A map can represent data from an area on a flat surface. The part of our Earth system most frequently mapped is the atmosphere. Weather—the state of the atmosphere at a particular place and time—needs constant monitoring because it perpetually changes as weather systems evolve and move.
Awareness of what the weather is and is likely to be has numerous benefits. Weather can be hazardous, causing injuries, death, and loss of property. Weather maps are valuable analytical tools for informing people about current or future conditions.
Even though our home planet has a lot of water, over 73 percent of that is salt water. We need freshwater to meet most of our needs, and precipitation supplies much of this valuable natural resource. Did you know that NASA, in a partnership with the Japanese, has a satellite that measures precipitation as it falls from the clouds to the ground?
The USGS has been studying glaciers in Glacier National Park since 1850. It is estimated that there were 150 glaciers in the park back then, and when the national park was established in 1910. Today only 25 glaciers remain.
Scientists go back every year to repeat photographs, as well as to examine the ice and the ecology of the landscape to see how glacial retreat is affecting plant and animal species that live there.
There is an important interconnection between local mines and quarries that later become reservoirs and supply crucial water resources to local communities. The life cycle of a mine has different phases. Production supplies important resources such as construction materials and other important minerals. Then with the mine’s closure and reclamation, it is sometimes used for freshwater
storage and supply for the local community. Another part of a quarry’s life cycle can be to offer new habitats and support biodiversity.