a high heat of vaporization a lot of heat is required to change water from its liquid state to its gaseous state. The heat is absorbed from the enviroment that is in contact with the water causing a cooling effect on the environment.
This is why sweating cools you down. You are cooled when the sweat is evaporated off of your body because it takes some of your body heat with you. Water also acts as a solvent or medium for reactions to take place in a cell. Water is known as the universal solvent, and it is so good as a solvent because of its polarity.
Polar molecules like acids, alcohols, and salts are easily dissolved in water while non polar molecules like fats and oils are not.