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Documenting Glacial Change
http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/ipy07.sci.ess.earthsys.glacierphoto/

WGBH, WGBH

A collection of repeat photography of glaciers from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The photos are taken years apart at or near the same location, illustrating how dramatically glacier positions can change even over a relatively short period in geological time: 60 to 100 years. Background essay and discussion questions are included.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Based on evidence from tree rings, other natural records, and scientific observations made around the world, Earth’s average temperature is now warmer than it has been for at least the past 1,300 years. Average temperatures have increased markedly in the past 50 years, especially in the North Polar Region.
About Teaching Principle 4
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Environmental observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. From the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the Sun, instruments on weather stations, buoys, satellites, and other platforms collect climate data. To learn about past climates, scientists use natural records, such as tree rings, ice cores, and sedimentary layers. Historical observations, such as native knowledge and personal journals, also document past climate change.
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b
Climate plays an important role in the global distribution of freshwater resources. Changing precipitation patterns and temperature conditions will alter the distribution and availability of freshwater resources, reducing reliable access to water for many people and their crops. Winter snowpack and mountain glaciers that provide water for human use are declining as a result of global warming.
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Benchmarks for Science Literacy
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Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.
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

About the Science

  • The Background Essay gives a nice overview of causes and effects of glacial retreat.
  • The effect on the immediate environment, once glaciers recede, is readily apparent. Receding glaciers leave telltale signs of their presence in the landscape. With the ice gone, glaciated terrain may be characterized by an eroded valley bed and debris piles, ripe for colonization by pioneer plant species.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The background essay excels in explaining many basic and important concepts. In order to understand why glaciers respond to climate changes the concept of mass balance is crucial, and the explanation is straightforward and clear. Could be updated with more recent images.

About the Pedagogy

  • Easy to see the changes over time.
  • Images pairs are supported by an essay and multiple links to other resources both print and media.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Sliders work well. Photos are well-enough-aligned for change over time to be striking.

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