Read the following passage and mark the letter A, B, C, or D on your answer sheet to indicate the
Correct answer to each of the questions from 30 to 34.
Ocean water plays an indispensable role in supporting life. The great ocean basins hold about 300 million cubic miles of water. From this vast amount, about 80,000 cubic miles of water are sucked into the atmosphere each year by evaporation and returned by precipitation and drainage to the ocean. More than 24,000 cubic miles of rain descend annually upon the continents. This vast amount is required to replenish the lakes and streams, springs and water tables on which all flora and fauna are dependent. Thus, the hydrosphere permits organic existence.
The hydrosphere has strange characteristics because water has properties unlike those of any other liquid. One anomaly is that water upon freezing expands by about 9 percent, whereas most liquids contract on cooling. For this reason, ice floats on water bodies instead of sinking to the bottom. If the ice sank, the hydrosphere would soon be frozen solidly, except for a thin layer of surface melt water during the summer season. Thus, all aquatic life would be destroyed and the interchange of warm and cold currents, which moderates climate, would be notably absent.
Another outstanding characteristic of water is that water has a heat capacity which is the highest of all liquids and solids except ammonia. This characteristic enables the oceans to absorb and store vast quantities of heat, thereby often preventing climatic extremes. In addition, water dissolves more substances than any other liquid. It is this characteristic which helps make oceans a great storehouse for minerals which have been washed down from the continents. In several areas of the world these minerals are being commercially exploited. Solar evaporation of salt is widely practised, potash is extracted from the Dead Sea, and magnesium is produced from sea water along the American Gulf Coast.
The author’s main purpose in this passage is to ___________.
A. illustrate the importance of conserving water
B. describe the properties and uses of water
C. compare water with other liquids
D. explain how water is used in commerce and industry
Answer the question before viewing the answer below
Correct answer B