A lack of freshwater access can be a cause of conflict between communities. And, remember, projections are for significant aridification to occur in many dry regions and for more severe rainfall events to characterize wet regions. Distribution of water on land . The Distribution of Water on Earth lesson will correlate to other interdisciplinary areas. Water also exists in the air as water vapor, in rivers and lakes, in icecaps and glaciers, in the ground as soil moisture and in aquifers, and even in you and your dog. Regions that rely on snow melt may find that there is less snow and the melt comes earlier and faster in the spring, causing the water to run off and not be available through the dry summers. 3. Figure 5.2.1 H 2 O Water is a polar molecule (see the model of it above), meaning that one side of the molecule has a positive charge, and the other side of the molecule has a negative charge. You cannot download interactives. About 71 percent of the Earth's surface is water-covered, and the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth's water. National Geographic Headquarters In photographs taken from space, we can see that our planet has more water than land. Water Distribution Water is a finite source. The Earth is a closed system. The distribution of water on the Earth’s surface is extremely uneven. https://study.com/academy/lesson/the-distribution-of-water-on-earth.html Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service. Distribution of river water. With that name comes the rightful image of a world with plentiful water. Water moves through the water cycle and it is what allows life on the planet. Availability of freshwater is vital to live on Earth, yet freshwater makes up a tiny fraction of all the water available on the planet. Where is water distributed on Earth? When you reach out to him or her, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource. a. Earth's water is (almost) everywhere: above the Earth in the air and clouds, on the surface of the Earth in rivers, oceans, ice, plants, in living organisms, and inside the Earth in the top few miles of the ground. Distribution of the Earth's Water. Looked at another way, only one percent of the water on the Earth’s surface is usable by humans, and 99% of the usable quantity is situated underground. Visualisation of water distribution on Earth: Titre de l’image: Visualisation of the distribution (by volume) of water on Earth, by CMG Lee. These Crosscutting Concepts include: 3. Most people have heard Earth referred to as "the water planet." Of freshwater, 69% resides in glaciers, 30% underground, and less than 1% is located in lakes, rivers, and swamps. Earth’s oceans contain 97% of the planet’s water, so just 3% is fresh water, water with low concentrations of salts. Join our community of educators and receive the latest information on National Geographic's resources for you and your students. © 1996 - 2020 National Geographic Society. Water on earth is naturally present in the three phases of matter: - Liquid phase: oceans, lakes and streams -Solid phase: glaciers - Gaseous phase: vapor of water in the atmosphere. Explains the distribution of water around the world and the causes and consequences of water scarcity. Please send comments or suggestions on accessibility to the site editor. Timothy Bralower and David Bice, Professors of Geosciences, College of Earth and Mineral Science, The Pennsylvania State University. Only 3% of water on the surface is fresh; the remaining 97% resides in the ocean. Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Water occupies 71% of the earth's surface. The distribution of water on the Earth’s surface is extremely uneven. But just how much water exists on, in, and above our planet? Earth is often called the "Blue Planet", because of its abundance of liquid water.

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