Water is absolutely integral to life on this planet. Without its presence, it seems unlikely that life would ever have begun here on earth and it’s impossible for us to survive for very long without it.
But why is this? What is so important about water that the majority of life we know of is completely dependent on it? A lot of it has to do with the actual composition of the water molecule itself. Water is a very simple compound, with an individual molecule just being made of one oxygen atoms joined to two hydrogen atoms.
Water has a particularly important property. This is key to many of us uses in living things, and this is its ability to form something called hydrogen bonds. Hydrogen bonds are a kind of attraction that occurs between the hydrogen atoms of one water molecule and the oxygen atom of a different water molecule.
These hydrogen bonds are able to form because water is a polar molecule. This means that one side of the water molecule is slightly negatively charged and the other side is slightly positively charged due to the way in which electrons are shared between the hydrogen and oxygen.
The polarity then causes an attraction between different water molecules, creating those hydrogen bonds. This might not seem all that exciting, but the fact that water can form hydrogen bonds gives it some of its most important and useful abilities.
First of all, water is very good at opposing changes in temperature because of the hydrogen bonds that air forms the bonds are able to take in a lot of energy before they break meaning the water overall takes quite a lot of energy to heat up, and so Thanks to the hydrogen bonds, water is a very stable and good habitat for many organisms to call home.
This is because, in comparison to many terrestrial habitats, temperature, mostly stays about the same under water, preventing any fast changes in climates that could disrupt creatures inhabiting it. This ability to maintain a fairly constant temperature also helps a great deal of organisms to keep a balanced internal body temperature, since they’re mostly made up of water.
In addition to its resistance to changing temperatures, water also functions as a metabolite meaning. It is an essential part of many metabolic reactions. These reactions are integral to allowing life to exist at all.
For example, there’s respiration, which enables energy to be released and used by organisms. Water molecules can be used to break bonds between other important compounds and water is also made when Sir and bonds are formed.
Some of the substances that are used in metabolic reactions are composed of a positively charged molecule and a negatively charged one, meaning that the substances are ionic. This allows waters polarity to come into effect.
The positively charged area of the water molecule will be attracted to the negatively charged ions and vice versa. What this means is that the ions are entirely surrounded by water modules, and so they are dissolved since most metabolic reactions generally a current solution.
Water is highly important, as many of the substances used in metabolic reactions are able to dissolve in it, enabling the reactions to occur water being able to act as a metabolite is possibly the most important aspect of is used to living things.
Since this is a very basic function that was necessary for life, as we know it to have even started in the first place. Water is also able to dissolve gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, which is useful for various biological processes, and it can dissolve waste products such as urea, enabling them to be removed from an organism’s body more easily.
Enzymes can dissolve in water too, which is good since many of the reactions they are involved in take place in solution as well as this water is also utilized by some organisms as a way in which to cool down, as I explained before, the hydrogen bonds between The individual water molecules take a lot of energy to break, and so when water evaporates, it uses up a lot of energy.
This allows water to be employed as an effective method of shedding heat. Some animals, such as us humans, sweat when we’re, hot and so heat energy from our bodies, is used up to evaporate the water on our skin cooling us down.
The hydrogen bonding between molecules also allows for yet another useful trait of water. You may have heard of surface tension, and again this is all down to hydrogen bonds and the attraction of water molecules to one another.
Because of this attraction, called cohesion. Water molecules usually stick together, allowing the overall body of liquid to flow. Therefore, water is able to flow up tubes since it all sticks together, which is how plants are able to obtain it.
This cohesion also allows surface tension to be a thing. The molecules near the boundary between water and air will be attracted to the water molecules nearest to them, but not to the molecules in the air.
All water molecules are attracted to one another, but, as there are fewer next to the ones at the surface, they therefore form stronger bonds than normal, with the water molecules there. Next, to resulting in a layer of more strongly bonded water molecules at the surface, this essentially forms a barrier between the water and the air that is relatively tough to break through.
So if a creature is small enough, it will be able to walk on top of a body of water. An example of this can be found with the water Striders, tiny insects that can distribute their weight effectively enough to avoid breaking through the top layer of water molecules.
The surface of a body of water can therefore also be used as a suitable habitat once again, making water an invaluable substance to many organisms, and so there’s. The answer in short, life needs water, because the metabolic reactions that take place to keep us alive happen in a solution of water and many of the most basic reactions in living things.
Utilize water in order to break and make bonds between important molecules. But water is also used for many other things as well. It makes a great place to live since the temperatures stay roughly the same for most of the time in water and even if you don’t feel like staying immersed in the liquid.
You can always walk around on its surface if you’re small enough thanks to those handy hydrogen bonds. It also helps some animals cool down again due to the hydrogen bonds between us molecules and it can be used to transport potentially harmful waste products.
Such as urea out of an organism’s body, it seems certain that the life around today would not have the incredible diversity it does. If it weren’t for the presence of water, and in fact it probably wouldn’t even exist at all, seeing as the way that organisms have evolved on this planet has been so dependent on water, especially considering that life on earth Began in it in the first place.