Water in the ocean is returned to land through the hydrologic cycle, during which water is continually evaporating, condensing into clouds in the atmosphere, and then turning to rain. When clouds formed over the ocean drift over the continents, they eventually release their rain above land. This water runs into rivers and streams that eventually return it to the ocean, and the whole process starts over again. Without the winds that push clouds from the oceans to the continents, most areas of land in the world would be much drier than they are now.
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