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Melting Permafrost
http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/ean08.sci.ess.earthsys.permafrost/

WGBH/Boston, Teacher Domain adapted from the International Institute for Sustainable Development

This video is accompanied by supporting materials including background essay and discussion questions. The focus is on changes happening to permafrost in the Arctic landscape, with Alaska Native peoples and Western scientists discussing both the causes of thawing and its impact on the ecosystem. The video shows the consequences of erosion, including mudslides and inland lakes being drained of water. An Inuit expresses his uncertainty about the ultimate effect this will have on his community and culture.

Video length: 3:56 min.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Individual organisms survive within specific ranges of temperature, precipitation, humidity, and sunlight. Organisms exposed to climate conditions outside their normal range must adapt or migrate, or they will perish.
About Teaching Principle 3
Other materials addressing 3a
Melting of ice sheets and glaciers, combined with the thermal expansion of seawater as the oceans warm, is causing sea level to rise. Seawater is beginning to move onto low-lying land and to contaminate coastal fresh water sources and beginning to submerge coastal facilities and barrier islands. Sea-level rise increases the risk of damage to homes and buildings from storm surges such as those that accompany hurricanes.
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7a

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

The world contains a wide diversity of physical conditions, which creates a wide variety of environments: freshwater, marine, forest, desert, grassland, mountain, and others. In any particular environment, the growth and survival of organisms depend on the physical conditions
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark

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

  • Would serve as a good introduction to the impacts of climate change on the inhabitants of the Arctic.

About the Science

  • Engineering and environmental hazards of thawing permafrost are reviewed from the perspective of both scientists and native people.
  • Title uses the term "melting" but a more accurate term to describe degradation of permafrost due to rising temperatures is "thawing".
  • Comments from expert scientist: Although the supporting essay to the video is factually correct, there are no references or citations provided to back up the scientic content.

About the Pedagogy

  • Background essay and discussion questions are provided.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • High-quality video.

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