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Water is essential to all living
organisms
· Physiological solvent ­ most chemical
reactions in cells take place in dissolved water.
· Transport ­ water is the solvent in blood and
sap. Transports oxygen, carbon dioxide,
nutrients etc.
· Temperature control ­ evaporation of water
from the skin to cool the body (sweat)
Key term : Physiological function - any
substance that is involved in a chemical
reactions in a living organism has a
physiological function…read more

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Anomalous expansion on freezing ­ because
ice floats it keeps the cold air above separate
from the water below, which prevents it from
cooling as much as it would without the ice.
This prevents lake from freezing solid
· High specific heat capacity ­ moderates the
rate and size of temperature changes, cooling
and heating slowly
· Provision of aquatic habitat ­ rivers, lake and
oceans…read more

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Appropriate temperature range
Most areas of earth are + 0°c which allows liquid
water to be present.
Enzymes require liquid water as a solvent, so
most organisms are found within 0°c-40°c
Thermophilic bacteria can withstand much
higher temperatures sometimes 80°c +…read more

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Suitable ambient gases
Carbon dioxide ­ for photosynthesis and
climate control
Nitrogen ­ for protein synthesis…read more

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Light and radiation
· Sunlight ­ provides the energy for photosynthesis
· Heat ­ the source of energy for the water cycle and the
heating of earth
· Little harmful UV and ionising radiation
Some of these are a result of the position of earth and some
are a result of the features of earth itself.
· Distance from the sun ­ light levels and temps.
· Daily rotation ­ duration of days and nights, and therefore
temps.
· Tilted axis ­ seasonal variation
· Molten layers beneath crust ­ produces magnetic field
which deflects harmful radiation coming from sun…read more

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