By Alan Knight
|Photo Credit: x3lplive.blogspot.com|
In other words, water.
Water is one of the primordial elements not just on Earth, but also in our solar system, throughout the Milky Way galaxy, and beyond, scientists have discovered. In fact, a study published last September stated that much of the water on Earth and elsewhere in our solar system more than likely predates the birth of our sun.
"The implications of our study are that interstellar water-ice remarkably survived the incredibly violent process of stellar birth to then be incorporated into planetary bodies," study lead author Ilse Cleeves, an astronomy Ph.D.
student at the
University of Michigan, told Space.com.
"If our sun's formation was typical, interstellar ices, including water, likely survive and are a common ingredient during the formation of all
extrasolar systems," Dr. Cleeves added. "This
is particularly exciting given the number of confirmed extrasolar planetary
systems to date — that they, too, had access to abundant, life-fostering water
during their formation."
|Photo Credit: space.com|
Earth: Our Water Planet
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Many of us remember the stanza from the famous poem, “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “… Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” He penned it correctly: Only 2.5% of the Earth's water
is freshwater, and 98.8% of that water is found in ice and
groundwater. Furthermore, less than 0.3% of all freshwater is found in rivers,
lakes, glaciers and the atmosphere, and an even smaller amount of the Earth's
freshwater (0.003%) is contained within biological bodies and manufactured
products. Indeed, water is our planet’s
most precious natural resource.
|Photo Credit: ck12.org|
- Evaporation from oceans and other water bodies into the air and transpiration from land plants and animals into air.
- Condensation, the change of the physical state of matter from gaseous phase into liquid phase; it’s the reverse of evaporation.
- Precipitation, from water vapor condensing from the air and falling to earth or ocean.
- Transpiration (or
evapotranspiration), the process of water movement through plants its evaporation from its above-groundstructures, namely leaves, stems and flowers.
- Runoff from the land usually reaching the oceans.
This study of the perpetual movement, distribution, and quality of water
is known as hydrology. Our environment is a closed system, not
unlike a terrarium, which means it rarely loses or acquires extra matter. In fact, the very water that existed on Earth
millions of years ago is still present today. Did you ever stop to think you may be sharing
a quaff of aqua with a T. rex?
Under the Microscope
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Salts, sugars, acids, alkalis and some gases are called hydrophilic (water-loving), whereas those that are immiscible in water, namely fats and oils, are known as hydrophobic (water-fearing) substances.
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While a healthy person can drink about three gallons (48 cups) of water per day, imbibing too much water in a short period of time can lead to water intoxication. This occurs when water ― remember, it’s considered the universal solvent ― dilutes the sodium level in our bloodstream, which then creates an imbalance of water in the brain. This usually happens during extended periods of intense athletic activities.
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Case in point, one of my wife's friends is originally from the UK. I remember one time when my wife and I took her out dinner, the waiter had asked what beverages we’d like. While my wife and I requested water, our ex-pat Brit friend requested tea and wryly quipped, “I’m from Great Britain, we don’t drink water.”
“People just think that when they start to get a little weak or they have a headache, they need to eat something, but most often they need to drink [water],” explains Grace Webb, Assistant Director
for Clinical Nutrition at New York Hospital.
“Water is necessary for the body to digest and absorb vitamins and nutrients,” she continues. “It’s also key to proper digestion; it detoxifies the liver and kidneys, and carries waste away. If your urine becomes darkly colored
dehydrated. The urine should be light,
|Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net|
Centuries ago, the sagacious Leonardo
I’m curious: How many of you just drank some water after reading this
… I sure did!
8 Cool Tricks You Can Do With Water
In this first article in our series of water, I talked about the importance and widespread existence of water, both on Earth and throughout the universe. I discussed where water is found, and in particular, talked about its behavior and attributes on Earth. I then went into detail about the importance of water for life processes in general and the health of human beings in particular.
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Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email email@example.com.
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