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Science in the Bible, The Hydrologic Cycle

Science in the Bible.  By B. Walker

The Hydrologic Cycle
The circulation and conservation of earth's water is called the hydrologic cycle, which is accurately portrayed in several passages of the Bible, including the following: "For He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man. (Job 36:27-28

Water in the Air
Rain is a form of precipitation in which water falls back to earth as a liquid. Precipitation that occurs in a solid form is snow or hail. There is always some water in the air, but the amount of water the air can hold depends mostly on temperature. Very warm air can contain more water than cooler air. Sudden drops in temperature can force water to fall, or precipitate, out of the air. In fact, this happens every morning when the cooler night air loses some of its moisture as dew.
The Water Cycle
Water moves on the earth in a great cycle. The water that falls as rain comes mainly from oceans, but also to a lesser extent from lakes and rivers. Heat from the sun causes water to evaporate, that is, to change phase and become a vapor. The water vapor rises and, as it does, reaches a level in the atmosphere where the temperature is cool enough for it to change back into a liquid. The change of phase from vapor to liquid is called condensation -- the exact same process that causes steam from a hot shower to fog up a cold mirror.

Water condenses in the air in tiny droplets about 1/100 of a millimeter in diameter, so small they remain aloft as clouds. Usually for rain drops to form there must also be small solid particles suspended in the air. If there air, the water droplets collect around these particles, growing larger and larger. When they are too heavy to remain in the sky, they fall back to earth as rain. The water then runs into lakes, rivers and ultimately the ocean, completing the water cycle.