Geographers like most other scientists follow a logical order of inquiry when attempting to answer geographic questions. The steps in geographic inquiry are:
Some physical geographers are interested in the spatial distribution of weather across the earth. To study such phenomena, the geographer employs many of the same techniques and tools of a meteorologist. Let's look at how a geographer, or meteorologist, studies the pattern of weather across our earth.
Figure 1.8 Aerovane for measuring wind speed and direction.
First, observations must be taken of the various weather elements. At
particular times each day, hundreds of weather observers make instrument readings either
manually or use automated weather instruments to gather data. Here we see an aerovane that
measures both wind speed and direction. The data from hundreds of ground-based observations,
radiosonde, pilot reports, and satellites are fed to World Meteorological Centers
located in Australia, Russia and the United States.
Figure 1.9 Analyzing weather information
From the World Meteorological Centers, worldwide weather data is compiled and sent to a country's national meteorological center. The data is fed into a variety of computer models, equations that relate to atmospheric energy and motion, for analysis and visualization of weather. The output of these models are used explain the present weather and predict future weather.
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