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The Importance of Water to Life on Eartha look at the unique structure and behavior of the water molecule-----Water is the most important substance in our evolution and our daily lives Without waterlife as we know it would not have been possible This essay will examine the water moleculein order to ascertain how it brought about Earths thriving ecosystem and how important itis to us today Each water molecule consists of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms The oxygen atom orthe apex of the water molecule bears a slight electronegative charge while hydrogenpossesses a more positive one1 figure a Because opposite charges attract the watermolecules are drawn together When an oxygen atom is linked to a neighboring moleculeshydrogen atom a bond called a hydrogen bond is formed2 In an ice crystal the hydrogenbonds govern the shape of the crystal so that the grid of molecules surrounds relativelylarge spaces imagine figure b in three dimensions In a liquid form water has no suchspaces thus ice is less dense and will float on liquid water If not for this great bodiesof water would freeze from the bottom up without the insulation of a top layer of ice andall life in the water would die The water molecule is a very small one but because of its unique properties it behaves likea larger one The bonds between water molecules are so strong that water resists changes inits state Solid liquid gas thus water has a higher melting point and a higher boilingpoint than another molecule of similar size If water followed the example of othermolecules its size it would have a boiling point of -75C and a freezing point of -125C4 This would mean that on Earth water would be a gas all of the time and life would not bepossible When heat is applied to solid water some hydrogen bonds get so much kinetic energy thatthey break and the ice melts Liquid water does not necessarily
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