What are modern methods of studying the Earth for?

Modern methods of studying the earth, first of all, are space technologies with the help of which even the bowels of our planet can be studied. With the help of photographs, scans and computer processing, natural resources can be found, for example, gas or oil. You can predict the weather by the movement of cyclones and anticyclones. With the help of deep-sea remotely controlled vehicles, you can explore the sea depths and faults in the earth’s crust, take material for research.

The following methods of studying the Earth are distinguished:

1) Direct – consists in the direct measurement of certain quantities on the earth’s surface using geodetic instruments (theodolites, levels, range finders, total stations, etc.). Types of measurements: angles and distances, directions of meridians, gravity, etc.

2) Space methods:

a) observation and photographing of the Earth and other planets from space;

b) ground-based observations of the movement of spacecraft using optical, photographic and laser systems.

3) Photo methods: solving problems by transforming photographs of the earth’s surface. According to the location of the photographing device, they are divided into terrestrial and air.

4) Combined methods.

Observation method

Also known as the field research method. Even today, geographers not only process information on computers, but sometimes travel. Often it is only on the spot that it is possible to determine where the cultural and linguistic boundaries between population groups lie, because they often do not coincide with political boundaries. Scientists are filming the surrounding area, photographing it, recording conversations with local residents. Working in the field helps to take a fresh look at the nature of many phenomena and see what no other researcher has noticed before.

Cartographic method

Two important components can be distinguished here. On the one hand, scientists analyze the maps that have already been drawn up, because this type of presentation of information is most convenient for a person. On the other hand, they create their own maps on which they reflect in a visual form the information they have collected. Maps can display the location of physical objects, trade routes and water currents, the distribution of average temperatures, terrain relief, population density and income levels, the division of territories into regions according to physical, political or economic characteristics, and much more.

Statistical method

Statistics is the most important tool in almost any science, and geography is no exception. Scientists collect a variety of information about geographic objects, for example, the population of countries and their area, the speed of sea currents or the movement of continents. Already on the basis of statistics, a variety of maps can be drawn up, reflecting it. Also, statistical information can be presented in the form of graphs, charts, histograms or in another form.

Historical method

It is important to study not only the static picture of today’s world, but also the dynamics of its change. For this, historical data is analyzed. For example, you can compare the change in the population of countries over time or fluctuations in average annual temperatures. Such analysis helps to find the causes of geographic phenomena.

Comparative method

Another general scientific method. To find patterns, geographers have to compare different processes with each other. They look for similarities and differences between geographical processes and phenomena, classify them. For example, comparing volcanoes helped break them down into shield and dome volcanoes, stratovolcanoes, cinder cones, and complex volcanoes.

Zoning method

Often in the geographical literature you can find such a technique as dividing a single territory into districts. Sometimes this division is natural (along the borders of continents or countries), but often it is conditional (the division of Eurasia into Europe and Asia). Often, the country’s territory is divided into economic regions, and the entire globe is divided into geographic zones (equatorial, subequatorial, tropical, arctic, etc.).

Remote observation method

Sometimes a scientist does not need to observe nature with his own eyes. A lot of information is obtained through surveys from drones, satellites and manned aircraft. So, it was with the help of observation from space that it was determined that at one of the points of Antarctica on August 10, 2010, the temperature dropped to -93.2 ° C – the lowest value in history. Also, the collection of information from automatically operating installations located on the surface of the World Ocean can be attributed to remote observation.

Modeling method

Model building can be considered a general scientific research method. The globe can be cited as an example of the simplest model of the Earth. However, there are also much more complex simulation models. In 1972, a simulation model “World 3” was created, which included about 150 equations and described the relationship between the population of the planet, reserves of natural non-renewable and renewable resources, the level of industrialization of mankind, and other quantities. This model showed that extensive economic and population growth can lead to resource depletion and hunger. Modern models can include tens of thousands of variables.

Geographic forecast method

Closely related to the modeling method. Based on the developed theories of geographic processes and constructed models, scientists can predict the development of events. The simplest example is a weekly weather forecast. But geographers also predict the future for decades and even centuries to come. For example, it is believed that by 2050 the ice in the Arctic Ocean in the summer months will completely melt.

Economic and mathematical method

Sometimes the economic and mathematical method is distinguished from the statistical method, which is associated with the calculation of socio-economic indicators such as gross domestic product, mortality and fertility, population density, migration and emigration.

One of the components of a person's success in our time is receiving modern high-quality education, mastering the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for life in society. A person today needs to study almost all his life, mastering everything new and new, acquiring the necessary professional qualities.