|What is in this section?|
Data acquisition, integration, manipulation, analysis and visualization through the use of various techniques and tools help to unfold the mysteries of the Earth system.
This section introduces the importance of data, tools and models in Earth System Science studies. It points to several online resources that allow readers to download, process, and visualize data offline, or to directly analyze the data using online tools.
Observational data form the basic, most important, and the bulk of data used to study Earth System Science. Such data can be directly collected in field, or can be collected remotely using sensors mounted on towers, balloons, buoys, aircraft, and satellites. These remotely sensed data can provide a synoptic coverage of large areas, often repeatedly, supporting the analysis of complex and inter-related Earth Systems processes operating on global to local scales and over time.
This section provides a basic introduction to remote sensing, and presents outstanding examples of how remote sensing data are being used to study the Earth System. It then directs the readers to online remote sensing data, paleo data, meteorological data, other ancillary data, and tool resources. This section also presents an introduction to the concepts of geographic information systems (GIS), which is a tool and environment to integrate disparate data sources that share a common geographic context. The greatest potential of the integrative power of GIS lies in its capability to allow spatial analysis of multiple datasets. The subsection on GIS is followed by a short subsection on spatial data analysis. Relevant examples of data, tools, and analyses are presented within these subsections.
The spatial data analysis subsection is followed by a detail discussion on models, with a special emphasis on global models. Examples of various global models, along with their advantages and limitations, are presented.
The importance of effective visualization and data presentation is discussed with several examples of static and dynamic images that can be used in teaching the concepts of Earth System Science.
The section concludes with discussions on data quality and metadata issues, and with some tips on how to adapt teaching material in Earth system science data, tools, and models for use in K-12 education.
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