Evaporation is – This Earth that we live in always has a way of protecting the creatures that live in it. Not just origin of life, but also ensuring that people, animals and plants get what they need to survive on this planet. One way is to carry out the recycling process.
Not only humans do recycling activities, but our earth can do it too. Without us realizing it, there are many things that are recycled by our earth and water is one of them.
Discussing water recycling, we know how important water is for the life of the creatures that inhabit the earth. Not only humans, but also animals and plants. Try to imagine, what would happen if the water on Earth ran out? All living things would die, and humans would be the first to disappear.
As you know, humans can survive for a week without eating. However, we will not be able to survive more than 3 or four days without water entering our bodies.
The animals are even more fortunate because their bodies are used to the harsh environment. Camels for example, can survive for 2 weeks without water, very strong right?
Now this process of recycling water in scientific language is known as evaporation. So curious, what is evaporation like and what is the process? Here’s the full explanation!
Definition of Evaporation
In simple terms, evaporation is the evaporation process that water experiences from being initially liquid to gas. Meanwhile, the evaporation process is an important part of the hydrologic cycle, aka the water cycle.
For those of you who have graduated from school a long time ago, or rarely listen to natural science lessons in class, the term evaporation must sound very foreign to your ears. When in fact, the evaporation process is a natural process that we often see everyday without even realizing it.
For example, when we dry clothes, boil water, until it rains, all of these are examples of the evaporation process. This is because all evaporation processes are evaporation processes experienced by water. The clothes that were initially wet in the sun, finally the water in the clothes evaporated and made the clothes that had been soaking wet become dry.
The water we boil, the water meets the heat of the fire, after a while the water in the pot will evaporate into water vapor. Likewise with the rain that often makes us drenched, it turns out that it is also the result of the evaporation process.
The sun shining on our earth is a very hot star. It’s so hot, even though it is between 147 and 152 million kilometers, the heat still reaches the earth’s surface.
The heat of the sun then also reaches the surface of the sea, rivers and lakes. Because it was left in the sun for too long, this water gradually evaporated into water vapor and formed clouds.
When there is more water vapor in the clouds, they eventually spill over to the earth in the form of snow, fog or rain which often makes us wet. This process keeps repeating and has not changed since the first.
If you pay attention, this process is exactly like the recycling process. The difference is, this process is carried out by the earth with the aim of maintaining water supplies, especially fresh water, which can be used by living things like humans.
Stages in the Water Cycle
As discussed earlier, evaporation is part of the water cycle. So that means, this water cycle does not only depend on evaporation that we have studied earlier. Moreover, the water cycle itself consists of 9 stages. Anything?
Evaporation is the first stage in the water cycle. Evaporation is the evaporation process that turns water into steam and water into the layers of the earth’s atmosphere. The water that undergoes the evaporation process is usually lake, river, reservoir and sea water. Considering that this is a natural process, the amount of water that evaporates cannot be determined and will not be the same every day.
Usually the higher the temperature on earth, the more water that will undergo the evaporation process. In addition, the more water that evaporates, the more likely it is to rain and snow to fall heavily.
Basically, transportation is also a process of evaporation alias evaporation. The difference is, this evaporation process does not occur in lakes, seas, reservoirs, or rivers. The evaporation process actually comes from living things, namely plants. Just like the evaporation process in water sources, this type of evaporation process also occurs during the day when the sun is shining brightly.
During the day, when the sun is shining, plants emit carbon dioxide or CO2 and water or H2O. The vapors that come from all the plants in the world are then collected in the atmosphere. Even though the amount is small compared to the evaporation process, the vapor produced by these plants is still very significant for survival on Earth.
The name is indeed complicated, but actually evapotranspiration is a combination of the two previous processes namely evaporation and transportation. This process is a type of evaporation on open land grown by plants, whether wild plants or plants grown by humans.
The amount of water collected by this stage is not as much as the evaporation process, but it is still very important because evapotranspiration also greatly affects the water vapor that reaches the atmosphere of the human planet, aka the earth.
Sublimation becomes part of the water cycle as well. However, this cycle is rare and does not occur everywhere. Sublimation is the process of changing ice to vapor into the atmosphere. Normally, this ice must melt first and then evaporate into the air. But uniquely, in this sublimation process, the ice does not melt but immediately evaporates as gas.
Apart from being an unusual process, sublimation is also quite rare because it only occurs in places that have quite a lot of ice cover, such as the North Pole and also the South Pole. Because it only occurs in locations where there is a lot of ice, the sublimation process will obviously not occur in other areas of the earth, especially in Indonesia, which is clearly a country with a tropical climate.
Condensation being another stage of the water cycle which we will discuss. Just like all the previous stages, condensation is also a stage of changing water. The difference is, if at another stage, the water turns into steam, then in the condensation process the water actually turns into very small ice particles, so they are invisible to the human eye.
This one stage is also quite rare because it only occurs at certain moments such as very low temperatures at a certain altitude. Interestingly, the clouds formed by these ice particles are also dark and thick before finally falling back to earth in the same form, namely ice particles.
If the previous stages are evaporation processes, then advection is a displacement process. What’s moving? Clouds produced by evaporation processes that occurred before.
So, if you often see clouds moving and spreading, this process is called advection. Clouds that are created from water vapor will move and spread in various directions due to wind currents and also air pressure. Usually, these clouds move from the sea to the land, then when they arrive on land, the clouds will spread in various directions with the wind.
If advection is the process of moving clouds from one place to another, then precipitation is the process by which clouds melt again and fall to the earth’s surface.
This process occurs because clouds are affected by air temperature and eventually melt again. As it rises, this water is in the form of vapor, but their form will be different when it descends back down to earth. There is water vapor that eventually falls as rain, some turns into snow and some turns into mist.
These differences are normal, and are usually caused by temperature and wind. The colder the temperature, the more likely the water vapor will fall as snow or fog.
8. Run Off
In the previous stage, water had fallen to the ground, so it is in this run-off stage that water will move on the surface of the Earth. Run off is the stage where water will move from a high place to a low place.
Usually when it rains, some of the water will return to the ground and be a blessing for plants, but not all of the water that falls will suffer the same fate. Some rain, snow, or fog also falls on rivers, lakes, and oceans, but that water doesn’t stay still either. The river flow will continue to carry water from high places to lower places until it finally empties into the sea.
The final stage of the water cycle is known as infiltration. Infiltration is the movement of water, but not from a higher place to a lower one, but into the soil through the pores of the soil. As said before, this process will be a blessing in itself for living things, plants.
This is due to the presence of water, so they (plants) can meet their needs to stay alive. This is certainly different from the previous stage, where water falls into rivers or lakes and is enjoyed by animals and humans for their needs. The infiltration stage itself occurs due to the gravitational force possessed by the Earth.
Factors Affecting An Evaporation Process
Evaporation is indeed a natural process, but this evaporation exists to maintain sufficient water reserves on planet Earth. However, to carry out this process, our earth will not be able to work alone. However, the earth still needs the help of the sun to carry out the various stages of evaporation.
Even so, evaporation and the amount of water that has evaporated are also influenced by many factors. The majority of stages are indeed influenced by the sun, but the sun isn’t the only one either. Here are the factors that influence an evaporation process!
1. Solar Radiation
You must be aware that the sun is very hot and unreachable, but the sun has a very big contribution in human life. Without the sun, temperatures on Earth and other planets would drop severely or cool down considerably. In other words, the earth would freeze over, and life would disappear in no time.
The sun or rather solar radiation also influences the evaporation process on our earth. Considering that the earth continues to move around the sun, solar radiation will also move in the next year. Apart from the rotation of the earth, radiation displacement is also influenced by latitude
At the end of the year, the sun will be in the south and when it does, then the south will receive the most radiation. The water in the southern region will experience evaporation.
Meanwhile in the middle of the year, the sun will move north and make the northern region receive maximum radiation exposure, so that the same process will be repeated, water in the northern region will experience the most evaporation process compared to other regions on earth.
2. Air Temperature
Temperature is a measure of how hot or cold an object is. The higher the temperature of an object, the hotter the temperature in that object. So, in addition to solar radiation hitting the earth’s surface, temperature also greatly affects the evaporation process.
This is because the higher the temperature of the Earth, the more water molecules will evaporate and the clouds produced will also be thicker. Vice versa, when the air temperature drops, the amount of water that evaporates will also decrease.
3. Air humidity
If this one term, you may have often heard. Air humidity is the amount of water vapor present in the air. The higher the radiation and air temperature in a place, the more water will automatically evaporate and the higher the humidity will be.
The opposite will happen when the sun moves away from an area, the radiation and temperature will decrease. This makes the water that undergoes evaporation decreases and the amount of water vapor in the air also decreases drastically.
4. Wind speed
When the air is hot, the wind becomes a blessing for us. How could I not, even for a moment, the wind makes the air feel cooler and fresher. So it turns out, the function of the wind is not only to relieve our ‘suffering’ from the heat of the sun.
More than that, the wind functions to lower back the water vapor that has accumulated in the sky to become raindrops, snow, or fog to the earth’s surface. In the presence of wind, the process of repeated evaporation will occur. Water vapor that has long filled the air will fall to the earth and be replaced with new water vapor.
The wind itself is caused by the rotation of the earth on its axis or better known as rotation. Therefore, the wind is also air that continues to move following the rotation of the earth, so that the wind can move more clouds to fall to the earth’s surface as rain.
The evaporation process is the process of changing the form of water into gas. Even though the term evaporation and other stages of the water cycle are still very foreign to many people’s ears, this process is actually very important for keeping humans, animals and plants alive.
Not only that, the process of evaporation and other water cycles will make the earth a more comfortable place for everyone and all living things to live in. This is because evaporation and the water cycle make it rain and automatically lower the air temperature from heat to cooler and more comfortable.