Water as a Heat Sink

372 words | 2 page(s)

Water is one of the basic inorganic compounds that are found in systems of all living organisms. The role that water plays in living organisms is undoubtedly enormous, and without water, life on earth would be unbearable. A substance that absorbs excessive or unwanted heat is referred to as a ‘heat sink.’ The core purpose of the essay is to elaborate on the role of water as a heat sink.

One of the most profound aspects of water is its thermal characteristic. With only a small change in temperature, water can release a substantial amount of heat that can be found in the body. Although water absorbs considerate temperature that emanates from chemical reactions that take place a body, it experiences only a modest change in its temperature, an aspect that makes water to be termed as having a high heat capacity. As water gains heat, it uses a significant portion of the energy to break the hydrogen bonds thus leaving its molecules with less heat (Tortora & Derrickson, 2008).

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As a result, water enables the body to cool down when temperatures rise. The cooling effect is then experienced when warm blood that is found in the internal organs of the body flows through blood vessels that are located immediately below the skin releasing the heat to the environment. Additionally, sweat glands release water that to the surface which evaporates carrying heat leaving the blood near the skin cooler. The cooler blood will then circulate to internal body organs thus making the body cooler (Tortora & Derrickson, 2008).

To sum up, water is fundamental to all living organisms. In fact, water is vital to all process that takes place in our bodies including digestion, respiration, and homeostasis. A significant part of the heat that is absorbed by water from the body is used to break its hydrogen bonds hence leaving it with less heat as compared to the energy that it gains from the body and in the process leaving the body cooler. The evaporation of sweat from the skin also leaves blood closer to the skin cool and when it circulates to other body parts making the entire body cooler.

  • Tortora, G. J., & Derrickson, B. H. (2008). Principles of anatomy and physiology. John Wiley & Sons.

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