MadSci Network: Environment

Re: How does water surface tension relate to Earth and human sustainability?

Date: Tue Dec 12 11:13:02 2000
Posted By: Tony Gaglierd, Faculty, Natural Science and Engineering Technology, Point Park College
Area of science: Environment
ID: 976570618.En

Dear Carolyn: you asked how dose surface tension relate to earth and human

You are breathing in part because of surface tension. The presence of 
surfactant in the lungs reduces the surface tension between moist lung 
surfaces in an air environment. With a reduction is surface tension within the 
lungs, less pressure (force) is required to inflate the lungs. 

Surface tension and the resulting capillary action assists the pumping 
action of your heart to help keep the blood moving in your blood vessels

Surface tension is responsible for the shape of liquid droplets. The 
relatively high surface tension of water accounts for the ease with which 
it can be nebulized or placed in an aerosol form. 

Surface tension permits water to hold up substances heavier and denser than
themselves. Some aquatic insects such as water striders rely on surface 
tension to walk on water.

Surface tension provides the necessary wall tension for the formation of 
bubbles. A larger surface area increases gas defusion into and out of the 

Surface tension is essential for the transfer of energy from wind to the 
water surface to create waves. Waves are necessary for rapid oxygen 
diffusion in lakes and seas.

Waters high surface tension also cause water to rise in a capillary tube. 
This capillarity is responsible for the system of circulation developed by 
living plants through their roots and tissue systems.

Surface tension and resulting capillary action causes water to move 
thought the ground.

I hope this information will provide the link you are looking for.

Good luck.

Admin note:

The surface tension of water is taken advantage of by many insects and fish in catching other insects for food. See Re: What exactly does a water bug have to do with cohesion?

Richard Kingsley

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