Water and Carbon Support Life on Earth and Move Between the Land, Oceans and Atmosphere

  • Water is so prevalent on Earth due to the distance of the Earth from the sun, it lies in the Goldilocks zone which is just right for water to exist in liquid form.
  • Water helps moderate temperatures on Earth, in the form of oceans which occupy 71% of the Earth’s surface, it absorbs heat, stores it, and releases it slowly.
  • Clouds made up of water droplets and ice, reflect 1/5 of incoming solar radiation and lower surface temperatures.
  • Water as a greenhouse gas absorbs long-wave radiation from the earth helping maintain global temperature 15 degrees c higher than they would be otherwise.

The Uses of Water

Water makes up to 65-95% of all living organisms and is crucial to their growth, reproduction and other metabolic functions.

Flora Fauna People
·       Photosynthesis- combining CO2, sunlight, and water to make their food.

·       Plants require water to maintain their rigidity.

·       Require water to transfer nutrients from the soil.

·       Transpiration of water cools plants through evaporation.

·       Water is the medium for all chemical activity.

·       In fur covered mammals, reptiles, and birds water is used for evaporative cooling..

·       Sweating is a cooling process used by humans.

·       Essential resource for economic activity – generate electricity, irrigate crops, recreational facilities.

·       Drinking water and sewage disposal.


What is carbon?


  • Carbon is a common chemical element. It is stored in carbonate rocks such as limestone, sea floor sediments, ocean water, the atmosphere, and the ocean.
  • Life as we know it is carbon based: built on large molecules of carbon atoms such as proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids.
  • Carbon is also an economic resource – fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas power the global economy.
  • Oil is used a raw material in a range of products.
  • Agricultural crops and forest trees store large amounts of carbon.