How would you describe the health of the oceans? Poor? Worsening? Not that bad? 73%? If that last one is confusing, read on….
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How clean is your coastline? Rather than rely on vague descriptions, the Ocean Health Index uses a clear-cut system based on a measurement relating to the amount or number of something rather than its quality.
Qualitative descriptions — that is, descriptions that rely on non-numerical characteristics, like color, degree, good vs bad, more vs less — are useful for some things, but they aren’t always enough. Because numbers are concrete and easily measured, quantitative measures are often better for making direct comparisons. The Ocean Health Index allows countries to compare their quantitative scores to those of other countries, making it easy to see which countries need improvement in how they treat their coastlines.
Can you think of another example of a quantitative measure? When would a qualitative measure be better than a quantitative one?
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