Importance Of Water To Life

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The earth is a host to many atmospheric conditions that allow water to exist in all three states of matter - solid, liquid and gas. However, the distinct properties of water are not only because of the conditions of earth, but result from a significant form of intermolecular bond, known as hydrogen bonds. All living organisms on earth require water to exist, without it, they would perish. Although there are numerous factors on earth that allow life to exist, water is a major component. The importance of water to life can be investigated through looking at its physical and chemical properties. The reasons and evidence for this are explained in this report.
The Molecular Structure of Water
In order to explore the significance of water to life on earth, it is important to understand the structure of water molecules. A water molecule, H2O, consists of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms covalently bonded together to form a V-shaped polar molecule. In a water molecule, two of the six outer shell electrons from the oxygen are shared between the two hydrogen atoms. The remaining four electrons are organised into two non-bonded pairs of electrons, hence, creating four pairs of electrons in a water molecule that arrange themselves as far apart as possible. The two non-bonding pairs exert a stronger force of repulsion against the two covalently bonded pairs of electrons, pushing the two hydrogen atoms closer together and resulting in the V-shape (Figure 1.1).
Hydrogen bonds are responsible for the unparalleled properties of water. A hydrogen bond is a form of intermolecular interaction that occurs between two opposing partial charges. When a hydrogen atom is bonded directly to a highly electronegative atom such ...

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...s of water in the form of sweat. The heat from the skin is transferred to the water molecules. From the water, the molecules carrying the most energy are released as water vapour. Therefore, the heat is removed and released with the water vapour into the air.
In summary, the existence of water in all three states of matter on earth is vital to all living organisms. This incomparable molecule acquires its unique properties because of the suitable atmospheric conditions on earth and the strong intermolecular hydrogen bonds binding the molecules together. The life supporting properties of water include its widespread dissolving power, unusual change in density among the states of matter, cohesive and adhesive nature, high specific heat, and high heat of vaporization. Without water and its properties, the diverse range of life on earth would not exist.
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