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God designed water with some amazing life-sustaining qualities. Life on our planet couldn’t exist without water! We need water to hydrate our bodies, regulate body temperature, flush waste from our bodies, and transport nutrients in our bodies, along with many other important tasks.
One often overlooked quality of water is that it has a high heat capacity. Heat capacity is the amount of heat it requires to raise an object’s or substance’s temperature by 1°C. Water in its liquid form has a higher heat capacity than that of ice or steam. Why is this important?
It is crucial to life because water helps to regulate the temperature on the Earth. Many other planets without water have high temperature fluctuations. For example, on Mars the temperature can change as much as 180°F (100°C) in a single day. A lack of water, along with a thin atmosphere, contributes to this huge fluctuation in temperature.1
The oceans, rivers, and lakes help regulate the temperature on the Earth. They can hold onto and release large amounts of heat without significantly changing temperature themselves. Large bodies of water moderate the effects of a heat wave or cold snap, so that the effects aren’t too drastic. The water all over the planet’s surface even keeps the seasons and long-term climate from shifting too quickly, so that plants and animals have more time to adapt.2
If you would like to learn more about the heat capacity of water, try the fun experiment listed below. You will need an adult to help you.
Can water really keep things from getting too hot or too cold? Try this experiment to find out!
NOTE: This experiment requires adult supervision.
A candle, matches or a lighter, two rubber balloons, water
Here’s another experiment you can try, if you can’t use an open flame. Will ice melt faster floating in water or exposed to the open air?
A large bowl, a small bowl, food dye, ice tray, water
[Editor’s Note: Adapted from an article by Heather Brinson Bruce, “Experiment: Water’s Life-Saving Secret," Answers, January–March 2013.]
God designed the Earth with water that would help sustain life. We not only have a physical need for water, but we also have a spiritual need for a different kind of water. In John 14:4, Jesus said:
. . . whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
Do you know what it feels like to be really thirsty? It is so wonderfully satisfying to drink a cup of cold water. We have all sinned and are separated from God. This causes a spiritual thirst inside of us. The only way to quench that thirst is through admitting that we are sinners, and believing that Jesus took the punishment we deserved when He died on the cross for our sins. Do you have a spiritual thirst that needs to be quenched? Find out more about the good news of Jesus Christ and drink from His goodness and mercy!