Contribution to global warming by Australia Climate change is now a major political talking point in Australia in the last two decades. Persistent drought, and resulting water restrictions during the first decade of the twenty-first century, are an example of natural events' tangible effect on economic and political realities. Vocal minority groups within the population campaign against mining and coal-fired power stations in Australia, and such demonstrations are widely reported by the mainstream media.
Your research question may require concrete evidence to either back up a claim or to strengthen a particular point. You may find yourself needing quantitative data to: Provide Information When Qualitative Accounts are Incomplete or Lacking Fifteen thousand years ago, northwestern Wisconsin was buried under an ice sheet hundreds of feet thick.
To the south, mammoths grazed the tundra amongst stunted spruce trees. As the glaciers retreated, they left behind boulders, gravel, and kettle lakes. The climate warmed, and boreal forests gave way to jack pines and oaks.
By this point, the mammoths were long extinct, and Indians hunted deer and beaver on the sand plain. Six thousand years ago, sand dunes initially deposited during the last glaciation actively migrated during the warmer, dryer conditions; during the Little Ice Age, white pines moved in when conditions were cooler and wetter.
On the Wisconsin sand plain today, the white pines are dying back, giving way to the oaks and jack pines that grew a thousand years before.
So how do we know what conditions were like in northern Wisconsin over the last fifteen thousand years?
Paleoenvironmental, modeled, and historical ecological data can be particularly useful to help understand the climate, fire, or ecological history of a region when no other accounts of land use, climate, or vegetation are available.
For example, Public Land Survey System data from the midth century has been used to identify forest types in the Midwest and Western states just prior to widespread European settlement. Paleoecological data from fossil pollen and charcoal preserved in lake sediments collected by Sara Hotchkiss and colleagues suggest that in northwestern Wisconsin, the white pine forests reported by the PLS surveyors was not typical of the last 1, years, but were likely an artifact of earlier climate conditions.
Hotchkiss and colleagues used paleoenvironmental and historical ecology methods to better understand forests on the Wisconsin sand plain during a period of time for which there was no ecological data being collected.
Estimates of the numbers range widely.
Flabbergasted by what they witnessed, some observers were awed into wild, unconfirmable and clearly wrong figures from one billion to ten billion buffaloes in a herd or one hundred million animals in a square-mile region.
Over the last century, estimates have been lower—in the thirty to one hundred million range for the total population in AD Using different estimates he suggested that in there had been fifty to seventy-five million bison…and some forty million at the outset of the nineteenth century.
Krech cites first-hand accounts for the contemporary, qualitative estimates, and scientific estimates by non-contemporary experts to contrast with historical estimates by untrained observers.
The historical accounts may have been inaccurate for a variety of reasons—lack of ecological training, the desire to hyperbolize to make a better story, or settlers may even have exaggerated unintentionally because they were amazed by what they saw on the Plains.
Return to Top of Page A Primer on Scientific Data Before you make claims based on quantitative data, it is helpful to have a quick reminder of how the scientific method works.
Although the exact steps vary among disciplines, all scientific inquiries have some features in common. Hypotheses are guesses about how a subject or system works.
Predictions describe what might happen if the hypothesis is true.
Experiments test whether the predictions or hypothesis is true.Studybay is an academic writing service for students: essays, term papers, dissertations and much more!
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