Water and Climate Are Connected in Many Ways
Top: As sea ice forms and melts with the seasons, it helps regulate Earth;s climate.  Bottom: Water vapor traps some of the Sun's heat so it doesn't all bounce back into space.

Liquid water can absorb and store huge amounts of heat without melting, freezing, or boiling. That's why water affects or controls climate in many ways. (Climate is the average weather in a place, over a long time.)

Ocean currents move warm water around the globe. At the North and South poles, sea ice forms and melts with the seasons. Water vapor in the atmosphere holds in the Sun's heat like a blanket. Clouds and ice sheets reflect some of that heat back into space. Together, these processes keep our planet from getting too hot or too cold.

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