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Global Warming: It's All About Carbon

Robert Krulwich, NPR and National Geographic

A sequence of five short animated videos that explain the properties of carbon in relationship to global warming, narrated by Robert Krulwich from NPR.

Five videos of about 3-5 min length each.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPe
Biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases / Carbon cycle
About Teaching Principle 2
Other materials addressing 2d
Life affects climate; climate affects life
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Life affects climate; climate affects life
Global warming is "very likely" caused by human greenhouse gas emission
About Teaching Principle 6
Other materials addressing 6a

Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
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7.3 Environmental quality.
Humans transfer and transform energy from the environment into forms useful for human endeavors.
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4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
Conservation of energy has two very different meanings.
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6.1 Two meanings 'conservation of energy'.
Human demand for energy is increasing.
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6.3 Demand for energy is increasing.
Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
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2.6 Greenhouse gases affect energy flow.

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Can be used with multiple age groups to introduce or reinforce understanding of the properties of carbon as the key to global warming.

About the Science

  • Science concerns properties of carbon and why it is the key element in understanding and dealing with global warning.
  • Video does take some poetic license with some science concepts. For example, it may perpetuate the misconception that the greenhouse effect is caused only by human activities linked to increased CO2.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The scientific strengths are generally excellent because the message relies on well-established scientific understanding. The description of the greenhouse effect is not accurate. Greenhouse effect is a result of CO2 absorbing infrared radiation (heat), not reflected solar radiation, from the earth surface.

About the Pedagogy

  • Animations are appealing to a broad age range but mainly targeted toward middle school audience.

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