High specific heat means
the substance takes a lot of heat to raise its temperature by 1⁰C. Also, water gives out a lot of heat when it
cools by 1⁰C.
Water has a high specific heat capacity as
compared to sand/Earthen material on the ground.
During winter, waters in
the oceans and rivers collect heat during the day, and then give that out
during the night. The atmosphere gets warmed up in the night. It helps people in
the neighbourhood of oceans, lakes, rivers etc. to keep warm from cold.
During summer because water takes a lot of
time to heat up, water remains relatively cool during the day compared to
the atmosphere. That is why people swim a lot in pools and in rivers during the
day. But however, that heat is again sent back to the atmosphere in the
Water evaporates taking a lot of heat and goes
up into clouds. That evaporation keeps the water on surface and atmosphere
cool. Breezes from the rivers, oceans blow towards the land due to the pressure
difference (created by hotter temperature of air & lighter density)
Thus natural convection currents are a consequence of the
large difference in the specific heats of water and lands nearby.
Also, during summer
water absorbs a lot of heat to become vapour and rise to the
clouds. So a lot of cooling affect is
experienced near water bodies. Materials with high specific heat also have high values of latent heat of vaporization.