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The Ecology of Climate Change

American Museum of Natural History

This video focuses on the conifer forest in Alaska to explore the carbon cycle and how the forest responds to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. Topics addressed in the video include wildfires, reflectivity, and the role of permafrost in the global carbon cycle.

Video length: 8:07 min.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases / Carbon cycle
About Teaching Principle 2
Other materials addressing 2d
Climate's role in habitats ranges and adaptation of species to climate changes
About Teaching Principle 3
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Climate impacts ecosystems and past species extinctions
About Teaching Principle 3
Other materials addressing 3c
Biosphere drives the global carbon cycle
About Teaching Principle 3
Other materials addressing 3e
Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b

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

  • Video examines research being conducted on the climate change in the boreal forests, its permafrost, carbon sinks and feedbacks.
  • Examines the impact of wildfires on boreal forests and the resulting shift from coniferous forests to deciduous forests, the latter acting as a larger carbon sink with increased biomass production and increased albedo.
  • Video notes the need to couple this emerging knowledge, such as knowledge about permafrost thaw, into climate models.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This is a beautifully made movie. However, the information is passed on very quickly. This movie has beautiful footage and is very good in showing the methods of measuring aspects important for future climate change.

About the Pedagogy

  • There is an essay that accompanies the video. In addition, there is a section for educators that outlines strategies for using the Science Bulletin videos at the American Museum of Natural History website.
  • This video might be best suited for college undergraduates or AP environmental science in high school.
  • There are a variety of data collection methods shown.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Great attention to detail.
  • Shows scientists in the field and in vignettes explaining the science.
  • Good embedded graphic visualization of coniferous boreal forests changing to deciduous forests.
  • The Ecology of Climate Change can be viewed in low, medium, or high resolution.
  • Auditory impaired text scroll on bottom during video helps to track storyline.

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