The earth is the only known planet with huge bodies of water. Seventy percent of its surface area consists of oceans, lakes, and seas surrounding huge bodies of land. The few other planets that have water contain only moisture floating as vapor on their surface or small amounts of ice or liquid water on the planet itself, not large bodies of liquid water as on earth.
Water is unique in that it can absorb enormous amounts of heat without a large alteration in its temperature. Its heat absorption level is about ten times as great as steel. During the day, the earth’s bodies of water rapidly soak up enormous amounts of heat; thus, the earth stays fairly cool. At night, they release the vast amounts of heat that they absorbed during the day, which, combined with atmospheric effects, keeps most of the surface from freezing solid at night. If it were not for the tremendous amounts of water on the earth, far greater day and night temperature variations would exist. Many parts of the surface would be hot enough to boil water during the day, and the same parts would be cold enough to freeze water at night. Because water is an excellent temperature stabilizer, the large oceans on earth are vital for life to exist on earth.
In contrast to virtually all other materials (the rare exceptions include rubber and antimony), water contracts when cooled only until it reaches 4 degrees Celsius….
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