Water stored in the soil remains there very briefly, because it is spread thinly across the Earth, and is readily lost by evaporation, transpiration, stream flow, or groundwater recharge.
About 86 percent of global evaporation occurs from the oceans, reducing their temperature through the process of evaporation.
The water moves from one reservoir to another, such as from river to ocean, or from the ocean to the atmosphere, by the physical processes of evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration, runoff, and subsurface flow.
The adjacent table contains the amount of water that falls as precipitation or rises as evaporation, for both the land and oceans.
Without the cooling effect of evaporation, the greenhouse effect would lead to a much higher surface temperature—an estimated 67° C—and a hotter planet .
Over the past century, the water cycle has become more intense , as the rates of evaporation and precipitation have increased.