The original item was published from April 13, 2020 9:15 AM to April 16, 2020 1:40 PM
The Water Cycle
We can thank the water cycle for making sure we never run out of water here on planet earth. After all, the amount of water hasn't changed since the time of the dinosaurs! Water moves throughout our planet and atmosphere, changing forms and coming to rest in different spots, sometimes for a short time and others for quite a long time - imagine being a water droplet in the middle of the ocean! Check out this short lesson on the water cycle to learn more about this process.
It's safe to say the water cycle has been around for a while. But something to consider is how the water cycle might be affected by a changing climate. For example, here in the Pacific Northwest we depend on a healthy snowpack to supply our rivers. If we have warmer winters and less snowfall, what might our summer water supplies look like? Can you think of other ways a changing climate might affect where we find water and how much is there? What wildlife would in turn be affected by those changes?
Sometimes, we can look outside and see the water cycle in action. It might rain (precipitation) and form puddles on the ground, but as the sun comes out and warms the puddle, the water evaporates and rises into the sky. It rises further and further into the sky, cooling as it climbs higher and forming into clouds (condensation). Those clouds get heavy and drop their moisture, and the cycle continues.
This home project brings the water cycle even closer to you. Using a plastic sandwich bag, marker, and food coloring (optional), you can create your own water cycle-in-a-bag!