Which factors affect evaporation?


Quick Answer

Factors that affect evaporation include the concentration of the evaporating substances in air, temperature, air pressure, the rate of airflow and surface area. The heat of the sun facilitates the evaporation process, which is important in the water cycle.

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Full Answer

When the air is saturated with the evaporating substance or other substances, evaporation is slow. High pressure on a water surface reduces the rate of evaporation. Storms are examples of high-pressure systems that slow down evaporation. At a high humidity, the rate of evaporation is also low.

A high rate of airflow increases evaporation. Large surface areas also facilitate evaporation. An increase in temperature facilitates evaporation by increasing the kinetic energy of the evaporating molecules. However, strong intermolecular forces or bonds reduce the rate of evaporation. This is why boiling water evaporates faster than cold water.

Water evaporating from lakes, rivers and oceans remains in the atmosphere as vapor, which affects humidity. This is why areas with large water bodies and high temperatures have high humidity. In the water cycle, evaporating water forms clouds. The clouds later release the water back to the surface of the Earth in the form of snow or rain. An evaporation equilibrium can occur in a closed area when air is fully saturated with vapor, preventing further evaporation.

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