School: Water and High Specific Heat Essay

Submitted By nicholaswilliams16
Words: 624
Pages: 3

As human beings, when we think of water, a few things that come to mind are that we can drink water, we can swim in water, and many other applications. We don’t often think about it, but just as much as we like using water for our everyday needs, water’s unique characteristics and properties are very important in the environment, internally in our bodies, and to the other organisms that also habitat the earth. Certain characteristics of water such as its high specific heat, its density in its liquid and solid state, and water’s high surface tension all help organisms function in their everyday lives. When thinking of water’s unique properties, we often don’t think about how important it is that water is less dense in its solid form, rather than its liquid form. In hydrogen bonding, when the temperature drops to zero degrees the molecules in ice separate in a structured form away from other molecules making ice around 10 percent less dense than water. It is very significant to the environment that ice is less dense than water because if it wasn’t, the sea creatures that live under a lake or pond that freezes over would die. But since ice can float, the water only freezes on the top allowing the organisms below to live in the liquid water. Another important characteristic of water is its high specific heat. The specific heat of something is how much energy is needed for one gram of a substance to change by its temperature by 1 degree. Water has a high specific heat of 4.18 joules. Water’s high specific heat can be attributed to the fact that H2O molecules have hydrogen bonds. These hydrogen bonds within a within a water molecule are very hard break. This is such a unique property of water, because if water was to release or gain a certain amount of energy, its specific heat will not drastically change compared to another substance with a lower specific heat. This characteristic of water is so important because it allows organisms who live underwater to live their lives normally, despite the changing temperatures outside. Because it takes a lot of heat energy to raise the temperature of a body of water, the marine life below can live regularly without suffering from water that is drastically too hot or too cold. Not only that, but it is important that water has a high specific heat to make sure our…