Why does most of the water cycle take place over the ocean?

Most of the water cycle takes place over the ocean because that is where the solar energy from the sun can be absorbed fastest by water.

At the equator,

* The oceans absorb vast amounts of energy and liquid water is converted to vapor.

* This creates a convection cycle when the warmer vapor rises in the atmosphere.

* Cooler air from the poles is then pulled in close to the surface bringing it closer to the equator.

* The cycle then repeats itself sending the warmer air through the jetstream back to the poles.

Saturation levels (when the clouds can't hold in the rain)

* Low level clouds can hold a lot of water. It's only when they are forced to rise when they move over land that they reach saturation level and drop their load. * Due to lack of terrain on the oceans and high humidity levels, temperatures do not fluctuate as they would on land and saturation levels are more difficult to reach.

* This is why fronts can travel great distances across oceans, but when they reach land and are forced upwards by terrain they reach the saturation point and release heavy amounts of condensed water vapor (rain, snow, etc.).

* Ever wonder why Washington state gets so much rain? Look at a physical map of the state. Saturation level is reached as the front tries to climb the mountains.

* The same goes for the arid regions of the southwest. Most of the water vapor from fronts is deposited on the windward side of the mountains leaving little water in the front when it reaches the leeward side.

You can find out more by researching the hydrologic cycle.