Essay Questions

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What are the consequences of the polar nature of water molecules and how are these consequences important for oceanography?

The hydrogen bonding and polarity of water molecules is accountable for many of the unique characteristics and physical properties of water. For instance, If water was not polar, it would be a gas at room temperature and have a tremendously low freezing point, making life not possible. At the air-water interface, the polar nature of water permits it to form a ‘skin’ over the water exterior, sturdy enough to hold up small objects.  This fact is known as surface tension. Water has a capacity to hold heat force, with the maximum heat of vaporization of most common substances when water evaporates; it sucks up substantial amounts of heat. Perhaps most significant is that water is a universal solvent.  It has the ability to dissolve more matter than any other liquid. In addition, Water is very dense; the density allows large and small organisms to float along effortlessly for long periods. Because of this nature of water molecules, many occurrences become clear to the oceanographers.

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