Why are lakes and oceans are able to stabilize air and land temperatures?

1 Answer


#H_2O# has a heat capacity over four times larger than that of #N_2#. Heat capacity is how much energy a substance can absorb before its temperature changes.


Because the solar incidental radiation swings so wildly from day to night, the closer you are to a heat sink, the less temperature variation you will be subject to over a given period of time.

Generally, the bigger the body of water, the more stable adjacent land masses will be. Locally, this is not always the case as some atmospheric movements prevent or limit interactions between a land mass and its adjacent water body.

However, as you look at the planet as a whole, water-worlds are the most stable, temperature-wise, all due to the unique physical properties of #H_2O#. And, in many localized areas, this stability can be demonstrated all the way down to the swimming-pool size. That's where I like to sit!