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Explain how the structure of water is related to its emergent properties?

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J.R. S. | Ph.D. in Biochemistry--University Professor--Chemistry TutorPh.D. in Biochemistry--University Profes...
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Ice Floats on Liquid Water:
Water is one of the only substances where the solid form is less dense than the liquid form. It's a good thing for water otherwise all of the earth's oceans, rivers, etc. would freeze from the bottom up. This happens because of the alignment of the water molecules into a lattice structure when in the solid phase. 
Water molecules are held together by intermolecular forces known as hydrogen bonds. This makes water more structured than most other liquids. Water has a large surface tension because of the alignment and ordered arrangement of these hydrogen bonds with the surface boundary with the air.
High Specific Heat:
The specific heat is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of substance by 1 degree. Water has a high specific heat which is related to the hydrogen bonding holding the water molecules together.  Heat is absorbed when bonds break and heat is liberated when bonds form. This occurs with hydrogen bonding as well. 
Water as a Universal Solvent:
Because of the bent structure of water, and the polarity of the 2 hydrogens and 1 oxygen, it has the ability to dissolve many different solutes. It does so by surrounding the solute in a hydration shell.