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Changing Planet: Withering Crops

NASA/Windows on the Universe

This video examines what will happen to crops as Earth's temperature rises and soils dry out because of changing climate. Students learn that a loss of soil moisture causes stress to plants, leading to crop withering. Since humans and animals depend directly or indirectly on plants for food, many societal problems can be expected to arise due to the impact of climate warming on crops and the societies that depend on them.

Video length: 5:50 min.

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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • See the accompanying lesson plan for a hands-on activity that reinforces the video.

About the Science

  • Video addresses impact of increasing global temperatures and resulting decline in soil moisture on viability of grain crops that provide the primary global food supply.
  • Brief segment of video illustrates mechanism by which plant leaves take in CO2 and expire water and how drought conditions stress that mechanism.
  • Comment from expert scientist: This activity has addressed very important issues of potential impacts of heat and water stress in plant growth.

About the Pedagogy

  • See related lesson plan, Changing Planet: Withering Crops - Stressing Over Lost Water, which is linked to the video page.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Windows to the Universe now has advertisements, which may be distracting to students, although subscriptions are available without ads.
  • Slow to load.
  • Can be embedded.

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