Using New Technology to Discover the Past

Continual advances in technology have made it possible for scientists to discover new clues about what the Earth's climate was once like. Two methods, remote sensing and geographic information systems, have proved particularly helpful. Scientists can now locate areas where major rivers once existed that are now arid desert, areas that once supported large lakes, and areas where a different climate fostered now-extinct ecosystems. This chapter looks at the field of remote sensing and how scientists use it to understand more of the climate history as well as geographic information systems (GIS) to classify, store, handle, and analyze all the data being collected today.

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