The cycle in which water evaporates from the oceans and the land surface, is carried over the earth in atmospheric circulation as water vapor, condenses to form clouds, precipitates again as rain or snow, is intercepted by trees and vegetation, provides runoff on the land surface, infiltrates into soils, recharges groundwater, and/or discharges into streams and flows out into the oceans, and ultimately evaporates again from the oceans or land surface. The various systems involved in the hydrological cycle are usually referred to as hydrological systems | Source: IPCC

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