What Happens During Evaporation?

During evaporation, water rises into the atmosphere and condenses into clouds. When the clouds absorb too much moisture and become heavy, the moisture falls to the ground in the form of precipitation. This is known as the water cycle, which involves evaporation, condensation and precipitation.

The water cycle starts when water evaporates from the ocean surface. Moisture rises and cools, and water vapor forms clouds. Soon, moisture returns to the ground through precipitation. Once water reaches the surface, some of it tends to evaporate back into the air. It also sometimes penetrates the surface and becomes groundwater, which seeps into rivers, streams and oceans. At times, water gets released back into the atmosphere via transpiration, which is the process of water evaporating into the air from the leaves and stems of plants.

Evaporation is the process of liquids changing into gas. It occurs when liquids are either cool or warm. Oftentimes, evaporation happens when liquids are warm. Through the water cycle, water is never lost; it is constantly changed to different forms.

Most of the water that evaporates into the air comes from oceans. Liquids from plants and soil also rise into the atmosphere and form clouds. Snow and ice evaporate even without melting first through sublimation, which is the process of transitioning directly from solid to gas with no intermediate liquid phase.