The Water Cycle: Precipitation and Evaporation

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Evaporation: The water cycle begins with evaporation, where heat from the sun causes water from oceans, lakes, rivers, and other surfaces to turn into water vapor.

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Condensation: As the water vapor rises into the atmosphere, it cools and condenses into tiny water droplets or ice crystals, forming clouds.

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Cloud Formation: Clouds play a crucial role in the water cycle by holding condensed water vapor until conditions are right for precipitation.

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Precipitation: When cloud particles combine and grow large enough, precipitation occurs, leading to the release of water in various forms such as rain, snow, sleet, or hail.

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Surface Runoff: Precipitation that falls on land can flow over the surface, creating surface runoff that contributes to rivers, lakes, and oceans.

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Infiltration: Some precipitation soaks into the ground through a process called infiltration, recharging groundwater tables and providing moisture for plants.

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Transpiration: Plants absorb water from the soil through their roots and release water vapor into the atmosphere through tiny pores in their leaves, a process known as transpiration.

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Repetition: The water cycle is a continuous, repetitive process, ensuring a constant movement of water between the atmosphere, land, and oceans.

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