Friedman, Harold L. Department of Chemistry, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York.
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- Gaseous state
- Solid state
- Liquid state
- Solutions in water
- Chemical properties
- Additional Readings
A clear, odorless, tasteless liquid at 0 to 100°C, formula H2O, also known as dihydrogen oxide. Water also exists in the vapor (gaseous) and solid (ice) states under normal terrestrial conditions and is a solvent for many substances (Fig. 1). Water is essential for life and is the most abundant molecule on Earth. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas. On Earth, water vapor and carbon dioxide provide most of the greenhouse warming to maintain a global mean surface temperature of about 15°C, allowing for liquid water. See also: Greenhouse effect; Hydrogen; Hydrosphere; Molecule; Oxygen; Plant-water relations; Precipitation (meteorology); Seawater; Triple point; Vapor pressure
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