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Melting 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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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Climate's role in habitats ranges and adaptation of species to climate changes
About Teaching Principle 3
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Sea level rise and resulting impacts is due to melting ice and thermal expansion and increases the risk
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7a

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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