Water is Essential to the Sustenance of Life

8 August 2016

The polarity of water makes water essential to the sustenance of life. It allows water to be a good solvent and form many different solutions. Although forming solutions does not seem very important, it is. These “solutions” that water forms exist everywhere, for example, laboratories and kitchen refrigerators. The polarity of water also causes different elements and compounds to be hydrophobic or hydrophilic, water fearing or water loving. Although hydrophobic sounds negative, it is actually kind of beneficial. The cell membrane, also known as the phospholipid bilayer, is composed of two layers.

Part of each layer is hydrophobic and the other part is hydrophilic. When the two work together, they protect the cell. Therefore, water’s polarity indirectly protects cells. The hydrogen bonds of water molecules also make water essential to the sustenance of life. These bonds give water a high specific heat but more importantly, they make water less dense as a solid.

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This happens because when water freezes, the hydrogen bonds freeze at “arm’s length”. Because ice is less dense, when bodies of water freeze, they freeze from the top down.

This allows life to continue below the ice. The cohesive property of water also makes water essential to the sustenance of life. The cohesive property of water is when water molecules bond with more water molecules. When they bond together, they form one, consistent liquid. This property allows for bodies of water to exist. It allows humans to swim in pools or oceans, take baths, drink water, wash dishes and cars, and so much more. Without the cohesive property of water, many everyday activities and chores would be much harder to accomplish.

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