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Evaporation is the process of a liquid turning into a vapor or gas. This occurs when the surface of the liquid absorbs enough energy to change into a vapor. Evaporation occurs in many places. One of the most common is a puddle of water that has formed on a sidewalk. The more energy the water receives from the sun, the faster evaporation will take place.

 

Below we see a simulation of this process.

Evaporation is part of the water cycle. This is one of the ways that water gets into the atmosphere. About 80% of all evaporation isfrom the surface of oceans. The remainder is from inland water, soil, vegatation and even from your skin. Only the water evaporates. This means that the mud in puddles, salt in the ocean, and pollutants stay on the surface of the Earth. Only pure water turns into water vapor. Thats not to say that the condensation nuclei is not a pollutant.