Thermal Energy Transfer in the Hydrosphere

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Definitions Hydrologic cycle (water cycle)- In various stages of this cycle, water undergoes changes in state/phase. Hydrosphere- includes all of the water on Earth. Thermal Energy- total energy of the molecules/atoms in a substance. The transfer of thermal energy in the Hydrosphere refers to the transfer of heat in all of the Earth's water. The transfer is often influenced by the Hydrologic cycle (water cycle). At many stages of the cycle, water changes in state. For instance, the evaporation of water from a lake will become vapour during the Hydrologic cycle. Whenever water molecules undergo a change in phase, thermal energy will be released or absorbed. Thermal energy is released when water goes from a liquid to a solid. Thermal energy is absorbed when liquid changes to vapour. During these changes of state, the Hydrologic cycle transfers thermal energy in the Biosphere. Furthermore, energy can be transferred (in the Biosphere) without any changes of temperature. Therefore, the average water temperature of the hydrosphere remains stable. The main pathways for the transfer of thermal energy are ocean currents, which are pushed by global winds. The Coriolis effect is when ocean currents in the Northern Hemisphere go to the right and the Ocean currents in the Southern hemisphere goes to the left. However, the currents often must change direction when they hit a large mass of land. In addition, thermal energy is always transferred vertically. In most large bodies of water, cool water sinks. This is because cold water is denser than warm

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